That was the question one of our high school students asked me out of the blue last week. We hadn't been talking about Canada or our upcoming move, so it was a little unexpected. In fact, this is the first time that anyone (besides Amber) has directly asked me this question.
"Of course I am!" I replied. "It would be crazy to not be a little afraid of such a big move."
In truth, I'm more than a little afraid. It's not that I'm afraid of moving to a new country; there will be a learning curve, but I think we will assimilate just fine. And I'm not afraid that we're making the wrong decision; I know this is what God has called us to. I'm also not afraid of the weather (although Amber says this is actually her biggest worry).
What I am afraid of is failure.
What if we start a church that no one wants to come to? What if we don't make friends as easily as we should? What if 5 years from now, I'm back in the states, as a "failed" church planter? That is what I fear most - Asking my wife to move so far and give up so much, only to have our vision for new churches crumble.
I was meeting with a fellow church planter a couple weeks ago, and he said, "What do you do if 3 or 4 years from now your church has only 20 people regularly attending? How do you handle that? Is that failure?" I am still wrestling with the answer to that question. Ultimately, I told him my philosophy (as cheesy as this sounds) is to work like the success of this endeavor depends on me, and to pray as if it depends solely on God. In this context, I think the answer to fear is faith and hard work.
I mentioned a moment ago the young lady who asked if I was afraid of moving to Canada. When I told her that I was a bit afraid, and that it would be crazy not to be scared in the face of such a big move, she hesitated for a moment, then said, "Well, I'm proud of you guys. And I think you'll be okay."
I think she's right.
2 Timothy 1:7 "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."