It's been a few months, and not a great deal has happened, but that's okay, we're still early days. Here's three things that have occurred though:
1.Meeting more missionaries
We've had a good chance to chat to some missionaries working in Mongolia, including two couples that we would hope to be working in a team with. It's been great to meet and chat and pray with them. We've enjoyed both being challenged to think through various issues, and being encouraged in what the Lord is doing
Part of our plans and strategising is that Seumas should pursue a PhD. Besides his obviously chronic addiction to study, a PhD would allow Seumas to teach to the highest level of qualification and thus resource an indigenous church into the future. It's a reality of tertiary academia throughout the world that without PhDs no college can really be self-sustaining because graduates will always need to go elsewhere to get a final research degree.
Anyway, Seumas has spoken with Macquarie University's Ancient History department about pursuing a PhD part-time from Mongolia. They seem quite open and on-board with the possibility. I spoke with a potential supervisor who was quite enthusiastic. My thesis would probably centre on the translation and commentary of two rather long trinitarian treatises from the 4th century, one in Greek, the other in Latin, currently without English translations.
At this stage the plan is also for Rachel to study for a year before we go, probably at SMBC, hopefully in 2010. We're still hammering out some details in regards to work and home next year.
3.Talking to a mission organisation
We've begun some more formal discussions with a mission organisation already at work in Mongolia, and have meet several of their staff. The big news here is that we are filling out some paperwork and moving into a formal application process. This will involve forms, medicals, interviews, chats, and prayer.
Taking on board some wise counsel, we have in mind to do a survey trip to Mongolia and possibly some other locations in 2010. This would enable us to see what things are like on the ground and be a little more open-eyed about what we're getting in for. It would also allow us to consider a few other options in case Mongolia is not where God wants us.
Thanks for the support and encouragement we've been receiving along the way.
Pray for wisdom and guidance about future study plans for both Seumas and Rachel.
Pray for the formal application procedure as it gets under way.
Pray for advance preparation for a survey trip sometime in 2010.