Transition During COVID

Greetings from central Minnesota.  It still feels a little odd to send that greeting.  As has been the case for much of the world, our lives have been turned upside down in many ways during these last few months as we experienced an abrupt international move in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.  Honestly, it has taken us a while to process all that we have just been through and in many ways, we are still on that journey.  But we would like to invite you to join us in our grief, lament, hope and celebration as we are dealing with the feelings around incomplete and unsatisfying goodbyes to friends and a place that has been home for us for the last 9 years.  To further complicate things, our ability to say “hello” has also been stunted by COVID as we have not been able to see and spend time with family and friends here as we normally would after being gone for an extended time.

We left Oaxaca on April 18th and are currently staying in the second temporary housing situation as we wait to move into the house where we will live during this year of Home Assignment.  Since we were scheduled to still be in Oaxaca until the first week of July, much of our ministry focus during these last 2+ months has been to continue to be in contact with people in Mexico via Zoom, trying as best we can to tie up loose ends.  A large portion of our time has also gone towards the move and to getting the kids through the end of the online school year.

If you are interested, you can see a more detailed journal and pictures of how COVID-19 affected our family this year on our blog.  Here are a few important points:

  • Just weeks before we departed Oaxaca, Matías was hospitalized with pneumonia and Influenza B.  We are grateful he received good care and that Erika, who was on a 10-day trip to Ecuador, was able to change her flight in order to return early to be with him and the rest of the family.

  • Matías was tested for COVID but was negative.  Lucas and Maya also had bouts with the flu, but not to the extent of Matías’s pneumonia.  We are grateful they all recovered relatively quickly and that we stayed healthy through the weeks of packing up and during our travel back to the US.

  • We have been blessed with two wonderful places to stay first in Michigan and now in Minnesota.  It has been a gift that they were in places that allowed us to enjoy nature and the water.  God has used creation to show us his love, grace and care.

  • We arrived in Minnesota just days before George Floyd was killed and life in the Twin Cities was turned upside-down.  We are challenged to grow in our own understanding of racial justice and being in solidarity with those who are suffering.

Looking forward:

  • On August 1st, we will finally be able to get into our house.  The house is unfurnished; we have a few things in storage but will largely be looking to equip it with what we need for this coming year.  If you are in the Minneapolis area and have furniture or household items in good condition that could use a new home, please let us know!   

  • We will both be studying during this year with classes starting this summer – Erika is beginning a Spiritual Direction Certificate program and Nils is continuing his dual degree in Christian Ministry and Nonprofit Management, both through North Park University/Seminary.

  • The boys are enrolled in school for the fall, but along with everyone else we wait to hear about the specific schooling plans; hopefully by the end of July we will know more about their schedules.

These last few months have been a time of much activity and also reflection, as we are learning to wait and trust in the Lord as a family and as a worldwide community, and also experiencing his faithfulness daily.  We understand that we are living in a historic moment and we pray to be able to discern God’s voice and will and then to act in the ways of justice, love and peace.  We are so grateful that even though we are not yet able to see many of you, we can count on your love and prayers.  And please remember that during Home Assignment we continue to depend on your financial support as well.  We would love to hear from you and how we can be praying for you.

May God’s grace and peace be among us all!


The Clausons

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6 thoughts on “Transition During COVID”

  1. Hi Clausons!

    My name is Zach Robertson, and I’m a member at Edgebrook Covenant Church, in Chicago. This may be invasive/crossing some invisible blogosphere line, but would you be interested in paticipating in one of our virtual church services? I trust your imagination in ways you can participate, but if you’re interested, please let me know!

    Thank you,
    (and the rest of Edgebrook Covenant!)

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  2. Nils & Erika and kids, Praying for you amid all you’ve been through of late and all that the year (and years) before you hold! Fellow Oaxaca and Minnesota (and Michigan!) Travelers ‘in Exile’, Dennis & Mary Lynn Carlson

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  3. Hi Jan! Thanks for the concern for our children. They do have a couple of friends from our last home assignment (5 years ago), but they are especially enjoying being able to reconnect and play with their cousins who live nearby!

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