As I write this update, I am watching snow gently fall to the ground outside. This serves as yet another reminder that we are definitely not in El Salvador anymore (it is currently 82 degrees there). Elijah and I arrived back in the USA on October 1st. In many ways we feel as though we have been transported into a totally different world, and in many ways we have. As we process the changes, we have both felt very grateful for our experiences in both places. We are in what we refer to as the “fun stage” of re-entry: experiencing the colors of fall, spending time with family and friends, enjoying the luxury of hot showers, running in clean air, etc. While we are really enjoying many things and experiences in the States, we are also missing El Salvador, the people, and the culture. Both of us are continuing to process all that God has taught us and changed in us throughout the last year and a half.
Before we left El Salvador, we had the very special opportunity to attend a wedding of one of our staff members, Tony Escalante. This was our second wedding in El Salvador, but was the first one we attend intentionally (Elijah and I accidentally went to a Salvadoran wedding last year… but that’s a long story). It was a very special day and the ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. We really cherished the opportunity to attend and celebrate such a special moment with Tony and Claudia.
We are very excited to announce that our new line of coffee has arrived in the USA! If you would like to buy some coffee to support Elijah and I or the ministry in El Salvador, please e-mail Barb at email@example.com. Let her know how you would like the profit to be designated and she will give you the information on the new coffee roasts and types. Our new coffee website should be up and running before too long!
As we are now back in the USA, we wanted to take a moment to answer a few questions to share what we are up to so you know how you can pray for us and support us.
Why are we back?
Elijah and I have completed our eighteen month commitment in El Salvador. We are returning at this time to work towards completing a number of requirements in order to return to El Salvador for a three year term. The most important requirement we are depending upon for our return is our official board appointment for the longer-term position in El Salvador. The board will be meeting in February and we appreciate your prayers for this important step. Depending upon the board appointment and our fundraising, we are hopeful to return to El Salvador in March.
What are we doing?
Besides taking some much needed time to connect with our families, Elijah and I are very busy with our mission tour throughout the Rocky Mountain District. We have already been to Great Falls, Bozeman, Missoula, and Lander. We are both really enjoying the opportunity to connect with churches, share about what God is doing in our lives and in El Salvador, and work on fundraising so we can return. Our time has also gone into sorting through belongings we have had in storage to re-evaluate what we would like to keep, sell, or take along. It’s amazing how many things we are finding we can live without! (If you need anything we’ve got some great deals! ) We are so grateful to Roy and Gayla Neese who have opened their home to us in Billings, MT where we are staying in between our tour adventures.
1. Please pray for our fundraising. Pray for the Lord’s provision in providing monthly donors as we are raising money for a longer period of ministry.
2. Pray for our mission tour. Pray we will be effective in communicating our ministry and the work God is doing. Pray that we will be an encouragement to others as we travel.
3. Continue to ask the Lord for his timing in our official appointment with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. We are hopeful for an appointment in February.
4. Please lift up our staff in El Salvador during this time as new staff members are joining our team and some staff responsibilities are shifting. Pray for staff unity. Pray also for grace as many of them are working on language learning.
5. Pray for the Broken ministry funding and the legalization process for the ministry. www.brokencampaign.com
Our main routine experience right now is our mission tour. At each church, we are selling coffee and t-shirts to raise money for our support and for the Broken ministry. It sure has been keeping us busy, but we are enjoying the opportunity to connect with many people who have been on short-term trips to El Salvador, and many who plan to come within the year.