Moving – AGAIN?

Linda (back right) with good friends from Wamena.

Linda (back right) with good friends from Wamena.

I was told when we began our MAF career that MAF really stood for “Move Again, Friend”! Because we are an organization that specializes in aviation and technology, moving can become a way of life. Our family has been with MAF for almost 17 years, and during that time we have lived in twelve different abodes, not to mention all the places we’ve stayed during furloughs. But just because we move a lot doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Linda (second from right) with new friends in Sentani.

Linda (second from right) with new friends in Sentani.

As we moved again in January from Wamena to Sentani (Indonesia), I tried to focus on some of the things I’ve learned about transition over the years. I’m no expert at it. In fact, I really don’t like change. But here are some things God has taught me:

  1. Give it time. For our family to really feel settled somewhere it usually takes about two years. By then we have developed deeper relationships and feel connected
  2. Leave and Arrive. One of our managers once shared that in order to thrive in our new location we have to emotionally “leave” and “arrive.” If we never truly accept the fact that we’ve left our last place, we can’t emotionally invest in the new one. (Abraham is a good example)
  3. It will be painful. Leaving close relationships behind does hurt. Although there are many ways to stay in touch these days, our relationships do change when we don’t have daily face-to-face contact anymore. I’ve had to learn how to accept the change, even as I try to stay in touch.
  4. Keep your heart open. It’s tempting to close off our hearts because we experience the pain of transition again and again, but in doing so we also close off our life in our new place. I’ve learned I need to keep my heart open for the new relationships God has for me.

May the Lord bless you as you follow him in your daily lives and your moves!


  • Paula Fuller says:


    • Perry Pust says:

      We’ve been in MAF for 35 years, 21 on the field, and really only lived in two cities, but five houses during that time. A lot less than what is perceived to be normal for MAF, but agree, home is where you make it. Hanging on to the past is debilitating, but embracing newness as new opportunities to add more friends is healthy. We still have good friends from each place we lived, so we keep adding more friends along the way.

  • Audrey Neild says:

    Thanks for all you do for our kids, look forward to seeing you in Sept.

  • Saundra says:

    Wow that’s a lot of moving. You are really amazing. God bless you and the rest of your fabulous family.

  • Anna says:

    God bless your courage! Thank you for writing this – it comes at just the right time for us. We are moving away from family to complete A&P training, and then we will be applying to MAF! Your tips really hit home and will help me to adjust – this time, and hopefully in the times to come at MAF!

  • Annette Welburn says:

    Linda, thank you for sharing this. ♥ As one who still misses you in Idaho, I understand what you are saying about needing to let go and embrace where God has you at the moment. It doesn’t mean that the close friendships you build each time you move end when you leave that place. It just means God has your greatest investment with new people. The beautiful thing about dear friends is they will be just as dear when you see them again! You can pick up almost as if you were never apart when you connect again. I have a grade school best friend who God has taken in very different directions than He has taken me. When we connect, though, even though we aren’t necessarily “up” on every current event in each other’s lives, the love and friendship is an instant bond. True friends are like that. I like to think that come eternity, all these dear friends God has woven into your life, Linda, will richly enhance your Heavenly experience.

    I am not sure I fully understand Luke 16:9, but it seems that if those who are our friends due to worldly things here on earth will welcome us into their Heavenly dwellings, how much more will those who were dear heart connections and served the Lord together with us welcome us eternally?

    So I suspect that each time God moves you, and you take the time to love people and invest in new relationships with them, you are building a rich eternity together. I know I will want to be with you often! ♥ Love you! Annette

  • Linda Ringenberg says:

    Thanks, Annette! I like your insights!

  • Linda Ringenberg says:

    Anna, I pray that The Lord gives you peace and direction as you begin the adventure of moving!

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