WE DON’T DO THIS ALONE

There are MANY TIMES when we are filled with gratitude at the support we have received in this work. Not only does the financial support to Safe Haven allow us to do this work, but your physical help at times makes things happen that we just couldn’t do on our own! Here’s just one example of why we need a village to do this work here.

PAPERWORK SAGA OVERSEAS

We have been in the process over the last couple of months in doing our annual homestudy update for our adoption. Part of that process included Indiana needing our updated fingerprints. In Indiana (one year ago) we were able to simply go into a local office for quick electronic fingerprints that were soon sent from their office to the police and our homestudy provider. It was a smooth, easy even, and took place during a matter of days.

This year, because we are living abroad and unable to go to that local office, it look a total of 13 extra people / groups, EACH ONE of whom provided a critical piece of the puzzle to make it possible for us to document our fingerprints and provide them for the Indiana State system, a process that took over a two months.

Special thanks and praise for the following people:

  • Shanna – homestudy provider helping answer questions
  • Martha – sent us the specific papers we needed fingerprints on
  • T & C – DHL’d said paperwork to us in country
  • International Church’s men’s group – ongoing resource to pull from
  • Family – Praying
  • Sending Team – Praying

*We should share here that there was a lot of uncertainty on where to go in the city for fingerprinting for something international. In the end, we went to over 6 locations on a wild goose chase. Most of them told us that it was impossible or sheepishly pointed us to another office. At our last stop nearing the end of the day, we sent out prayer requests to family and our team because it seemed less likely every moment. 10-15 seconds after we received responses that people were praying, we looked up and a translator walked up and proceeded to guide us into the building, through the entire process, and back out of the building!

  • Translator at the Government office – the woman who in the end we believe God sent to help make it happen!
  • D & K – courier for our fingerprint paperwork back to the states
  • Dave & Mom – took our paperwork to the state office to get it approved and sent out
  • State office receptionist – finally directed us to another location to get it approved
  • State police office higher ups – answered final questions and gave us clearer answers on where to go next

We praise God that this is even possible. It was a clear reminder to us of the many situations that just get more difficult while living overseas. No wonder so many are grateful for this counseling! In this instance, while it was fraught with confusion and frustration, we also can see His hand so clearly present. That it is a big faith booster for us!

BECAUSE OF YOU WE CAN SERVE

It is only because we have these and other people’s support behind us that moments like this are possible for us. With that stability, we are able to do more!

Nick continues to provide full time counseling for workers from around the world. He works tightly with a team of psychologists and specialized therapists to serve entire teams and families as well as individuals. Difficult, redemptive work happens here!

Amber has been involved in rebranding, creating a new website and helping visiting counselors find housing and navigate what they need during their time here with us. She continues to use her (slowly) growing language skills to help at the Counseling Center as she helps visitors in the culture or contact repairmen for the office, etc.


Preparing for Success

Nick originally wrote this article for our Counseling Center with expats in mind. We hope it can be a great resource for many of you as well!

by Nick, LMHC

Attention is costly

The primary mechanism of our computer’s ability to multitask is something called “context switching.” Essentially, the processing unit saves a task off to memory in a way that it can later retrieve and then shifts over to another task. Each context switch comes with a performance cost though, if only because the act of switching is another action that costs energy.

Just like the computer, shifting our attention, even to something positive, does take a little more energy every time it happens and when it’s happening a lot, we can find ourselves struggling more and more to maintain our attention.

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REFLECTIONS

We’ve been living in a new country for 7 months now! As we consider the life decisions that have landed us on the other side of the world, and how we’re doing amidst them, we’re overwhelmed mostly with gratitude. Our timing was interesting… I mean, nobody planned for us to be moving abroad amidst a pandemic. Or trying to learn a new language with masks and restrictions and lockdowns getting in the way. Or for one of our parents to get diagnosed with cancer. But we have been consistently surprised by blessing along the way and despite the unique challenges of this season, we are on our feet. So here are a few reflections 7 months in:

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What did you say?

That’s probably a constant refrain in our minds these last few weeks. Mid-November, we jumped into a language immersion program, which means we’ve been living with a national family in a small flat in a city 2x the size of NYC. The goal? Get lots of conversations/listening all in our new language (read very, very little English.) Secondary goals were to learn more about daily life here and explore this city (which will be helpful for future travel for work!) And though we’re definitely not catching the entirety of every conversation, we’re listening. We’re slowly learning and trying out new words, sentences, grammar structures.

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BIG MONTH OF NEWS

We’ve got a month of big updates to share!

LANGUAGE STUDY:

We are in full time language study right now with a private tutor since the language school in our city is currently closed due to COVID. Recently, we found out about an immersion program in another city where we will live with a national family for a couple months. This includes: 

  • 4 hrs of language study each day 
  • Live with a local family and get lots of language time and cultural training
  • Learn how to navigate this new city (which will be really helpful as Nick will likely end up coming back for crisis counseling sessions)
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WHY HERE?

Just popping over here to say if you don’t get our monthly emails, you might have missed our latest video giving you a walking tour of our city.

WHY ARE WE IN THIS CITY SPECIFICALLY?

Great question 🙂 This location was picked VERY SPECIFICALLY by those where dreaming about an international counseling center for workers in this part of the world. They were looking for a place that:

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GRATEFUL FIRST STEPS

We arrived August 30 in our new country and dove right in. Honestly, things have mostly gone much smoother than we anticipated! We have an apartment that is restful and will give us space to share with others living in this city and visitors who come. We are in the process of going to lots of little government offices, stocking an apartment with furniture and all the things you need to live and just started back (a little) to language.

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