Thanks heaps for your prayers and words of encouragement in response to our letters. It has been humbling seeing people get behind us though it is still early days.
This last week has included some more steps taken towards officially becoming 'applicants' with Pioneers (the mission organisation we would like to partner with).
Last Monday while on holidays in Melbourne we travelled to the national office to talk again with Tamra the mobilisation officer and the national director Simon Longden. They made some excellent suggestions concerning our options for next year and introduced us to some of the people who would be caring for us. Of particular value was talking to the finance staff and getting a ballpark figure for how much monetary support would need to be raised; Rachel was and still is very shocked as that amount is much more than she had expected!
The visit was also a good hurry-up for us to get our applications completed and sent; they have now been emailed and the process has officially begun!
Last night was the Pioneers annual Sydney dinner and it was a great opportunity for us to meet other people currently or previously in our situation. Lots of laughs, advice and cake. We were also fortunate to meet a couple who will be moving to rural Mongolia at the start of next year; amazing to think that the next time we see them will likely be in a different hemisphere!
In non-Pioneers news our holiday also included a stop at Bendigo where Seumas gave a talk at the local Christian student group's weekly meeting, after which we were encouraged to talk about our Mongolia plans. We will probably need to get a bit more prepared for such presentations in the future so we can be clearly about why we're going and what we'd like to do, but it was nice to be asked for future updates and discuss what they might send us in care packages (primarily Weet-Bix).
What's next? Our plans for next year are still in God's hands. Seumas' current position will no longer be funded next year. We had hoped that Rachel would do some theological study, but this is uncertain at the moment. So, at present we are waiting to hear about job opportunities for Seumas and are still not able to make much of a draft timetable but when we have something definite you'll be in the know! This is a particular area that you could be praying for us about.
Please pray that we will keep trusting in God for the future and serve him in the present. This includes serving you so please let us know what we can pray for you and if we can do anything practical as well.
Seumas and Rachel