Ok, so this really a big update for our family here. Something that has been coming for a while, and now that it is getting closer to being a reality it feels even more like a massive transition for us than we had thought.
Before we go further, before the off chance exists that someone will misunderstand what we are saying here, we need to stop and say something that is more important than the news that we are sharing today and that is this; Bring Love In, and all of the ministry that we do in Ethiopia is still going strong and will continue to grow and thrive at the same measured pace that it has in the past.
So Bring Love In, its here to stay, here for the long haul.
But for our family, there are some big changes coming that we want to share with you.
In May our family will have lived in Ethiopia for six years. We, the family who moved to Ethiopia for one year had found ourselves so deeply engaged in the work we were able to get our hands into here that time and time again we found ourselves recommitting to live here in this place that is not our home. It is because we love this place, we have these people and this culture has been etched deep into our hearts in a way that nothing ever has before.
Yet.. The time has come for our family to be based out of our home country once again. This coming summer we are going to be moving to Austin, Texas where I will continue my role as partner with Verdant Frontiers doing businesses in Ethiopia.
What all this means for Bring Love In is very little actually, the staff here are the superheroes who run the day to day ministry, and we will continue to be a part of the major decisions, planning and oversight, but we will no longer be based out of Ethiopia for that role. In fact this is a transition for the ministry that happened nearly two years ago, my focus day to day shifted to my day job with Verdant Frontiers while the ministry kept going under the supervision of our staff who run the place. So for the ministry it will remain as is. Thomas will continue as director, Brahanu as Manager, and all the incredible staff, moms, aunts, social workers, nurses, finance staff, admin, guards, drivers and cooks will continue the incredible work that they already do day in and day out. In short the superstars who do the work here will stay just that, superstars!
One big shift is that we will be able to do more fundraising for the ministry in person, traveling to speak at churches and share first hand of the great work that God is doing here through Bring Love In, in hopes that we can bring in more resources to grown the ministry. In recent years as Facebook and online fundraising tools evolve and devolve from what they once were we have found it increasingly hard to raise money for the ministry without being available to meet in person with those who are potential donors. So, you are going to be seeing a lot more of us! We will be all over the place shouting loud about the work happening in Ethiopia. Which means we are going to need your help too! We need you along side us in this new season as we learn how to adapt to a changing world in a way that keeps the ministry running here on the ground.
I will be back in Ethiopia as many as 10 times a year for the business I do here, and each time I am here we will be holding our staff meetings and together working through the ongoing ministry stuff.
Ok, so that is the big picture side of it. For us though, on the personal side of all this… We have to admit that this is kind of scary stuff! It almost feels like we are speeding up to the edge of a cliff and getting ready to drive over it because someone told us that there are wings that will pop out of the car as soon as we are airborne.. But from where we sit… We see no wings, only our puny little car bumping along this dusty road heading for the cliff. I know it sounds hard to understand, and we never would have gotten this either from the outside looking in, but the thing about living somewhere that is not your home for many many years is that you change, you become someone different, and then when you think about heading back to where it is that you came from, you wonder who you are any more, and what it is that you are going back to. I once heard a great analogy on the topic that went something like this.
A family from the Blue country full of Blue people felt that God had put it on their hearts to move to the Yellow country where the yellow people lived so they could help them. They moved there, loved the Yellow people with their whole hearts and enjoyed their life there in Yellow country, but then one day they looked at themselves and realized that they were no longer Blue people any more, but they weren’t yellow either, they were now Green. And so they had no place that was truly home.
I can’t find words of my own that convey this truth more clearly than this. We aren’t the same. But we aren’t Ethiopian Either… Thankfully God knows.
Anyhow, I guess I say all of this to just ask if you could pray for us, pray for our family in this transition. Its looking like we are going to need it.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been along side us in this incredible journey that God has led our family on these six years, we are excited about this new season, but more than that standing here in this place we are looking back and seeing some incredible memories and amazing things that God has done.
I will try to write more in the coming months about the transition, and also hopefully take the time to write out some of the incredible things that God has done in our lives in this season.
Levi (and Jessie)