Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heading Back to the U.S., New Partners and How

Dear Family and Friends of our life and work on the mission field,

Just before loading up to depart.
Marissa and I set out on our journey to a life of mission 9 months ago. Accomplishing all that we set out to do and moving into the second phase of what developing our non-profit demands, we are now returning to the U.S.

Heading Back to the U.S.

FIRST, as I mentioned above, we have accomplished our goals for this time abroad. We wanted to learn more about the field where we would be working, gain a better understanding of the language and culture, and develop lasting relationships with a community of missions workers on the island. These have been accomplished. We are happy with our results so far; we now know better the complexities of the work, have improved in our Spanish and ability to function day to day, and have spectacular friendships with people like Chantz and Renee, Alessandro, Maurizio and Chris, Jeanne and the entire New Life community.

How; What We Will Be Focusing On

The plans for the type of sustainable home we want to build.
SECOND, we move into Phase 2 of developing our non-profit. If Phase 1 was accomplishing the goals outlined above, Phase 2 will focus on the administrative tasks and fund raising efforts needed to implement our vision.

One of the things we learned in accomplishing our goals was that the width and depth of time and commitment are far greater than one could predict when facing the prospect of working on the mission field. To live on the field is a tough reality and will demand much more of us than we thought. That was the point, after all, of Phase 1 and moving along the learning curve; to learn what we need to accomplish in Phase 2.

Though we are glad to have finished Phase 1 so soon and joyfully look toward Phase 2, we are sad to face the reality of having to depart the field. Regardless, we are very excited to put our feet back on the ground.

Sometimes we talk about the things we indulgently look forward to most in returning. I look forward to a hot shower (something we have not had in at least 2 months, maybe more) and catching up on the many great movies I missed. Marissa looks forward to simply being healthy again (from Dengue Fever on, she has been sick for almost 2/5 of our time here; 2 months at least) and just seeing friends and family again.

Marissa playing with the horse
we sometimes shared the hostel with.
We have stayed in beautiful places, to be sure, in our time away. However, the circumstances were not always favorable (local thugs, lack of connectivity, language barriers, limited infrastructure). Regardless, we were favorably treated by God in all of His intents for us during this trip.

Updates on stories of our adventures and adversities, lessons learned, and future plans will come. Once we have solid internet and time to focus when we return, we will deliver these. We will be landing on January 31st, visit Hilton Head, South Carolina shortly, and then return to Lakeland, Florida around February 10th.

We would love to reconnect with you all. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you soon.

We are grateful for everyone who has been supportive of this phase of our development. We have so many people to thank for our success so far.

Love, Grant and Marissa

New Project Partners gained during our time:

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