Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The time is upon us.... AHHHHH YEAHHHHHH

Hello everyone, So this post are for those of you who have asked in the past about specifics about our process. I wrote this a couple weeks ago to give to my friends and family because they were getting anxious to hear more about what was going on. I can remember someone telling me not to make to public what all we were doing during our process just in case. But to be honest I believe that God will not let anything bad come from me sharing what he is doing in our lives. Also I reminded myself of why I have this blog in the first place. I was reading some of my old comments from past blogs about Canada and many people had written of the hope it gave them. That is why I blog and that is why I share. So here is the same email I sent to my friends and family (and to be honest by mistake I sent it to the whole world in thanks to a button on gmail... ahi que pena.) Anyway Im excited to share with you all where we are in our process. 

“God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.”

That quote was one of my favorites even before I met Issac. As you can imagine it has stuck with me. Many of you have been asking us a lot of questions regarding our plans and some are wondering how you can help. As some of you know this process has been going on over a year with Shawndra helping me with filing paperwork. Various other people helped us out with the fees and such on those applications and papers and we thank you for that. Many of the questions about what is going to happen over the coming months we still can´t answer. What I want to do through this letter is try to share what we do know and what God has shown us is certain in order of importance.
1.       God is with us: If I have learned anything over the last five years is that God is not going to leave us hanging. More than once we have been wondering how we are going to eat dinner the next day and never have we put our kids to bed hungry. (unless they refuse to eat what I cook of course, lol) Although we have paid bills late over the last five years we actually have very little debt and are confident that we will have all paid off before we go. 
2.       God is going to start a church through us. Issac and I both received this revelation during prayer a few months ago and when we came together to talk about it we were both amazed at how clearly God spoke to us both.  We have been speaking with our pastor and his wife here trying to prepare ourselves for this exciting adventure. God is moving in our lives in amazing ways through inner healing and closeness with him. Everything that has happened in our lives has lead us to this and we thank all of you who have had an impact in our walk with Christ.  The relationship between Issac and I has blossomed into something I never thought possible. Mind you Issac and I have always been in love and had a strong bond but God is truly showing us the meaning of his Joy. As excited as I am about school and getting back into a country where nursing will feel more like home I am more excited about the mission. This revelation about the mission came to us right around the same time I got my notification that I was accepted into the Bridge to Canadian Nursing program. I being the Amanda you all know and love began freaking out a bit about what all needed to be done and how impossible it all looks. I thought of course this is why I love organization, why I know Lean, why I love to structure things.  Oddly enough the thought of having a mission on top of the school thing made me stress a bit more. Why you may wonder well if we were going only for my career it wouldn’t be so stressful because, well, we are happy here. So if we screw it up and can’t go…. No biggy we have figured out how to make it down here and have tons of loved ones who are going to be hard to leave.  But now, God… The Big Guy…. My Creator… My Savior is calling me to go and do his work. Ok so this means I have to do everything right to get this done… that I have to plan it out to the T… that I need to be sure that everything works out and is ready when we get there…RIGHT?
Thankfully God said NO WAY. (I literally just took a deep breath when I wrote that.)  During every devotional, prayer time, quiet time ext. God had been telling me No Way and I was trying to listen. My head was saying I wasn’t worried but my heart was going nuts. And I’m pretty sure I was keeping it hid from everyone except God and Issac.  Then a few weeks ago at church during the worship session God was saying to me, “Amanda please stop worrying, I’ve got this. I need you to let me continue your preparation to be a leader, and to open a new place for me to reach my people.” I of course was like, “Gees God, I know …” But really I still didn’t and He knew that.  After the sermon ended and we were in worship again a man who doesn’t know us and knew nothing of Canada grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “Sra. (miss), God wants to tell you that he has a big change coming for you… I think it’s a change of residence or address… I’m not really sure, and also job opportunities. But He wants to tell you he has it under control. You shouldn’t be worrying about the details.” At the moment I was in a bit of shock and could do nothing but thank him. Issac heard what he said and immediately started laughing and gave me a hug.  After church Issac told me that when that man gave me that message that Issac felt God was saying to him we needed to be preparing ourselves for the church plant and not for immigration.  (I have been amazed at how God has been speaking to Issac and I with the same messages) So within a couple hours God gave me the same message three times and finally it sunk in. I can truly say that my heart is at peace and that I know that he is going to supply all the details.  God knows when you need a smack over the head and apparently that’s what I needed. So for the last few weeks I have been focusing on reading, praying, and just loving God. Please pray for Issac and I that we can continue to move closer and closer to God and continue to be on his frequency.
3.       The next fact that is that I have a required student orientation that is in AUGUST and I start classes this coming October so my family needs to be in Canada and somewhat settled before then.  AHHHHHH so excited to be a student again!!!!!!!
4.       Our family easily qualifies for the visas. And Alana will actually be ahead of her classmates when we get there so there is nothing to worry about if she has to skip a month or so of school during the move.  More so because she’s receiving all A´s this year in school, sorry had to through that in there, I’m soooooo proud of her.
5.        I need to send the application for my student visa in April so that it is processed in time for me to start classes. This visa automatically gives Issac an open work permit (which means he can apply for any job just like a resident) and the girls’ temporary residency (which gives them permission to go to school).
6.       Due to me going to this nursing process the immigration process is going to be fairly smooth.  But we don’t have the following requisites:
A.      One requisite we do not have are the girls’ passports.
Each passport will cost us $120 US dollars including shipping fees. The total is $360 US dollars. The need for this has been provided and we have ordered our passports they should be here within 3 weeks. YEahhhhh Praise God for his provisions!!!!!!
B.      The other requisite is that we have to prove to the immigration department that we have enough money to provide for our family during the year of school. The plan is that when we get there Issac will quickly get a job and provide for us during the year.  An acquaintance, who is an immigration consult, told me that Issac has an excellent profile and will have no problems finding a job. But that doesn’t help when applying.  The amount we have to prove to immigration that we can access is $37,000 Canadian dollars or a person or company  that will provide a certain amount every month during the year which is $3,000 Canadian dollars per month.  It sounds like a lot when you see it all together like this so I am going to break it down for you. Really its not over the top.  This amount includes:
a.       Schooling (including books)- $14,000
b.      Living expenses for the applicant (me)- $10,000
c.       Living expenses  for the spouse (issac)- $4,000
d.      Living expenses for each dependent- $3,000 each one = $9,000
The idea is that we can get this money as loans or donations and the loans would be paid back within a year or so. Because by then Issac will have his income and within one year when I'm out of school I will also be working. 
C.      As far as money for the move we are going to sell all our stuff to pay for the tickets and such.
D.      Because we are going to show up the whole family together we are going to need somewhere to stay when we get there until we can find housing and such, unless God provides us with that before leaving. Other things we will need are Issacs job, babysitting and Alanas school again not sure if God is going to enlighten us with his plans for these things before or after we go. A few of our friends have friends who live in or near Calgary and we are convinced that God is going to set all that up without much effort on our part. 
The main thing we are asking of our friends and families is prayer and support. Please pray that we continue to listen and keep our attention on God and on his ministry. As far as all the needs we stated above we don’t need prayer that God will provide them because he has already told us he would. We wish for all to pray prayers of thanksgiving that God is moving in hearts and spirits and that those people respond to his calling. We are so very thankful that God has called us to this change and are excited about what he is going to do in our lives and the lives of the girls.
If you feel led to donate or to loan us any of the necessities we stated above you can contact me or you can  click the Donate to Canada button. It’s a paypal account that is in Shawndras name (my younger sister who has helped me out through everything).  We did it that way so that we don’t have to pay fees to change the money from us dollars to pesos then to Canadian dollars. This way there will only be one money exchange fee.  For immigration we will only need to prove that we have access to the account.
Thank you all so much for your love and prayers. Issac and I are overwhelmingly blessed by people who love us and who love our girls. We could never thank God enough for the amount of love he has put into our lives. Thanks so much for believing in us and always supporting our decisions as crazy as they may sound at times. ;)
I plan on writing a longer blog about our new ministry to be honest its what we are most excited about and since I originally wrote this letter God has reveled more and more about His purpose. 

Amanda, Issac, Alana, Joslin and Lilian