Something I’ve had to get used to in recent years is having a slightly undefined (but I believe useful!) role in my workplace. I remember having days when I struggled with this in my work at Yeldall Manor in the UK, when I sometimes wished I had more of a defined role and could just call myself a ‘Counsellor’, for example. As I come to communicate with you about plans for the next year or so, I realise it’s not become any easier to pinpoint exactly what I’ll be doing. But I’m OK with that. I think it is God’s purpose for me – keeps me on my toes! The nature of working in a new ministry in a different culture involves having to be adaptable to go with the flow, of course while always seeking to discern where God is calling me and how He is guiding us at Novō.
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast”. Psalm 139:9-10
That said, I continue to be passionate about the vision and work of Novō, and it continues to be a privilege and blessing to be part of the international team here in Bolivia. After prayer and consideration, and conversations with the team here as well as with CMS (my sending organisation), I have decided to extend my time for approximately another year after returning to the UK for about 3 months from the end of January 2018. I’ll largely be responsible for ‘Programme Quality and Improvement’, which will involve regularly monitoring projects, supporting and equipping local staff teams (plural intentional, as we’re hoping to have more than one project up and running next year!) and updating programme materials and procedures – building on the work I’ve already been doing.
In the last couple of years, I have been incredibly blessed by so many people giving generously, financially and in other ways, to enable me to be here. And I trust God will provide for the next chapter. Practically speaking, I’d like to ask you to prayerfully consider whether you are able to continue supporting me financially into 2018 (if you currently give regularly), or whether you could make a one-off contribution to help with additional costs of flights and expenses while back in the UK etc. There is a ‘supporting my work’ page on my blog if you’re interested. Thank you! [FYI, if you reply to this email, it comes up as a public comment on this blog post, so if you want to write in private, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org!].
In terms of my trip back to the UK, I’m keen for it to include time of rest and spending quality time with friends and family (who could hardly be more spread apart, from Devon to Oban!); updating individuals and churches on the work of Novō and tying in some fundraising for Novō (please let me know if you’d like me to share at a service in your church, or if you’d be up for arranging a fundraising event I could attend and help with!); and attending a CMS conference and a retreat of some kind. I’ll keep you posted on dates and am already excited about spending time with as many of you as possible!
Having focused on ‘Life at Quinta Totaices’ in my last post, I’ll leave you with a few snaps from things I’ve been doing outside of my work with Novō in the last few months… which include surviving a hike and camp at 4,400m in freezing conditions; giving an addiction workshop to staff at a young offender’s prison; and visiting Swiss missionary friends in tropical Riberalta (near the northern Brazilian border). As a country, Bolivia’s diversity and beauty still amazes me so much!!
I always love hearing from you, so do keep in touch!