We’ve gone through a decrease in income, an increase in expenses, an international move, major house renovations, death of a close family member and major challenges with Caleb and Tamara’s health. All of these rate up there as some of the top stress points in people’s lives, and we’ve been hit will them all this last year.
Since coming to Calgary we have managed to loose income in two ways. We are now receiving less money each month and because of the exchange rate we are finding that the money that we do have isn’t going as far here as it did in Australia. Right now we are about $500 per month short of meeting our monthly budget, which we can’t keep doing for long.
We have also found some things to be a lot costlier here than we expected. Our utility bills are about three to four times in Calgary what they were in Townsville. Despite Canada having socialized medicine we are also finding our medical costs to have gone up, especially the cost of medicine and insurance.
Unfortunately we feel like we are not any closer to finding out what’s going on with Caleb’s health. It’s still a battle and we feel like it is affecting him with his learning at school, as well as socially and with his self esteem. He is also finding the change from a Christian school in Australia to a public school here in Calgary to be a challenge. He has been silenced a few times in class for talking about God and church, which he’s had a hard time understanding. We’ve come to tell him now that he should only share during lunch or recess with his friends, and not in the classroom.
Tamara’s chronic fatigue is probably at the worst level that we have experienced. We were warned by her treating doctor in Australia to expect the move to affect her health, but we really didn’t appreciate the extent to which it would be affected. This has affected Tamara’s ability to adjust to life here in Canada and also how she’s able to spend time with friends and family here.
It’s been a big change moving from a YWAM operating centre of over 100 people to a loosely knit community of YWAMers here in Calgary. I think that we were both surprised how much we miss the people back in Townsville. Some of them are people that we have grown in our faith and walk with God so much in the last 11-years, and now we don’t have anyone around us who has been on that same walk with us. It feels so strange in many ways.
Working remotely with the YWAM International Chairman’s Team out of our home is also a huge change for me. I did not realize how much I would miss having people around that I am working with. There is definitely a sense of disconnect with the team that I have to be very deliberate to try to overcome. It is a new situation for all of us, so we are all having to learn together how to make it work. (You can read about some of the projects I am working at over at my other site, Defining My New Role in YWAM.)
If you get the chance we would appreciate your prayer for God’s grace and wisdom for us during this time of transition. We believe that God called us here for a reason, and that His ways are greater than our own, but in the middle of it we are needing more strength and faith than we have needed before.