there and back again…

We are back!

We are back from sunny, warm Mexico and are here again in sunny, cold Minnesota!

Wow, what a week!

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Just to recap, we went to a week-long Merge Annual meeting/training in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

It was a week full of learning:

We had multiple speakers/trainers including, Alex Velasco, Dale Lusk, Reid Olson, Al Tizon, Mark Seversen, Nate Severson, and a local CPR/First aid instructor.

Al Tizon (executive minister of Serve Globally) and Mark Seversen (director of missional congregations) are a part of Serve Globally which is a mission priority of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

It was incredibly helpful and encouraging to have both of these representatives from the ECC come and share with us not only their hearts, hopes, and vision, but to have a willing ear to listen to us and share with us missional theology, and help us constructively figure out ways of bettering our partnerships with country-specific, national Covenant churches, other Covenant missionaries, and local churches and leaders. It was also just great to get to know them better.

We had a great time of devotions, enneagram, deepening our missiology and theology, deepening our relationships between other Mergies, laughing, eating WAY too many tacos, washing each other’s feet, CPR and first aid training, going over what we did well and what we need more work on, getting to know each other better through group activities, late night conversations about church, multi-ethnic missions, culturally contextualized faith, etc.

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It truly was a beautiful, FULL, week of learning, growing, and deepening.

One of my highlights, though, was just getting to know my other Mergies better. I mean, we literally are expanding and come from all over the world. At the meeting we had Mergies representing: India, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Sweden, Argentina, Nicaragua, Chile, United States, Brazil, and Ecuador.

As well as those that were not present or that do not have a representative yet but we still go to: Panama, Spain, France, Uruguay, Taiwan, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, Japan, Germany, Africa, and Guatemala.

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I mean, it is incredible! And I am so honored and my life is so enriched by my brothers and sisters from these countries and from spending the week eating, learning, laughing, and growing with them together!

Now, we are back in Minnesota, embracing the winter cold, the ever expanding list of “lasts before moving to Ecuador”, and marking our calendar up with all things festive, Christmas, and family.

We are still hoping to move to Ecuador sometime in January 2017 but it really all depends on Richard’s citizenship interview (read more about here). Please join us in prayer for that! We already have the first of the two appointments scheduled so we are thankful for that!

With that, peace to you in this season of Advent, in this time of active waiting, of having confidence that what is going to happen is going to change and transform things and to be eager and alert to be a part of it, to be present to it as we create space to allow Jesus in more fully and more deeply.

love,

R + E

 

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