It’s been a couple weeks since we wrote to tell you what’s going on in our lives here. So, here goes an attempt to catch you up on the past days.
The underlying theme is relationship-building as missionaries, which is actually also the theme of a paper Paul is writing.
Paul has begun going to a weekly running get-together at a Fleet Feet store, getting to know the employees, owner, and other runners in the area.
Elizabeth has begun doing something similar with a local knitting group that gathers at the public library nearby, getting to know some other women from the community, including a few other married twentysomethings!
Crossroads Palo Alto, our local church (next door), had a talent show/church banquet/get together, and we had a great time getting to know some of the church people and their talents better. The highlight of the night was probably a skit by the pastor and his wife, who told a great story while doing a sort of puppet show.
We got to go to the South Bay Old-Time Jam, a weekly gathering nearby, where community people get together to play fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and dulcimer tunes from our country’s past.
Think the music from the American frontier, Irish fiddle tunes, and sort of a country-acoustic feel. Simple, repeating tunes that are catchy and footstomping. We went to hear some great music and to see what brought the people together as a group. It was fascinating. Most of them didn’t have to even talk much. There were brief conversations, between songs, but these old-timers let the instruments do most of the talking.
As a house, we have begun to have a weekly dinner with the other three people that live in our house here. These have been great to help us get used to having new housemates that didn’t go to our university, although all of us are products of Nazarene Universities (Point Loma/Trevecca/MidAmerica/Mt. Vernon).
We also have twice-weekly gatherings as a group of interns from the Possibility Project (about 15 or so) to share a meal and/or conversation about readings/etc. The Possibility Project is the program that was started as an alternative expression of the Church, bringing young people together to meet as a house church, but also to develop their own outlets of ministry according to their passions.
These events connect us to one another, but help us to grow as individuals through reflection and learning at the same time.
We are beginning to get connected to our ministry outlets!
Elizabeth has been asked to help lead a Work and Witness (read: short term service trip)
to Costa Rica during the second week of August. She is excited to get to work preparing people for this great opportunity to learn and serve. Prep work like this is a lot like what she hopes to work in long-term, sharing the incredible short-term mission experience she knows is possible. But she’s also excited to go back to Costa Rica, where we both studied abroad in 2015!
Paul has just accepted a position as an independent language teacher with ABC Languages, based out of San Francisco. He is excited to get to share his passion for Spanish with students individually, while developing a relationship with the student and adapting the learning process to the student’s own intentions. There is also the possibility of a Stanford University student connection that is still being explored.
We so appreciate your support, to this point, now, and in the future. We could not be here without the support, prayers, and past guidance we have gotten from people like you.
If you’d like specifics on how you can pray for us, here goes:
-Pray that we find our place in the communities here. We have begun to find some ideas and connection points, but we are still looking for definite actions we can take to pursue our callings.
-Pray for our jobs. Elizabeth is exploring some options, including Edible Arrangements, and Paul is going to begin with his first day next week. Both bring adjustment processes.
-Pray for our relationships, especially with one another during stressful situations, but also with those in our house, in our program, and in our community.
-Our coursework. Sometimes it can be tricky to balance being a student with other responsibilities, so we are learning how to balance.
-For us to find what this experience means for us. We have committed to about a year here as of now, but are working out what the steps are after that. We have several options for where our time here can take us, so discernment is something we’re looking for in that area.
Thanks for reading, and as always please email us back. Or send us mail. Or call us. Or comment here. We love hearing from people, especially getting postcards. We might send you something back!
–p & e–