Today, for the first time, I wrote the date “2016.” Happy New Year! We spent New Years Eve in Minnesota, with Julio arriving that evening from St. Louis where he had participated in the Urbana Mission Conference. And while we celebrated in Minnesota we were celebrating Colombian style. Our friends opened up their home and went all out (decorations and all) to make us feel like we were in Colombia. We cooked patacones (fried plantains) and the kids had the opportunity to taste Sam’s favorite snack – green mango with lime, salt and pepper. We had grapes to eat at midnight (a Colombian tradition) and we even made our own año viejo (a type of figurine that is burned as a way of saying good-bye to the old year and welcoming in the new year). Seriously, we had so much fun. We are so grateful for friends here who want to “experience” and know more about the place we live and serve.
As we look back at 2015 we are grateful. We are six months through our home assignment. That means we’re half-way through our time here in the states. We’ve had the opportunity to share in over 24 places (churches, camps, conferences, retreats, schools) and have traveled from Phoenix, to Jamestown, to Chicago, to Sacramento, to Kansas City, to Salem, and to Grand Rapids just to name a few. We have met incredible people and have been the recipients of gracious hospitality. We continue to communicate with our friends and colleagues in Colombia and thank God for the way they continue to serve and minister. We have heard testimony of how God is using the church to be a community of reconciliation and peace.
And our prayer as we move into 2016 is that God would continue to make us into a people of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We look forward to this new year trusting God as while there is much that is known, there is also much that is unknown as we prepare to return to Colombia. As we start 2016 we prepare for more travel as we will spend the next 6 months visiting ministry partners and connecting with those who make our service in Colombia possible. The boys will finish out their school year and then once again have to say good-bye to their teachers and friends. We will continue to make memories with family and friends. One thing is for sure, we look forward to see how God will continue to guide us and use us, both on home assignment and as we move back to Colombia.