I am not sure quite how to start this update. The past few months I have been pasting my monthly support newsletter here instead of a weekly thought/prayer update, I may do the opposite with this one.
I am still with One Collective and I believe I will be even after my initial two-year commitment, ending Dec 2019.
However, after two weeks of prayer and talking with staff, and talking with my parents, I am changing my original plans of being in Nicaragua for my two years.
Back in June, and also in our debrief in August, I thought I would return to work in Nicaragua in January 2019. This is not what is happening.
Two weeks ago I spoke on Skype with the Mobilzer for One Collective in Elgin. He again stated what I knew (team focus was changing), but he made it seem more real: Jonathan, the new Catalyst (One Collective’s word for team leader), is not Brandon, and focus of the team is switching from long-term development work to short-term relief work. The period of time for this change is unknown and the types of roles needed are unknown. (I would not have a role).
I believe that the time I have been back in Oregon has been necessary and good. But a question that the Mobilzer asked me to consider is what is being a good steward towards my donors and supporters. In these past two weeks I have asked this question, because I have experienced similar instances with working and language learning: it doesn’t work well at the same time. It works now, because at the time of planning this semester, I thought there was a chance to return to Nicaragua during the semester.
I do not feel that my time was wasted during the five months in Nicaragua, nor do I my time is being wasted now, however if I stay for a second semester at GFU while also volunteering my hours at home and driving to Gresham, I would feel like I would not be a good steward, while waiting for Nicaragua to become an option again.
So after my two week vacation to see my brother and other family in December, I will be
starting my next journey alongside God and One Collective.
In January, via Nicaragua to send home or bring with me the rest of the small belongings that I left in Masatepe, I will be attending a trimester at The Spanish Language Institute in San José, Costa Rica (Jan 3 – April 12). After language school, I will be joining the team in Ecuador.
Through my time with One Collective, I have met four team members working in Quito, Ecuador: Dani P who works with organizing short-term teams at Youth World, Thomas S who works in Youth World, Claire who was with One Collective Nicaragua for two-years and now works with helping victims in human trafficking, and Aaron P who I met at the team debrief. Aaron is the Catalyst in Quito Ecuador and the Senior Area Director of Latin America. Dani P went to North Park University in Chicago at the same time as my cousin Katie and they are friends.
There are three roles that they came up with for me to think about. The roles are to be in an administrative role helping Dani create opportunity with businesses in the development stage to help them grow, and/or to work with the finance office in Quito managing the 9 subteams under Youth World, and/or to work alongside Juan Carlos who is a pastor and business manager. He is the Quito team’s equivalent to the Masatepe team’s Leonel: he is well respected, knows everyone and everything that is happening, and has very good knowledge to share. I would not be doing all three full-time, may be a combination of two of them. They just gave me three to consider.
I will be serving in Quito from the end of language school through December 2019, when I would return to fundraise either to return to Ecuador or Nicaragua.
At this time, the short term is clear, while the long-term vision is still foggy.
One-time gifts were over 50% of fundraising the first time, so I will have a significant amount to fundraise upon returning in December 2019.
To be thankful for the time I made back in March to be able to visit family, before leaving
for Latin America again.
To be rested in the short 2-4 day trip in January prior to Costa Rica to go to Masatepe to say goodbyes and gather up last things.
To really focus in on these last two months of Spanish at GFU.
To be more confident in practicing speaking Spanish and speaking Spanish.
To reflect on these past 10 months and see things learned about myself and what to do about them (how to use knowledge gained or how to react to a similar situation I may experience in future)
To remember God is in all things.