Everything changes. It's the one thing that we can count on. Change. We train new cross-cultural workers to hold their projects and plans lightly, because moving with the ebb and flow of the needs of the culture and context is part of the work. If we are to be relevant in our communities, we have to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and be prepared to adapt.
La Mesa Turquesa is changing. Over the past two years, almost everything about the situation and our world has changed. The refugee situation is different in our town. Covid has forced many adaptations and pivots. We have lost teammates and volunteers and have been running with a dramatically reduced workforce. Our vision has stayed the same, but the needs of our community have shifted. And now, we have made the hard decision to close our doors and start a different project. Today is the day that we shut the doors and say goodbye to this chapter of our lives and work.
If you have been with us throughout our entire cross-cultural worker journey, this is nothing new. Our projects and plans have had to shift and change several times over the years. But the vision has always been the same - it just takes on a different form according to the needs of our community and context.
La Mesa Turquesa has been a truly wonderful project! That's why this decision was so difficult and carries with it a sense of grief and loss. As we have gotten the word out about the closure, we have had some really sweet conversations and comments from people in the community.
"We thank you for so much dedication, love, humility, and for your example.....We have felt wrapped in love and included, understood and important. May God repay you. Much prosperity and luck in your new paths and projects, because where there is that eagerness and will, there is no barrier that can oppose you. THANK YOU SO MUCH." (one of our neighbors and constant user of La Mesa)
Words like these are confirmation for us and reaffirm that our values and our love was lived out in this project. If La Mesa Turquesa existed for no other reason than to make people feel "wrapped in love and included, understood, and important," then it was enough.
Now, we move forward. When one door closes, another opens. Our team already has several new opportunities and new doors and we are truly excited. So, while this day is bittersweet for us and it carries a certain amount of sadness and grief, it is also exciting. Our team is now available to work in the community even more. Our schedules are opened up and we can be out with people even more than before. We are already partnering with other community projects and we can now come alongside those people and projects in deeper and more meaningful ways.
One of our most exciting new projects will begin next week. Stay tuned to hear and see more from our amazing storytelling project ¿Quién es mi vecino?
This project is all about stories - the stories of our neighbors and their unique paths. They are stories of diversity and inclusion, stories of struggle and redemption, stories that make our neighbors come alive. We'll be posting all of our stories and photos in our team's Facebook and Instagram sites, so you need to go follow us to stay on top of this new project!!! Go to Nueva Vida Mosaico on Facebook and Instagram. We will start posting on Monday, Jan. 31, and you aren't going to want to miss a single word!!!! These stories are GOLD!
And, if you read this far, then I think you deserve a little treat... for a sneak peek at some upcoming content, go check out the blog at NUEVA VIDA MOSAICO - Proyecto ¿Quién es mi vecino? The English version of each story follows the Spanish, so find the language you want to read and ENJOY!
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!