While we were in Texas during July and part of August, we were able to visit with many of you and share some of the stories from our work. You heard stories of work we do with the local church in Spain, within our community, with refugees, and with other workers around the world. Our hearts were warmed by conversations we had with you and by the response you had to our work in hospitality, care and counseling.
Just yesterday, we received the following note and we were asked specifically to please share it with you, our partners and the heroes of this work:
Dear Friends of Laurie and Billy,
Greetings from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My name is Tabitha Cox. My husband, Trent
and I just spent 6 weeks at Billy and Laurie Drum’s house in Antequera, while they
traipsed around Texas visiting as many of you as they could. While there, I felt the
urge to write you, their prayer and financial supporters, to say “thank you” for your
support of the Drums and their incredibly multi-faceted ministry both in and out of
Spain. Between refugee work in Greece, church work in Antequera, mentoring and
coaching missionaries all over Europe and the Middle East, as well as new
missionaries about to leave for the field, they pour into countless lives and impact
the nations for Christ in unimaginable ways. And this year, we became one of those
Trent and Billy grew up together in a small town in Texas, but as usually happens,
once kids leave home for college and lives take different paths, they tend to lose
touch. Fast-forward a “good number” of years and, much to the surprise of any
Caddo Mills resident I assure you, both Trent Cox and Billy Drum end up on the
mission field – one in Ethiopia and one in Peru. Yet given that they were with
different organizations on different fields and living quite remote, without normal
telecommunications, they still did not have contact with each other.
Well, that changed last fall when Billy reached out to us with a short message during
a stressful time of political unrest here in Ethiopia, offering prayers and a place to stay
should we need a break. That one-week in October shaped this whole last summer
as Trent decided to take a mini-sabbatical with Billy coaching him through the
preparation and even joining him for the first 3 weeks of walking El Camino de
Santiago. Not that Billy was needing any more work, not that he didn’t have
anything to do for 3 weeks before leaving Spain for the States, but simply because
that’s what they do…help where they can. It doesn’t matter if you’re with another
organization, or on another continent, Billy and Laurie serve everyone selflessly and
Not only that, but they also offered for us to come and stay in their house for the
second half of the sabbatical. They offered their home as a place of rest and refuge.
Now I don’t know about you, but there aren’t too many people who would open up
their home to a family of five, but they did. And they did so lovingly and generously.
So again, I want to say “thank you.” By loving and supporting the Drums, you have
done the same for us. You won’t know in this life time how many lives you’ve
touched and how many people you’ve blessed through your partnership with this
fine family: Peruvians, Spaniards, Refugees, and even other missionaries. So please
accept the gratitude of just one of the many beneficiaries. God bless you. Your gifts
are surely a sweet smelling offering to the Lord.
Tabitha and Trent Cox
Friends, we too would like to thank you again and again and again for the faithfulness you have shown to this ministry. Many of you have been supporting us with your prayers and financial gifts since the very beginning. Some of you have joined our team along the way. And some of you are brand new teammates. It takes all of us to do this work around the globe, and we are so honored to be doing it with YOU!
We continue to have other workers and families contact us and ask for a time to come to our home in Spain and receive care and counseling and rest—to take refuge from the storm of life and find warmth and safety and respite. These are people who work in places like the Middle East, East Asia, and other tough areas that we cannot name for security reasons. Because of your generous support and our hands-on hospitality and counseling, we are able to offer healing and renewal that keeps people in the field. Thank you— we thank you, and the people we care for thank you.
PS… not only did Trent and Tabby (Ethiopia) stay in our home and receive respite and retreat this summer while we were away, but our pastor and his family also spent time in our home and were able to have people over to visit and share fellowship and fun times in a different setting. It was fun to return home and hear stories from the congregation about how much fun they had barbequing and sitting on our patio, playing with the dogs, and enjoying our place with our pastor as host. Our home was definitely well-used this summer and we are so happy to have been able to share it with others. I love that our home is a place of safety and rest and community!
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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!