June 27, 2017 was a momentous day for us. It's the day that everything changed, when Rob was laid off from his job of almost 4 years and we felt God asking us to trust Him and take a big step of faith. 1 year and 7 months later, we're still on that journey of faith, and we've seen God moving in many unexpected ways.
About a year ago we felt God clearly telling us that we should not continue to pursue moving to France full-time right now. Our financial situation shifted suddenly and Rob quickly got on unemployment to help fill the gap. We felt that God was clearly telling us that Rob should stop focusing on support raising and instead focus on finding a job. Our initial hope was that Rob could get a remote job that would allow us to move to France while he continued working. During the job search, two of the companies that he got furthest in the interview process with were actually European companies.
As we continued to pray about what to do, we felt strongly that, even though we no longer were looking to go to France full-time, we still have a heart for the people there and want to serve them in some way. We prayed about what we should do and felt that the best option would be to do a short-term trip to France to serve Assemblée Chrétienne Mulhouse (ACM). We contacted our missions organization, Global Outreach Mission (GOM), and told them about the change in calling.
If we decided to cease our ministry activities completely, the money that has been raised would be used by GOM to help some of the many other ministry projects that are being done around the world. While this is certainly a good use for the funding, this money has been raised for ministry in France and, though we would not be using it to live in the country, we still want to use the funds for ministering and serving the people of France in some way.
GOM has agreed with us about the change in ministry calling from long-term to short-term and are going to change our ministry account accordingly. They said that essentially we need to plan and go on a ministry trip some time before August 2020.
We have reached out to ACM to start a discussion about what would be the best way for us to serve the church in a short-term capacity and begin this process of shifting our focus from long-term to short-term. We are excited to have the opportunity to go serve the church, even if it's only for a short period of time.
Rob's Job Search Update
As we said previously, Rob started looking for a job in February of 2018. With his experience and knowledge, we didn't think it would take a very long time to find a job. Unfortunately, that's not how God working things out though. Application after application, so many companies just never bothered to respond. There were some companies that interviewed him, but many of them never even bothered to follow up just to let him know he didn't get the job. We were getting discouraged as application after application went out and nothing was happening. Rob was looking for jobs of all kinds that he was qualified for and getting nowhere.
In September, Kristy came back from her first residency for the Renovaré Institute of Christian Spiritual Formation and felt very strongly that Rob should look into trainings that would help fill out his resume and help him get a job. After some research, he registered for a 10-week intensive training specifically focused on the area that he knew was his greatest weakness. During the training he worked on a variety of projects, but specifically started a larger capstone project as a way to show the skills he was learning. The project was mostly complete when the course ended, but there were still some areas that needed improvement.
After the class ended, Rob started applying for jobs again in earnest. In January alone he applied for 21 jobs. As he continued to work on the project from the class, he decided to show the teacher from that class how he'd improved it since the end of the class. The instructor was pretty impressed with it and put Rob in contact with a couple of recruiters. One of those recruiters called Rob that same day about a possible job opportunity. That was Monday, January 28th. The next day Rob had a phone interview for the job. Thursday the 31st he had an in-person interview. Friday, February 1st, he had a second interview. Monday the 4th he was offered, and accepted, the job.
In less than a week he went from learning about the job for the first time to accepting an offer.
1 year and 7 months after getting laid off, 11 months after starting the job search, 102 jobs applied for, Rob finally has a job and we will be back to having a more stable financial situation.
This is definitely not the path we expected to take, but we're thankful that God provided through everything and we're looking forward to where God leads us next.
We appreciate all your prayers!
The photo at the top is from our family celebration dinner in honor of Rob's new job.