Why Spain Now? Stacy’s Perspective
NOTE: Nate and Stacy Tatman have been appointed as Global Strategy missionaries, working as associate regional coordinators for Europe and the Middle East. They are currently in the fundraising stage and plan to leave for the field in the summer of 2020. The Tatmans are one of the featured projects during Global Strategy’s year-end impactX2 campaign. Gifts to their ministry may be matched through the end of the year. To learn more, click here. (This piece was originally posted by Stacy Tatman in February 2019.)
Let’s just start off by acknowledging that this lady’s perspective on the big ol’ life change that’s about to take place is going to be quite a bit different than her hubby’s! (Click here to read Nate’s perspective on the move.)
So we’re moving to Spain. So surreal.
We have always been a family that loves adventure, and we have often talked about and dreamed of working together in ministry. We love learning about and experiencing other cultures, and at multiple points in our lives we have wondered if God might open the way for us to live and work in another part of the world.
The thing is, in the last few years we had settled into a comfortable routine in our hometown, making long-term plans that included making our current home our forever home.
In her senior year in high school, Aubry had been finding her unique gifts and passions, thinking about what direction she might take in her future. The adjustment period was over for Daleska and Emily, and they were feeling settled and secure in their new family, home, school, church and country, with great friends and a supportive church and family network.
Our big kids were also making plans for their futures. Dylan, working full-time in a field he enjoys, was discussing a marriage proposal and wedding plans. Kayla was settling into her second year at Anderson University and had finally decided on pursuing a master’s degree once she finishes her bachelor’s.
I had visions of our children each growing up and moving on, but this forever being the home they would come home to with their future spouses and with our future grandchildren if those were the paths they would choose. After all, most of our friends and many of our extended family members live in or near our hometown.
Nate was excited about his work at County Line Church of God and enjoying his side gig as a basketball official. I was loving my role as nursing care provider to Lakewood Park students and staff.
And then the question came. Would we be interested in throwing our names in the hat and exploring the possibility that God might be steering us in a new direction?
My first thought (and maybe my first verbal response): No way! For all of the reasons above and more, I just couldn’t imagine saying yes. And then I started putting pieces together.
Three+ years ago—
- Aubry, unprompted by any of us, declared that she would like to attend university in Europe. We weren’t entirely shocked, as this child has talked about her love of travel and adventure and people and culture and language and ministry since she was little. At first, she looked into universities in Germany. Fine, except she doesn’t speak German.
- Daleksa and Emily put in a request to be adopted by a family from the USA, Spain, or Italy.
Almost three years ago—
- We adopted Daleska and Emily. Knowing beforehand that they would only know Spanish, the rest of us started learning the language as quickly as we could. Kayla and Aubry picked it up in a flash and have continued to improve their Spanish skills, and Daleska and Emily have retained their Spanish and now also speak English.
- We hosted a student from Spain in our home for one month that summer, which was a great cultural experience for all parties.
Almost two years ago—
- Aubry moved on to researching universities in Spain.
A year and a half ago—
- We have great friends who live in Burgos, Spain, and for years I had been promising my friend, Noelia that if Nate was ever able to take a trip to Spain for ministry, I would find a way to tag along. Nate informed me he would, in fact, be traveling to Spain and he had enough mileage saved up to get me a ticket.
Almost a year ago—
- Nathan and I traveled to Spain, fell in love with its rich culture and people, and were able to visit old and new friends, including Global Strategy missionaries Alejandro and Carmen de Francisco.
- We were also able to visit St. Louis University’s Madrid campus, catching the only person in the building at that time (after hours)—the admissions director. We gathered information and further confirmed Aubry’s future plans. She would take a gap year between high school and college and then travel to Madrid, Spain, for university in the fall of 2020.
So then came the question. Would we consider becoming candidates for this position, in Europe, perhaps based in Spain?
I am extremely thankful for a God who knows and loves us so well. He knows I’m a questioner (doubter) by nature. Throughout this journey, he has prepared the way so perfectly that doubting has been nearly impossible. To be completely honest though, I have still managed to doubt.
And then God has reminded me—
- Our love of people and culture and ministering has come from him.
- Our family is (mostly) bilingual.
- We have career and ministry skills and experiences that will be a great benefit in this role.
- Nate has already been involved in international ministry for the past 10 years.
- The rest of us have had the opportunity to travel, to meet (and sometimes host in our home) many wonderful people, and to learn about ministry happenings around the world.
- We will see Dylan and Sara be married, starting their lives together in August 2019.
- We will see Kayla graduate from AU (a year early), in May of 2020.
- Aubry will be attend university in Madrid in the fall of 2020.
- The timing is such that it appears we will be moving to Spain in the summer of 2020.
God has truly taken care of the details.
All of the above gives me incredible peace, excitement, and anticipation of what’s to come! Well, all of the above coupled with a well-timed message from Scripture, brought to me by Aubry, spoken to her by her youth pastor, Dane, just minutes after my last doubting fear arose and I spoke a desperate prayer for God to give me that final assurance. He really does know and love me well.