Most evenings Erin and I collapse on the couch after the dust settles and just listen to one another’s truly crazy stories from the day. It’s awesome. This month has been unforgettable; rich with blessing, pain, victory, failure, joy, and disappointment.
Among the stories, I want to tell you a little about the new 2nd Mile Missions workshop where we do vocational training, micro-leasing, and employ women on the margins of society from the surrounding communities. While we’ve been working with them for a while already, we officially opened the doors on October 1st. The workshop is called Vida Plena (Full Life). The purpose of Vida Plena is to create a safe place for these ladies to grow and flourish into their God-given potential in a long-term and sustainable way.
We feel more than privileged to be partnering with MudLOVE in Warsaw, IN for the training and production of some really beautiful products that you’ll be hearing more about next month….. We hosted two full days of training in artisan bracelet and necklace making at the Vida Plena shop. It was also a real pleasure for Erin and I to get to know Luke and Whitney a little better, to see their compassion towards those in need, and how they make it part of their professional and personal life. Super cool family.
Luke and Whitney Wright, Owners of MudLOVE came to hold a training course
I told our founder Rod yesterday how blessed I feel to finally be walking (okay maybe running) in the vision that God put in our hearts over 2 years ago. It’s actually still pretty surreal. But by God’s grace this workshop is exactly what Erin and I have hoped and prayed for as a way to serve and love these communities…. and then they lived happily ever after, The End.
I wish! The truth is it’s messy, really messy.
In accordance with my natural rhinoceros-mentality, I ran full throttle arms wide open into Monte Verde and El Hoyo to form the Dream Team of Vida Plena. I won’t go into detail, but I will say that we did an exceedingly good job at finding a lot of women in unimaginably difficult situations in desperate need of dignified work. In hindsight, it was like an open invitation for chaos. Since the opening of the shop, I daily resist the temptation to take an easier route, to invest in a group easier to work with, or even take a “re-do” and restart with a more cautious approach in the personnel selection process. But through the mess of repeated miscommunication, frustration, and disappointment; I also get a front row seat to the budding (or regaining) of the self-confidence and dignity that comes with good work. Truth is, it’s a beautiful mess.
A beautiful mess. Email or text me with creative ideas to reuse/recycle these reject bracelet attempts !
Nanouchebert, Minerva, and Paula
Mabelle, Luanny, Decilia, Orancia, and Beatrice
On the family front, we’re all still learning, adapting, and growing every day. We haven’t found a manual yet on how to raise a family in a different culture and appropriately integrate the kids into the ministry, school, and culture, but God has been gracious to us as we make decisions for their education and everything else here.
An excerpt from the ancient book of Deuteronomy (8:3) "....God fed you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord". This season has taught me to rely on God not only for the big things or the future, but also for the daily things, the hourly things, the needs of the moment. My prayer for us is that when we awake in the morning to take a deep breath, we'll remember that the day is a gift delivered from the mouth of God.
We love you guys. Thanks for your continued prayers for our family!