Tyler and Anne Stone’s* journey to the mission field involved a significant amount of expecting and waiting—and always in that order.
The Stones were expecting to move to Southeast Asia in 2017 as short-term workers, but a period of waiting kept them in the U.S.
“[We] were excited to serve in Southeast Asia, but we didn’t know the process would take a year. Waiting showed God’s strength,” Anne says.
The couple said their field preparation training was amazing but challenging, and after the training, they were excited and ready to head to their country of service. Tyler and Anne were expecting to leave immediately for the mission field after training, but they found themselves waiting on God’s timing for their departure.
The Lord had plans and purposes for their time of waiting. Tyler already struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), but during this time of waiting, he was able to see a doctor and noticed an improvement. The period of waiting allowed Anne time with her grandmother before her grandmother passed away. Tyler discovered a lump in his mouth that required surgery. If left untreated, his teeth would have moved or fallen out. The Stones say the time of waiting revealed God’s grace.
In 2018, the Stones finally left for the mission field. In 2019, they were expecting to move to their destination city, but they had to wait for God to open the doors for their move. After completing their language study, they were able to move to their destination city. However, shortly after their move, Tyler and Anne’s team leaders relocated to the city that Tyler and Anne had just left. The Lord directed the Stones to move back with their team leaders.
As a result of the move, Tyler was able to use his graphic design skills to support an English center and a local business. The move provided an opportunity for Anne to use her passion for teaching at a prison, orphanage and an English center.
The business and English center closed due to COVID-19, and the Stones, their teammates and their local partners entered another season of waiting—one filled with concern and stress.
Tyler and Anne expected to finish their first term this September, but COVID-19 has complicated their return to the U.S. Anne says she’s struggled with the loss of control.
“I think by now I should have learned my lesson, but I am learning about dependence on Him. Waiting shows God’s current faithfulness,” Anne says.
Tyler and Anne can attest that the Lord has been faithful in their seasons of waiting, and while God’s timing often didn’t meet their initial expectations, His plan and purpose was revealed in time.
*Names changed for security