In November 2016, I met married duo Chris and Miranda Rudd, who were getting ready to move to Bolivia to work with the international organization Word Made Flesh Bolivia. At that time, the couple was working on earning money for their move, but things have changed since then. Chris and Miranda are leaving today for their new home. We are excited and look forward to hear more from Chris and Miranda as they answer their call from God to serve the people in Bolivia. A couple of weeks before they left, I chatted with Chris about their upcoming move and changes that happened since we last talk.
Keep reading to catch up with the Rudds!
M: I heard you bought your plane tickets for Bolivia, when do you guys leave?
C: We fly out of Dallas on January 26th! The date is coming up quickly and we are trying our best to rush through our to-do list before the big day gets here.
M: So what has happened in the last couple of months since we’ve talked last?
C: Since our last meeting, we enjoyed a full winter holiday season. We got to have Thanksgiving and Christmas one last time and made an effort to make the full rounds this year. I think we had five different meals on both Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Surprisingly, and it can be attributed to nothing other than God, the process of driving all over town and hitting all the gatherings at the right time was pretty smooth.
I officially ended my time with the praise team at our church. With our departure coming so quickly, I really wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time that helping lead praise deserves. Making that official is easily one of the most difficult parts of this process.
We completed the visa process and it appears the process of getting our pet to be able to travel with us is going to be far easier than we first thought. God has placed his hand in all of these situations and smoothed the road for us so far, something we are tremendously grateful for.
We’ve made more progress with our fundraising as well! We are almost completely done (98 percent) raising our startup costs and we’ve raised 76 percent of our monthly support. Although we still need $920 in monthly support, we are faithful that God will provide everything we need to be successful in Bolivia.
Last week, our missions pastor and his wife hosted an evening of worship and prayer for us in their home. We talked in detail about six or seven major pillars (our marriage, fundraising, spiritual and physical health, families, etc.) in our life that we wanted to pray over. It was moving to experience our friends come together with the sole focus of praying for us. Our Harmony Hill family has been such a blessing in our lives.
M: What have you guys learned during this time?
C: One of the biggest things that comes to mind is that God’s timing is indeed perfect. We wanted to be back in Bolivia by early December but with that date being pushed back to January, we were able to enjoy another holiday season with all of our families.
A new friend of ours, a missionary who has served in Africa and is awaiting his and his new wife’s return to the field, helped to clarify why it is that we don’t quite feel at home here in Texas. He pointed out that nowhere will feel like home – not Bolivia, not Texas – because our home is not on this world but is in God’s kingdom. That’s something that I’ve always known but it’s never felt more true and could not have been worded better. It makes me more comfortable and willing to accept this feeling of not being settled.
M: What are you looking forward to most?
C: We are looking forward to getting back to the friendships we started in Bolivia and growing those relationships. Our missions pastor told us back in September of 2015 that friendships grow quickly and strongly when you’re in the mission field. This has definitely proven true for us.
We are also looking forward to having a home to call our own. We have been in “transition” since September of 2015 and have been living in someone else’s home since February 2016. While we are grateful to everyone who has opened their homes to us during this time, having lived on our own since we were married in 2006, this change has been one of the most difficult for us. It’s hard going from having a full home to yourself to being in a situation where if you want any privacy, you’re confined to a bedroom.
M: What do you want others to know?
C: I would want people to know that if they’ve had a feeling they may be interested in mission work, to pursue it. That call comes from somewhere. Test the waters. Start small. Start local. Maybe explore a short term trip. If you feel you aren’t equipped, it’s just fear. God will not call us somewhere to abandon us or leave us lacking the tools we need to be successful. My first trip involved me leading a group of ninth and 10th grade boys in four days of discussion. At that point, I had never even helped with a Sunday school class or a vacation bible school class. God was faithful, as he always is, and provided me with the information needed to fill four days of discussion and the courage to stand confidently in front of those kids to lead them through the content. God will always give you the tools you need to be successful in what he calls you to do.
- Megan Whitworth is the former creative director of Texas Forest Country Living. Growing up in East Texas, Megan discovered her love of writing at the age of 11, writing song lyrics and poetry, which turned into essays and articles for publications around East Texas. She later added photography into the mix capturing Friday night football games, the latest fashion looks, and portraits of people around the nation. Megan enjoys karaoke, blogging, reading, and road trips. She resides in Lufkin with her husband, Ryan, and two cats, Felix and Lucy.