Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leaving but staying

It's already been nearly a year and a half since we moved back to Nicaragua from Oklahoma. As usual with the passage of time, it has felt simultaneously both shorter and longer than what it has been! As many of you already knew, when we came back to Nicaragua in Fall 2013, we did not intend to stay indefinitely (for reasons I'll explain in a little bit). We decided that a two-year commitment would be long enough to be beneficial and short enough to be do-able.

With this being said, we would like to inform you that we have officially decided to move back to the States this coming September (2015)! An equally important fact is that we will NOT be leaving our work with One by One at that time.
Now we're sure you have a lot of questions, so we've tried to anticipate them the best we know how:

1) Why are you leaving?
There two main reasons for our move and its timing:
- The first is that we would like to start a family. We were also advised to wait at least two years post-transplant to get pregnant for the health of the new kidney. April 29th will mark two years. We were also advised that Julie's transplant makes pregnancy higher-risk than normal, and all doctors we've spoken to (even our doctor here) tell us that we should live near a transplant center in the States when we're ready to have kids.
- Secondly, Julie has Medicare coverage which pays for anti-rejection medications for three years post-transplant. This will expire Spring of 2016, and we will need to find other coverage for her (very expensive) medications once that expires. If we were living without coverage in Nicaragua, we would have to raise an additional $40,000-$60,000 per year just to pay for these medications.

2) Where will you move?
At this point, we have in mind to move back to the Norman/Oklahoma City area but are open to living somewhere else if we have a good reason to. In the Norman/OKC area, we still have our close church community and Julie's transplant hospital and excellent doctors.

3) What will you do when you get back to the States?
As we very briefly mentioned, we plan to continue working with One by One. After months of thinking through this decision and discussing how best to invest our lives, we have decided to try it for at least a year.
Chase will continue creating and developing a network of Spanish ministry resources as well as serving on the board of directors for One by One International. Julie will continue to help with mission team planning and preparation until someone in Nicaragua can take over that position. Additionally, we will be involved in mission team & new staff training, ministry fundraising & promotions, donor relations, and assisting with our sponsorship program.
Having worked remotely for One by One while we were in the States for the transplant, we're aware of the difficulties we'll likely encounter, so we are making plans to prevent or at least help alleviate them.

4) Will you continue living on support?
Yes. One by One only pays salaries to the Nicaraguans on staff, so the two of us will continue to rely on the consistent financial support of individuals and churches. Because One by One is applying with the IRS to gain status as a an independent nonprofit organization, Julie and I—since last October—have been employed by and receive funds through Commission To Every Nation (CTEN) instead of through One by One's founding church. Our jobs with One by One didn't change, but we have been under the oversight and accountability of CTEN.

5) Do you plan on moving back to Nicaragua in the future?
We don't know yet. Our priority for this next phase in our life is to start a family, and this will likely keep us in the States for several years. We can't guess everything that will change in our life in that time, so we will leave the decision for much later.

6) Do you see white and gold or blue and black?
This question is ridiculous, and we refuse to comment.
If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us – we'd love to talk to you about it!

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