Fine weather with friends
Apparently I have inherited my dad’s nearly perfect sinus weather barometer. My sinuses seem to be able to detect the smallest changes in barometric pressure. The month of May in El Salvador marks one of our two major climate changes each year: we are about to go from the dry season to the rainy season. Being from Oregon, I look forward to the rainy season. I love the torrential downpours, the rain on the roof at night, the sudden emerald green that appears everywhere. Unfortunately, the change in seasons usually brings a terrible sinus infection for me, and flooding, landslides, and all sorts of natural disasters to this fragile country. I guess we could say that changing seasons brings unforeseen challenges and blessings.
It seems natural during this change in season that I am also in the midst of a season of change in my ministry. I am very close to completing the first piece of my regional ministry project focused on El Salvador! With completion will come big decisions and most likely a change in ministry location.
As many of you already know, American Baptist missionaries and Salvadoran leaders have partnered on and off over the years in countless efforts to prepare generations of Christian leaders for service in their congregations and communities. Changing global economics, political history, and the current social context here mean that the demand for leaders with passion, integrity and vision becomes increasingly necessary, yet the traditional models of preparing and sometimes even discovering leaders are no longer meeting these needs. During my first two years of ministry I have been leading this assessment process in El Salvador asking the questions: What works? What needs to be changed? How do we become more effective? How can International Ministries (IM) and the Baptist organizations in El Salvador become better partners in mission? Two years later, I’m nearly done!
The final stage of my regional project requires organizing all of this information and putting it down on paper, which seems to be a bigger challenge that I had imagined. When complete it will look something like a simplified thesis paper and will be one piece of a bigger picture that International Ministries and its partners are looking at throughout Central America.
This winter and spring I have simultaneously been participating in a serious of meetings with IM missionaries, staff, and board members to address some of these same mission and partnership questions and concerns at a global level. As a new missionary in the field I feel honored to be at the forefront of both looking back and into the future of these national and global partnerships.
Please pray for clarity and discipline as I continue writing. I also ask for your prayers as International Ministries and I determine the details of what the next step in this project will look like.
Oh, and please pray for just enough sun in the midst of the rainy season so that everyone’s laundry dries =)