Mark found himself as a snowboard instructor at Mt. Bachelor, and Jess eventually ended up as a Lead (a type of assistant Cafe Manager) at Barnes & Noble. We really enjoyed our time in Bend. Our friends Aaron and Annie, whom we met while working at Heritage Wesleyan Church were fun to hang out with and get to know better, and we also made some great new friends, Stephanie and Ryan, who are now serving in the Peace Corps in Mongolia!
By this time we had become intrigued as we heard more about Indiana Wesleyan University's launch of the new MDiv program and Wesley Seminary. As we prayed and talked more, we decided that despite the fact that I (Jess) was already accepted to several seminaries, I would apply to IWU as well. The beauty of this program is that it is completely online (with the exception of 2 wks each August for onsite intensives), so you can not only live anywhere you want, but you are also required to be in local church ministry for at least 20 hours/wk. We began to think that this would be ideal for us and would open up possibilities for Mark to do ministry while I started school. So Mark began putting out his resume to different districts across the country (in the Wesleyan Church). The result was a church less than 3 hours away in Oregon that was looking for a pastor and seemed to be a good fit for us. In June we came to candidate (This equals an onsite interview with preaching involved), and we were voted in by the congregation the same day. They were interested in taking on Mark as a Senior Pastor and were open to my being on staff as an Assistant Pastor as well, so it worked out perfectly.
We got in one last hurrah (well two) in July by squeezing in a summit of South Sister and a week-long thru-hike of The Wonderland Trail that circles Mt. Rainier before heading back to the Quad Cities to load up a moving truck to really move out to Oregon (we didn't bring much with us the first time, thinking it was a temporary move). We packed up our apt in Bend, moved to Aumsville, and the next day I flew to Indiana for my first 2-week intensive that marked the beginning of my MDiv program.