Monday, May 21, 2012

Homeless but not Purposeless

click image to biggie-size and make it legible
Our eyes lit up and we looked at each other with barely suppressed glee when the head of Youth Specialties, Latin America asked us to be the spiritual directors for their youth ministry institutes. That was 5½ years ago and now our part in this project is coming to an end. (Click on timeline)

the very moment we were invited to help start the institute
We accepted the challenge of helping launch these two university-level institutes with a written agreement that we would part of a team of 5 -10 other staff from Argentina and Guatemala, that we would not need to do fundraising, and that we would not have administrative responsibilities (it's what we are worst at and most dislike). If you're familiar with startups you'll smile knowingly at the fact that there was no other staff for the first 6 months and then 2 unpaid and very part-time staff for the next year. So we did a lot of administration and nearly all the fundraising.

Lots of planning, organizing, administration,
and staff training during the first two years
We imagine it's like raising a baby; it pushes you to the edge of your sanity but you end up loving it. So now that we've accomplish what we set out to do –help get things started, create a prototype and then work ourselves out of a job– it is hard to let go of what we have grown to love: the staff, the city, and especially the youth leaders into whom we've invested our lives. But for the last few years we've been phasing out of our various roles here and as of May 28th we're done.

Some of the youth leaders of the Instituto E.J.
At this point, we don't know where we'll be based next. But we do we have a full schedule of projects for what is left of 2012:
  • Manage the ParaLideres.org and blog.paralideres.org websites
  • Youth work training events in Mexico and Colombia
  • Leading a seminar on coaching in Colombia
  • Discipleship school in Spain
  • Co-writing a year-long, youth group curriculum book for Harper-Collins/Youth Specialties
  • Developing a video series and accompanying curriculum about communicating the truths of the Christian faith to postmodern, post-Christian youth
All of these are within the mandate we've been given: to providing resources and training for youth leaders in the Spanish-speaking world. But none of them define where we will live.

It will be interesting to see how God guides us to the next where... and, as always, we need your prayers towards that end.

5 comments:

Janelle said...

Hey, I never noticed before, but any chance the restaruant behind you in your profile picture is the one you took us to in Winter Park when I first met you?

minnemie said...

I never cease to be amazed at all you do - i.e. the extent f your impact. I just always wish some of your curriculum would be published in English!

Cesloq said...

Me emociona volver la vista y ver todo lo que ha pasado y ver el nombre de Colombia en lo que ha de venir...!
Es una bendición conocerlos

VRain said...

congratulations on a job well done - a work that I have seen with my own eyes and experienced in my own heart as I visited the Institute. What you did there in BA is a gift to the whole of God's Kingdom. Thank you for investing so richly of your minds and hearts.
Like others, we are praying for the projects on your plate - and the decisions to be made regarding location and plans.
When you write the list of those who love you - I have to be near the top.

Jose Santos said...

Que Deus os abençoe!
God bless you in your new ventures and assignments given by him to you both.
From your Brazilian brother and friend (that speaks "Portunhol").
Un abrazo y que Dios les bendiga.