Preparing for Deputation while Waiting on Baby

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How the Tanner family is preparing for deputation while waiting on the arrival of their new baby.

After completing Candidate Seminar with Baptist Mid-Missions in July, we came home excited to get started on deputation preparations. We had a long list of things we needed to accomplish, including:

  • Taking a picture for our prayer cards
  • Designing prayer cards and our website
  • Start collecting email addresses for our prayer letters
  • Begin contacting Pastors and scheduling meetings to share our ministry
  • Figuring out a table display
  • Getting social media profiles set up
  • Preparing messages for sharing

So we came home and got started. We’ve been able to put a dent in much of our to-do list.

One of our first weekends back, we drove to the Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars on the Washington/Idaho border and took pictures for our prayer cards.

We designed the cards and asked our Pastor and some friends for feedback. Here’s a sneak peek – I love how they look!

Tanner Family prayer card draft - front Tanner Family Prayer Card Draft - Back

In addition to some small changes (which we implemented into the drafts above), everyone gave us some sound advice. Not to print any until after the new baby is born.

Waiting on Baby

You see, Tanner baby number nine is due in early October. Because I’m so far along in the pregnancy now, we likely aren’t going to schedule any meetings between now and the new one’s arrival.

Travel is just not very comfortable right now.

So, if we went ahead with our plan to print a hundred prayer cards, we’d just wind up tossing them. They’re going to be outdated in about a month.

We talked about borrowing a baby or wrapping up a doll and taking a picture. But, we threw those ideas out the window pretty quickly. (For obvious reasons! :D)

So the prayer cards on are hold. As soon as possible after baby is born, we’ll get another family photo shoot in. We’re praying there’s still some green in the outdoors by that point, because we love the look of outdoor photos. But if not, we’ll go with Plan B and take a shot in Bryan’s portable studio.

Once we get a picture, we’ll update the prayer cards. Then they’ll be ready for printing, and sharing.

Other Preparations – Planning Meetings

Without prayer cards, we don’t want to schedule any meetings. And we don’t want any right after baby is born. That way I have some time to recover.

Then we run into Thanksgiving and Christmas – not times when many churches are looking for missionary presentations.

So after much prayer and wisdom from mentors, our plan now is to start presenting our ministry to churches in January, 2019. This means we have a couple more months to prepare.

Bryan is working on the contacting churches part. That’s not something I can do! 😀 Since he’s also working a full-time job, his plan now is to use personalized video email messages for the first contact, and following up with phone calls.

We’re currently in the research phase. And writing scripts for the videos.

Our plan is to stick within the Pacific Northwest for 2019. That way we can drive home after church Sunday evening and Bryan can go to work on Monday.

We pray that God would place us in the right churches, and help us build our support quickly so we can transition to full-time deputation by 2020. At that point, we’ll be able to travel further.

We  have our basic presentation done, and are looking forward to presenting it to churches when the time comes!

If you would like us to present in your church, we’d love to connect with you!

Feel free to drop us an email at Tanners2MA @ (take out the spaces!)

Preparing the Kids

Scheduling meetings isn’t our only preparation right now. We’ve been working hard to prepare the kids for this new stage of life.

While we enjoy going on drives as a family, travel is not something we do a ton of currently. So we’ve been looking at maps and talking through some of the plans we’ve made.

We’ve been praying together about finding the support team God has prepared for us. After all, God already knows exactly which churches and individuals will get us to 100%. All we have to do is find them.

The kids are also getting travel bags ready. We took advantage of back to school sales for these.

Their bags are special backpacks, filled with some special “only for deputation” supplies. They each have a new coloring book, notebook, and pack of colored pencils.

Note: We learned the hard way that colored pencils are way better for traveling than crayons! Crayons melt when left in a hot vehicle…colored pencils do not!

The kids also have a special stuffed animal, and a couple of quiet style bags to keep them busy on the road.

They are starting to get very excited for deputation! I love the energy they have when we discuss the plans.

Figuring Out Logistics

We’ve also been working on figuring out the logistics of deputation. There will be eleven of us on the road. For close churches, it’s just a matter of getting there.

Depending on the season, we’ll either take two vehicles, or pile into our short school bus. (We don’t drive the bus in the winter because it doesn’t do well on the hill on our road when it’s icy!)

Then we’ll drive back home and stay here.

But, we live pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Independent Baptist churches in the West are separated by many, many miles. There aren’t a ton of them we can drive to and from on Sunday.

So as our travels take us further away from home, getting there on Saturday makes sense.

We are thankful to have family throughout the state we can stay with occasionally. It’s a blessing to have people who will let this many people crash at their place!

So our plan in the short-term is to love on some family and friends.

Longer term, we are praying for another solution. We’ve talked about camping in the summer. Or about utilizing inexpensive hotel rooms (the trouble is we need two now to meet the hotel’s requirements.)

Converting a full-size school bus into a camper is also on the table.

We don’t have it figured out yet, but we know that God does. So we are just waiting and praying right now. It’s something we won’t have to worry about right now.

While many of our plans are on hold until this baby joins us, preparations for deputation are definitely underway. We plan on publishing a post each month to keep you updated on our journey, and would love to have you follow along!

Thank you so much for your prayers!

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