Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Reeeeeaally Long Layover

Living & serving overseas has taught us a lot about traveling. We know how to maximize our suitcase space (It's remarkable what you can pack in a pair of shoes!) We have long lists of  "items sure to get your bags hand-searched" at airport security.

We'll tell you (within a few grams) whether or not your suitcase is at its weight limit. We are experts in making the most of our time in airports between connections.
Christiana on the day of departure for The Great TransSiberian Adventure.  Not all of those bags were hers...

If you'd asked us a year ago this time where we thought we would be in 2012, Phil would have said, "Korea" and Christiana would have promptly said, "Russia". (And we would have answered as singles, both pretty sure we were going to stay that way...) 

Imagine our surprise in being:
B) in **neither** of those countries
C) still in the US on what has become an "extended sabbatical"

Life is weird, no?

When God brought us together in January of this year, we both suddenly realized that returning to international ministry was going to look very different. Different as in, "not-going-back-to-where-we-thought-we-thought-we-were-going" different. Different as in, "we-don't-have-a-unified-vision-of-where-we're-supposed-to-be" different. Different as in, "we're-going-to-be-here-longer-than-we-thought" different.

We knew that getting married, moving to a new country, adopting a new culture, adjusting to a new language AND attempting to return to full-time international ministry might just be too much for a first year of wedded bliss. After much deliberation & prayer, we ended up in Niceville, Florida.

Niceville. Sounds like a lovely little serene hamlet, doesn't it? And it is nice, it's just not...well...where we expected to be.

So where are we headed? We're not sure just yet.

How soon will we be departing? That all depends on where we're supposed to go.

One thing we know for sure - we're going to make the most of our time while we're here. Sometimes layovers provide opportunities for much-needed rest.
Phil on the way to Uganda in 2011. Naps are good!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

You Have Arrived at Your Destination

Have you been looking for us? Well, here we are. The Brandes.

We've both tried our hands at blogging several times before...neither of us has been particularly successful. Let's see if writing in collaboration is more motivational for us than going solo. We certainly hope so. 

We're in the midst of trying to revamp our ministry updates & resume communication with our friends, family and support network. Having our own website (or at least a new blog) seemed like a good idea. 

How do we look so far? 

Remember, this is for posterity, so be honest, hmmm?