Family prepares to move to Spain months after COVID-19 delayed their plans to be missionaries

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 9.05.31 PM.png
Posted at 6:15 AM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 06:15:15-05

(WXYZ) — Imagine making life-changing plans, that include quitting your job and moving your family overseas, then the pandemic put everything to a stop.

That’s what happened to a couple in Plymouth who had plans to be missionaries in Spain. Almost a year later, they are finally making the big move.

The pandemic disrupted many lives, but for Susana and Andrew Schaad it put them in a space of uncertainty for months.

“We were getting our visas together and all the paperwork and everything in order right when the pandemic hit,” Andrew explained.

Susana is a family therapist and Andrew is a licensed professional counselor. Both quit their jobs and got ready to move out of their apartment with their two boys to move to Spain as missionaries.

“The town, the suburb of Madrid where we are going to start out doesn’t have an Evangelical church yet and we are going to help establish that,” he explained.

Farmington Hills-based SEND International US is the organization sending the Schaad family. It is an interdenominational, multinational Christian mission organization with more than 500 missionaries in Asia, Europe, Eurasia, and North America. SEND International US says they have been sharing the gospel around the world since 1945.

When the pandemic started, the family had to sit and wait, hoping each week would bring better news that would allow them to move overseas. They lived in limbo, unable to return to work.

That’s because, as counselors, they are expected to make long commitments to clients.

They volunteered their time with Harvest Bible Church in Westland, waiting to make the move.

Susana said, “We kept thinking we are about to leave, we about to leave and we didn’t but it’s finally happening now.”

After so much uncertainty, they have a flight booked this Sunday to head to Spain. They hope to spend the rest of their lives there to work as missionaries.

Anyone who is living life with uncertainty, the couple say, just have faith it gets better.

“The crazy pandemic that has turned the world upside down, we want to remind people there’s a good God who is the God of 2019, the God of 2020, and also 2021,” Andrew added.

Susana and Andrew have a flight out to Spain Sunday. The only other issue they are dealing with is flight cancellations. They say when the airline doesn’t sell enough tickets, the airline cancels that flight. So, they are praying Sunday’s flight is full enough to continue on with their plans.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.