This week, we have 3 of our newest team members Daniel, Christy, and Baby Sofie Kihm with us here in Berlin, Germany and the Netherlands. As part of their preparations for their eventual move, they are here on a site visit to familiarize themselves further with their new country: the Netherlands, get to know the leadership, and receive further instructions and guidance about life at Three Worlds.
They are accompanied by Missions Pastor Andrew Gale from Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. Andrew is about as sharp as they can possibly come, and CATC has had a long, wonderful partnership with the Church of God in the Netherlands. All of us are looking forward to this partnership growing and the possibilities growing as we work together in the future.
Placement is real important to us, so we have spent a long time preparing the path for the Kihms, having discussions and multiple trips to the Netherlands, we had the National Leader of the Netherlands in our home in August, and there have been a lot of conversations and emails. It's exciting for the Kihms as they come one step closer to realizing their dream of being in cross-cultural ministry.
We've had lots of time to talk formally and informally, and Andrew Gale always adds a great deal of brain power to every conversation. Having the Netherlands' close partners CATC involved in the process has also been helpful. And David and Kathy Simpson (utilized in yet another 3W role) are playing an important support role as well. They will be tracking with the Kihms as we will as Regional Coordinators.
The Kihms are looking forward to being a support for the Langfords in Liverpool who will be a short and cheap 45 minute flight away. And the Langfords will be lending support to the Kihms--especially in regard to Sofie since Audrey will be developing a program to support and encourage Missionary Kids in Three Worlds.
We had a great time last Tuesday with the Simpsons, Andrew, the Kihms, and our family. A lot of laughter which is always a sign of health. Next Monday we will be adding Rhonda and Christian Philips to the party before Andrew heads back to the USA.
Today, I took Jamie, the Kihms and Andrew to the airport and they flew to Cologne, Germany where they are tonight. Tomorrow they will drive across the border into the Netherlands and start 3 days of BBQ, meetings, and worship services with the churches in the Netherlands. On Sunday, Daniel is scheduled to preach at the Congolese church---getting his taste of the Three Worlds Complexity right off the bat. They will also do research on areas to live and all the other kinds of things you have to consider when moving to a new country. Andrew will preach in one of the Dutch churches. I am staying home with Marco on this trip. It's so great to have a wife that can go on trips alone and take care of a lot of the business. She's a great leader.
Monday, I'll pick up the gang and we'll have 2 1/2 days to de-brief with the Kihms about their Netherlands experience. We do a lot of processing at 3W and it's very helpful to all of us.
We have all really enjoyed having 3 month old Sofie with us this week. She did great on the flight over to Europe, and she's a doll. It's so fun having a very small child on the team now. Previously we just had Kelley Philips. Ha! I crack myself up.
Hopefully we'll have some photos to post in the coming days of the experience.