If so, then you have a glimpse into some of the questions that began stirring in our hearts before we ever decided to pursue work as Teachers at Ukarumpa International School in Papua New Guinea.
The decision to apply didn’t happen overnight and it certainly wasn’t a lifelong calling that we always knew we would follow.
Our heart for Papua New Guinea has grown out of our love for God, and our growing understanding of the incredible responsibility and privilege we have of sharing that love with others, not just locally but abroad. We wholeheartedly believe that living on Earth with an awareness of what lies beyond this life can be successfully accomplished in North America and even in Langley so why did we feel the need to go abroad?
I really don’t have one clear answer for you except that, about a year ago, we started to question our McCarthy version of the status quo and we felt that there were certain things in both of our lives that we needed to let go of – things that, whether we realized it or not, were shaping our identity more so than our love for God. For Jon this was mostly his role as a coach, for myself (Anita) – this was my role as a photographer and my place at Langley Secondary in the FOCUS program (a program I was fortunate to start with a colleague 9 years ago).
As we let go of these things first just in concept and then, more recently, in practical action, thoughts of how we could shift the focus of our family onto more permanent and eternal things began to flood in. We had created space and God was filling it with His plans for us.
From that point on (and still today), the journey to becoming members with Wycliffe was a journey of faith. An act of stepping forward and applying without any real confirmation that this was going to be the direction our family would walk in but, with each form we filled out, with each reference we submitted, with each missionary we talked to, we felt more and more at peace that an overseas move might actually be in our near future.
We began to share this potential journey with our family and God grew the excitement in a way that outweighed our fears with each conversation.
Despite the fact that basic logic would almost certainly warn us against moving to a third world country with a 1,3,5 and 7 year old, we trust that God’s logic, though far beyond our comprehension, is Sovereign. We trust that the Lord has already gone before us. We trust that He will never leave us and we trust that, even when this journey takes us to difficult places and seems to be too much to handle on our own, we trust that He is enough.
This journey is our practical demonstration of the central and life changing belief we claim to hold. A belief that can’t help but change our lives – Our belief that God’s love is worth sharing and that God’s love is truly all we need.
For us, Jon & Anita McCarthy and our 3 (almost 4) little ones, this belief is taking us across the world. For others, this belief may take you across the street and, for others still you may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about. You may think we’re crazy. You may not often think of what lies beyond this world or, when you do, you might not come to the same conclusions that we have.
I would encourage you to look into it. To find out who Jesus is, to read about Him in the Bible and decide for yourself and, if you have questions, to ask.
We are so thankful for each and every one of you who are reading this blog. You have all touched our lives, you have all journeyed with us through some incredible highs and painful lows. You have shown us love, compassion and grace and we will miss each of you dearly while we are gone.
For that reason, since we found out that we were accepted as members of Wycliffe, the TV has been shut off, Facebook has been given limited time in our house and we are preparing for an incredible year and a bit of spending time with all of you. Of soaking up each and every minute with the people who God has placed in our lives for very specific and special reasons. We are excited to live this coming year in a very intentional way and, if you don’t hear from us first, just give us a call, drop us an email or show up at our door and hold us to this promise. We love you and can’t wait to share this entire journey with you 🙂
(& my less wordy male counterpart)