A Change of Location

The kids on the beach in Cape Town this September. 

The kids on the beach in Cape Town this September. 

I (Julianna) would love to fill you guys in on some big changes that have been happening with us this year. At the beginning of the year, the Lord started speaking to us that our season in Nairobi was coming to a close after about 4 years there. He didn’t tell us what would be next though. At the same time, our organization’s base in Cape Town was going through a lot of challenges with a change in leadership. We weren’t sure at first what that would mean for us, but still felt God saying to leave Nairobi. We bought one-way tickets back to the States for June without a clear plan of what next steps would look like. But pretty quickly, we realized there was a need for us in Cape Town. Our organization’s leaders asked us to consider moving to Cape Town to help with the changes there. We felt God say that he had something for us there, but we weren’t sure if that would be forever or just for a short time. We moved forward with plans to visit though, all the time wishing we knew the future for certain. I’d hoped by the time we left Cape Town in November that we’d have a clear idea of whether Cape Town should be our long-term home. But actually, things moved much fast. We arrived in Cape Town at the end of August and within 3 weeks we had already sat down with the new leaders there and been invited to stay long-term. What’s more, everything from the moment we arrived seem to confirm to us that this was where we were supposed to be. There were needs for us, and this is where God was saying we would come alive.


We were asked by the new leaders there to come and join them, helping to restructure and rebuild the base of our organization there. Brandon will be leading the change management process early in 2019 and then we’ll be staying on to help shape and lead in the areas of training and coaching (Brandon) and pastoral care (Julianna) for the missionaries we train and send out from Cape Town. We are excited about the potential that Cape Town has for raising up African leaders to be sent out to reach the continent with the gospel. We’ve felt privileged to help train, disciple and coach African leaders over the past 8 1/2 years that we’ve lived in Africa and are excited to continue that, with now a great field of influence in our new positions.


So am I writing this from Cape Town? Not quite. We actually decided to cut our visit to Cape Town short so that we could fly back here to get a start on the visa process to be able to move back to Cape Town as soon as possible. We are now back in the States because we had to return in order to apply for our long-term visas from the States. There’s a lot of paperwork required for the application and we are busy working on that so we can return to Cape Town as soon as possible. We’re praying the process is smooth and fast so that we can head back to Cape Town as early as December. We rushed around the first week back applying for passport renewals and police clearances, and are now just waiting for everything to come back to us so we can then drive to Chicago to apply for our South African visas.


Until then, we are trying to rest while we wait for our paperwork to come through. Resting can be so tough while waiting, and with so much of our life feeling out of our control and uncertain at this point. I’m trying to fully trust in God’s goodness and believe that he’s working out the details.


And in all of this crazy process this year, our kids have been troopers — Mikayla, age 6, and Oliver, age 2. They are terrific kids, but all the transitions this year have taken a toll on them too. That’s another reason we’d like to get back to Cape Town and into a normal routine as soon as possible. They’ve acted out and had their fair share of emotional meltdowns, but really also been very flexible amidst all that’s been going on. They really loved our time in Cape Town and are happy to be moving there. But still Mikayla has her moments where she breaks down crying because she misses her friends and home in Kenya.


I hope this update answers some of the questions you may have had about us. If you want to hear more, feel free to get in touch with me through email, facebook or instagram!

Waiting it out in North Carolina, where Brandon’s parents live near Winston-Salem

Waiting it out in North Carolina, where Brandon’s parents live near Winston-Salem