We have been hanging out in Trinidad to be interviewed by President Mehr and for our flight out to St Martin on Friday. President and Sister Mehr came in on Weds and we were invited over for dinner on Thursday evening.
It was a great evening! Sister Mehr cooked salmon, rice, and a salad, and we talked about a few things. Mostly we talked a little about us and our experiences (so the President would know how best to use us). On our part, we promised to be good and to support him in his very difficult calling (it is like running a small country–just a unbelievable amount of work to do! Besides dealing with some 200 missionaries on 9 islands, three countries, and multiple languages, he has 40 church branches he is in charge of!).
Terri, of course, will be responsible for all the medical issues for the mission and I will be working with the local church leadership and missionaries. With all of the small islands and disparate languages, etc., they have placed couples on many of the islands and given them authority over the mission in those areas (like mini-mission-presidents, or like the Neeleys in Burundi). They then report to the mission office each month.
We have also been asked to take over the teaching of english to the missionaries (all non-english speaking missionaries have been asked to learn english, like we did in the Congo, and we will direct and proctor the exams, etc.). It will be different though, as the missionaries are scattered among the islands and usually learn individually rather than in classes.
I’m sure more jobs will be coming our way as we settle into the ebb and flow of the mission. But right now they are all up to their ears in transfers and the mission split (which also means they have to split the missionaries between missions, and the leadership between missions–for example, they have already called additional assistants for the Barbados mission).
The Turners have been given the chore of preparing the new Mission Office in Barbados. Wow, what a job! Finding buildings and apartments and setting up computers and getting all the mission programming and reports, bank accounts and money, etc., up and running for the new mission president when he arrives in about 3 months…. We are so happy we are going to be able to hide on the small island of St Martin!
And, as we have experienced before, once the new mission presidents come, everything will change, as they will have their own way of doing things. It will be a wild and crazy few months!
We leave soon, so our next post will be from our new home in St Martin!