Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year Reflections

Today we welcome a new year and say goodbye to what was a year full of changes and transitions—both expected and unexpected. We started 2019 in North Carolina, then spent the summer traveling around the country, and finally moved to Bolivia. Little did we know that we would be back in the USA again for Thanksgiving and Christmas, or that we would celebrate the new year in Ohio! After a crazy year of transition and instability, we are hoping that life will settle down in 2020!

Lord-willing we will be back in Bolivia January 8, and the kids will begin school in February. As our Spanish improves we should feel more settled in Cochabamba and be able to be more connected with the ministry of ITM. My tool box has arrived in Bolivia, so I also hope to get plugged into ITM's aviation ministry as a pilot/mechanic!

This morning, as I recorded the last of our giving records for 2019, I was reminded of the Lord's provision over the past year. He has certainly been faithful in all areas—not only in our finances—but for some reason I have a tendency to worry about money. We had lots of unforeseen expenses last year: higher-than-expected settling-in and visa costs, airfare back to the States, and a second set of tickets to Bolivia to name a few. We had to dip into the cash reserve that we had set aside for a vehicle in Bolivia, and I was starting to feel concerned that we wouldn't be able to afford a car when we returned. But as the year drew to a close, the Lord humbled me yet again by sending all the funds that we needed through various churches and individuals. How many times will He have to "come through" before I quit doubting forever? I'd like to say this was the last time, but regardless of how things go I am glad that God doesn't get tired of faithfully providing for His children!

I've also been thinking about how I well I have been leading my family, and if I'm honest 2019 was a challenge. It has been difficult to establish consistent routines as our family has moved from place to place throughout the year, sometimes living in the homes of other people. Not to make excuses, but there is something to be said for stability and putting down some roots in a place. I'd appreciate your prayers for our family as we desire to be a bit more settled and establish some habits that will help us to grow spiritually as a family. It would be a lot easier just to settle for the status quo, but I want to make the most of the years I have left with my kids living at home!

2020 will be a big year for us: we will to move back to Bolivia; Ian and Ella will start studying at a new school; Ian begins high school; Aaron will begin flying with ITM and maintaining their aircraft; and we will start settling in to our new life in Cochabamba. At least that's what we have planned! It won't be an easy year, but we are trusting that we will begin to thrive in the new place that the Lord has called us to. To those who partner with us through prayer, encouragement, and financial support: THANK YOU! We couldn't do what we do without you, and we look forward to sharing more with you throughout the upcoming year!