If you were not aware, our last newsletter as missionaries went out in December 2018. You can see it at this link : https://mailchi.mp/b013b5ba8b16/our-last-symanzik-mission-update?e=cb1bbf8d26.
Vol 6, Issue 3 - October - December 2018. Our Last Newsletter My wife Beth and I are truly thankful for the rich history of grace shown to us through the people of our sending church, Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian, and all the other churches and people that have supported our years of missionary service. Whatever success we have had, we know that the source of that success is found in God's grace and, to be more specific, through the grace that God caused to flow through the ministry of His people.
Yet, if there is one thing that we have learned as a family, it is that although God himself does not change, his world certainly does. When we first joined missions we were trained to be FAT: flexible, adaptable, and teachable. That lesson has been invaluable for helping us to adapt to our changing environment no matter what part of the world we have found ourselves living.
Our permanent move back to the US from the Philippines in late May of this year was a huge transition for us, one for which we are quite thankful. However, we came back without a clear direction: should we continue in missions or retire from the missionary phase of our lives? We decided to not make a rash decision but instead to stay the course in missions as we continued to be open to other possibilities. Our support level was low, especially for living in the States, so I began raising support because we knew that if we were going to stay in missions, at the very least we needed to be at full support.
We have now been in the US for over six months and God has allowed us to purchase a home, get our kids into a good school, and enjoy time together as a whole family. We have also better come to grips with what our family will need in order to thrive financially, especially in light of the fact that Beth and I are in our late 50s. Increasingly in recent months it has become clear to me that even on a fully supported missionary salary, I will not be able to properly provide for my family. As a husband, caring for my wife, including after I am gone or unable to work anymore, is a very high priority. For this reason I believe that the only proper course of action for me is to retire from missionary service and seek other employment as the Lord allows.
We have not come to this decision lightly or quickly. In some ways it would have been easier to have arrived at this decision in June; I would not have invited people to partner with our ministry, for one thing. But I know that if I would have decided to retire from missions in June, I would have always wondered, "could it have worked out?" Well, now I know, with regard to our family at least, what the right decision is. I would like you to know that because this decision was not made quickly or lightly, that I am all the more certain that this is the proper course of action for our family. I hope that you can appreciate the time, energy, anguish, and prayers that have led us to this decision.
Finally, you will wonder what is to become of Midwife-EMR and especially the three Christian maternity clinics that are dependent upon it in the Philippines. I am happy to report that my retirement is only from full-time missionary service, but not completely. I will be transitioning to volunteer status with LightSys Technology Services (our mission organization) which will allow me to continue to support these three clinics and the Midwife-EMR system indefinitely in my spare time.
I thank you again for your support of our ministry and family. We have been so blessed to have been sent by God's people into the mission field, and we have been so blessed by your warm reception upon our return. Our hope and prayer is that we may continue to mutually, "encourage one another, and all the more as [we] can see the great day coming closer" (Heb. 10:25).