Today we were blessed to worship with the saints at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ogden, UT. My wife’s family has a long history here, with her grandparents on her father’s side being life-long members there, along with her aunts and uncles until most of them moved away.
St. Paul Lutheran, Ogden UT
I was honored to preach at both services, and to present about our upcoming work after each service. Folks were friendly and receptive. Ogden is located about 40 minutes north of Salt Lake City and they were ‘enjoying’ a record heat-wave of consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures.
Our favorite time is at the end when we offer the opportunity for people to ask questions. Sometimes the questions have to do with where we’re going. Sometimes the questions have to do with where we’ve been, what we’ve left behind, some of the logistics of leaving behind one life and starting a new one. There’s a desire to better understand what it is we’ve committed ourselves to and how we think that will play out.
A frequent question we get is how long we intend to be over there. My Call is for career overseas work, which requires a minimum commitment of five years or so. This is the longest commitment period for our Synodical international work. While we hope to stay longer than that, there will likely be a discussion towards the end of our first term where we get to express our desire to stay and OIM can determine if that’s the best idea or not. Serving overseas has a lot of different variables and factors to it, many of which can’t be accurately assessed at this point of pre-deployment, either by us or by OIM. Breaking long-term service periods into blocks of service time hopefully allows for ongoing discussion and evaluation to make sure it’s the best arrangement for everyone.
So keep the questions coming – we don’t always have the answers but we enjoy sharing what we know and being prompted to find out what we don’t!