I have been putting off writing this post, mainly because it is so emotionally draining that I do not yet want to think about it. However, it will save me having to spend the time explaining it to everyone via email or instant messenger. My wife left today for her home country of Estonia, for roughly two years. I am remaining in Boise, Idaho. That's the short of it. I'll explain the rest, but want say that we are not having any maritial difficulties, aside from having to be apart from each other.
She will be living with her parents and will be working as a translator / teacher for a Bible college, which is being started by a group of churches in the United States. She will be taking all of their English curriculum, and converting it into Russian, which can then be translated into Estonian. I am really proud of her, and think that she will benefit countless people through her service. I am actually crying a bit as I write this, partially because of missing her already, but also out of admiration, that I am married to such an amazing woman.
Okay, surely you are wondering - "Why the heck does she have to go for two years?" Well, basically she got free college and grad school. Tuition, books, room and board were paid for by the generous contributions of various congregations around the US. Had it not been for this, she probably would not have had this opportunity. She grew up under Soviet rule, and as a pastor her dad doesn't make enough to afford expensive American universities.
The condition of the scholarship is to spend two years back in her home country. Basically, churches were tired of financially supporting foreign ministry students who never went back and served their own people. So, she owes time but not money. When the opportunity to work with this Bible college came up, we both felt that it would be the best way for her to make the most of the duration. In other words, rather than just go over there and sit around for two years at some later date, here is a present and fairly urgent need for a competent and theologically trained Russian translator.
Ideally, I would be right there with her, but the unemployment rate is so high that even native people have a tough time finding work. Meanwhile, I am still finishing seminary via online classes, having taken a reduced courseload since getting the Boise job as a Web User Interface Designer (man, long title). She graduated before me, because her program for counseling was 60 credits, and mine is 96. We are paying out of pocket for my schooling, which simply wouldn't be possible with a job in Estonia.
Anyway, the point in writing this wasn't to drum up money or pity, simply to let everyone know what's up. If you're the praying type, I'd appreciate the spiritual support. It's not all bad though, I will be flying over occasionally to visit her. For our anniversary in July, we're planning a tour of London and the surrounding area. If you live there, let me know so maybe we can hang out.