We left the Philippines in 2013 after our eldest son was diagnosed with autism. We decided to step out of full time ministry with NTM to look after the growing needs of our family. We were not sure if we would ever be able to return to the Philippines, and in what capacity we would be able to do so. Andrew got a job in construction as an apprentice carpenter and we had our fourth child in 2014. God showed Himself faithful to our family by providing the right supports for our family and even allowed Andrew to be involved in ministry part-time as the young adults associate in our home church. Life for us finally settled down and we enjoyed a season of stability as a family.
It was during this time that we received an email from the Philippines field leadership, asking us to consider coming back for a short term to assist with People Group Assessments, something Andrew had been helping with before we left. It was really unexpected for us to even consider going back, but God really opened all the doors for us and made it possible for us to return. It was not just the logistics of going back but our own hearts that He worked in.
Leaving the field had been hard on us as we struggled to find our identity and purpose in Him. Losing something we had worked and prepared so hard for was really difficult. The question to go back was really a question of whether we were willing to trust God again with our plans, our family and our future. As we step back into ministry, even though it is only for a short time, it is our declaration that He is faithful. Even in the pain and loss, He knew our need and provided. This time our focus is not on what we hope to accomplish for Him but what He is doing in and through us.