You might be celebrating the holidays ‘away from home’ if…
We love that we can be surrounded by friends and new family here. Last year, Thanksgiving in Texas was a juggling act of trying to juggle people’s schedules and football games and work. In the end, only the three of us and our mothers were able to have dinner together. This year, 16 of our friends and family gathered in our home in Spain for dinner. We celebrated with a family from Puerto Rico (USA), a family from Mexico/Texas, Billy’s mom, and a family from Spain. The Spain family are commonly referred to as “Sarah’s Spanish Family”, as they adopted her (and us) years ago and they are never not involved with us. If a day or two goes by without contact, they check in on us. If Sarah has a cold, they want to take her to the doctor or bring her a home remedy. In fact, each of these families is so special to us and is so closely connected to us that we consider them family. So, when I say that we celebrated with friends and family, I mean it in every sense of the word! I’m thankful for these great people.
There are several things that I’m especially thankful for during the holidays in Spain:
Pray for us as we spend another holiday season away from Texas. It won’t be easy. It never is. We miss our boys. We miss our mothers / brothers / sisters / friends more than ever during these times. And thank God that He has surrounded us with friends and family here in Spain that help us to have new traditions and feel loved and connected. We are home for the holidays, because home is both in Texas, and in Spain - home is where you have relationship roots, home is where you are loved!
~ Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from
Laurie, Billy, and Sarah
Did you know that you can give a gift to the ministry in honor of someone else? Or that you can give in their name as a special Christmas gift to them? Did you know that your gift to this ministry effects hundreds (actually thousands) of lives?
During this holiday season, would you consider giving a special gift for ministry? During the year, we receive financial gifts that help us to live work overseas and do the ministry that God has called us to. God has always been faithful, as have many of you, and we always have what is needed to meet the budget… sometimes we ‘just make it’, but we manage to make it.
End of year giving is what pushes us over the hump and makes up the deficit from the year. If you find yourself in a position to give a little something extra for the end of the year, please consider these options:
Fund bible study hospitality and coffee ($40 per month = $480 for the year)…
Did you know that the majority of our discipleship and bible study time is done over coffee and a sweet? This is how this culture functions. Meetings are almost always at a café. If we’re not in a café, then we meet in the homes of others, or we open our home for meetings. But there is ALWAYS coffee and a small snack. That means that we spend significant time in mom-and-pop type coffee shops, or preparing coffee and banana bread or snacks to host a study group. Do you have the gift of hospitality? Consider an end-of-year gift to help with this part of the ministry.
Fund a youth retreat ($700)…
This year, we were able to take our youth group on an overnight retreat to a camp near our town. It was an amazing time of prayer and study and growth… and some fun and play, too! We wanted to have a retreat twice a year (one Spring and one Fall), but we were unable to do the funding. Your end-of-year-gift of $700 could fund a retreat for the youth of Antequera.
Fund care and counseling for a missionary family in need of debrief and rest ($500)…
as a part of our care ministry, we host missionary families who find themselves in need - in need of a break from a traumatic situation, in need of a safe place in times of political unrest, in need of care when the work has pulled them under. This year, we have hosted several families in these situations. Our arrangement with them is that they pay their travel expenses, and we will care for them in Spain free of charge. We host them in our home, make home-cooked meals, care for their children, have counseling sessions with the adults, and give them time and space and tools so they can go back in to the field healthier and restored. You can be a part of this restoration and care ministry by helping us to defray the costs of hosting, meals, on-ground transportation, and care for these missionaries. By doing so, you help not only the missionaries themselves, but you help to keep them on the field so they can continue to help others. Please consider an end-of-year gift of $500 to help one missionary family in need of care.
Sponsor a Sunday School class ($20 per month = $240 for the year)…
Did you know that Laurie & Billy are the Sunday school directors for the church they serve. This includes adult and children’s classes. This also includes the role of actually WRITING the curriculum, printing out the lessons and booklets, training teachers, and coordinating activities. The church they serve only has a working budget of $24,000 for the YEAR, and that includes the full-time pastor’s salary, operating budget of the church building, and the cost of a satellite church and several outreaches within the county. The church budget is STRETCHED! As a result, the Drum’s budget is currently covering Sunday school costs. A year end gift of $240 would cover the cost of materials and necessities for a Sunday school group (there are 4 total classes at the church). A gift of $960 would cover the entire Sunday school department for a year!
Support ministry among refugees ($1000)…
Billy and Laurie will be returning to partner again with the refugee relief being done along the European borders. As winter progresses, fewer and fewer volunteers are present in the camps and the ministries that are serving refugees are short-handed. The need continues to be staggering. Your end-of-year gift of $1000 would allow one of us to assist and give relief to workers who have been with the refugee crisis for many months. $2000 would allow both of us to return and give the support and love that is needed during this difficult situation.
Any amount of end-of-year giving would be greatly appreciated. The above ideas are just that - ideas, options, examples of real ministry costs. There are many other ministry costs that we cover, as well. Any gift would be a gift to the people we serve, in Spain and around the globe. Thank you for your continued love and prayers for the ministry the people we serve!
To give a special end-of-year gift, please print mail this card, or go online at www.themissionsociety.org/give , scroll down to the Give to a Missionary box on that page, and post your gift. Use Missionary ID # 0321.
Who am I? In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a Southern Living / Martha Stewart wannabe, a soccer mom, and a short term mission team coordinator / intern director for missions in Mexico... you name it, I probably tried it!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! We have three incredible children... two adult boys who live in Texas, and the Sarah (14) lives with us in whatever country we are serving. I'm still teaching, still taking photos, still leading teams and mentoring, I just do it all in full-time service now! And I'm working hard at giving Southern Living and Martha Stewart a run for their money! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers and immigrant peoples, writing, and trying to figure out what life looks like for a Texas girl serving Christ in Southern Europe. Life in His service is AWESOME! I'm happy to share it with you here... Enjoy!