September has been a month of events!
We began the month by hosting another training intensive for cross-cultural workers - this time in Spain! Over the last couple of years, we have had several CCWs who could not attend our training in the USA due to Covid and vaccine travel restrictions (they are not USA citizens), or who have not been able to attend due to visas or scheduling issues with their ministry contexts. So, we decided to host a special training in Europe specifically for those people! This allowed these workers to finally receive the training they needed, as well as allowing them time together to build relationship and community and bond with each other - something that we know is vital to their long-term resiliency in the field. These workers serve in Egypt, Spain, Germany, Thailand, Costa Rica, and the USA.
Lead Develop Care Leadership training - We hosted a leadership training event for TMS Global in our town in Spain for twenty-four cross-cultural workers who serve in leadership positions around the world. This training focused on a shepherd model of leadership using three specific areas of competency for leaders: Lead, Develop, and Care. It was a rich time of training and learning alongside other leaders, as well as spending time talking about our specific contexts and needs and growing together in community.
Refugee aid: School Supplies Project - We continue to support refugees from Ukraine and other countries in crisis, as well as continuing to help support and resource refugee aid workers. In September, we were honored to finance efforts to make sure that refugee school children had all the necessary supplies for the beginning of the school year. Billy and I are both former elementary school teachers and we know the value of having children start out the year with everything they need. And, of course, we place a high value on education and on helping teachers and children succeed. So this project was a win, win, WIN all the way around for us! Together with our cross-cultural worker partners who work directly with these refugees, we were able to distribute 1000 backpacks with school supplies to refugee children from Ukraine and from Afghanistan! We know that education is a key component to the future of these children, and we want to make sure that they have what is necessary to find success in their new surroundings.
Refugee aid: Housing Project in Romania - You may remember that Billy traveled to Romania earlier in the Spring to partner with our friends there who are housing Ukrainian refugees. They also cross the border several times each month to take vanloads of food and supplies to pastors who are in war-torn areas and who have chosen to stay and serve their congregations and communities. We continue to work with these refugee aid workers and continue to help via care and resources. This month, they have taken on another building for housing refugee families. The immediate needs are to make a few repairs, furnish the rooms, and raise funds for the ongoing rent and utilities. Thanks to your generosity to the special fund for refugees, we were able to commit to paying the rent on this refugee house for 15-20 people through the end of the year! Thank you for helping these families have a safe haven and food on the table.
Thank you for being a part of this important work and for being a part of our ministry team! ~ Laurie & Billy
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
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! 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 via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!