I enjoy looking back over my life and seeing where God was working on me; molding me into something different from I was before….even if I was oblivious to it at the time. Day to day situations in life may have seemed so mundane, but they were for a purpose; His purpose. In the heat of the battle of daily life on planet Earth, I sometimes feel that I wasted so much time on the wrong path. Later, through the lens of hindsight, I see the reason for the detour. These detours may be big or small, and have differing degrees of prominence in our lives. Here are a couple that loom largely in the Fisher household right now:
When I started college, I wanted to be a doctor. I had it all planned out. However, during my senior year I felt that this was not to be the path for me. To my parent’s dismay, I dropped out. Eighteen months later I returned to college with a new plan to be an elementary teacher. I remember taking my Change of Major forms to my Pre-Med advisor to get signed, and he asked, “Have you ever thought about teaching high school?” I laughed and replied, “Four years of high school was enough for me. Teenagers are scary.” Now fast-forward nearly a decade to a phone call I received. It was from the principle of the school where I had applied to teach 4th grade. She said, “Kristi, I am calling to tell you that the 4th grade position has already been filled, however I do have an opening for a high school science teacher if you are interested.” I can still remember telling Kip, “I think that this is what God wants me to do.” So for the past 7 years I have taught science to middle and high school students. There was a reason for the detour and all that time spent in Bio & Chem Labs.
A major ministry focal point for the ministry we are moving to partner with is feeding and educating the impoverished children of Villa González through stateside sponsorship. Sponsors are encouraged to come and visit on short term mission trips, and to bring friends, family, or church/youth/other groups to see what God is doing in the DR. Many of these groups will likely be teenage youth. Additionally, the new school (the first in San Pablo, Villa González) is set to open this Fall and needs someone to come alongside the teachers and provide support in establishing the school and its workings. Both of these opportunities will require a great deal of time spent with teenagers….which no longer terrifies me; there was a reason for the 7-year detour into secondary education.
Almost 15 years ago, we moved to Florida so that Kip could take a position within the prison industry. One day on our patio about a year ago, Kip only-partially-jokingly said, “I feel like I have wasted a big part of my life behind bars.” I replied, “God has a reason. You just have to have faith. You may be there to witness to inmates or fellow co-workers, or God may be preparing you for a future you can’t even see right now.” He laughed and said, “I just hope I don’t spend the rest of my life in prison.” Today, as we prepare for the upcoming move, we now know that another significant focus for the Dominican ministries we will work with is within the Dominican prison system, to provide inmates with a first-hand experience of God’s love, and the opportunity to learn of the Gospel. We’re beginning to see there was a reason for Kip’s detour.
We’re ready. We have the calling, and are making as best an effort as we know how in preparing to faithfully follow it. We are fully involved with selling off 20 years of the accumulated detritus that piles up through routine life. We’re busily gathering the documentation, budget-setting information, living arrangements, and all the things that come with an international move. The reasons behind the various “scenic routes” we’ve taken these past two decades are revealed with a little more clarity each passing day. As of this post, we stand at about 58% of our first year’s budget through pledge commitments and donations. But, we can’t do it alone. We continue to build a network of committed individuals who will pray, partner, and pledge with us, committing to allowing God to work through us and accomplish great things. Not for us, but for Him. We are asking you to prayerfully consider a contribution to this ministry – in any amount; every penny counts. I don’t say that lightly. Every penny literally makes a tangible, positive difference in the lives of people in dire need, spiritually, physically, and with regard to education.
As many of you already know, we are now independent missionaries working with a few ministries in following this call to the Dominican Republic. As such, we must raise our own support. The organizations we work with are small in scale and do not maintain paid American missionary staff. Kip and I both fully believe that God called us to move to the Dominican Republic, and that He prepared us for this move for many years. But, we need this network of people willing to partner with us – prayerfully, relationally, and financially. Your tax-deductible (consult your tax advisor) monthly commitment of $10, $25, $50 or more would go a great distance toward meeting our goal, which is to be in-country no later than the end of this year. Since the announcement of our intentions, many have said, “We want to support you, just tell us how.” So here is how. We need to build ongoing support partners. Don’t misunderstand; one-time gifts are greatly appreciated. However, monthly commitments are vital to the budgeting process, as we will be operating on a very basic level. Please pray about financially supporting us with a gift as little as $10 a month. We fully understand that there are some that are on a limited budget, and are unable to financially support us. Would you please be one of our prayer warriors? Please pray that God will use us to provide aid to those in need and further His Kingdom. You may have seen this post on Facebook, and just clicked to check us out, but now you know there was a reason for your detour.
If you would like to contribute, please visit our Support Page for detailed instructions. Thanks!