Happy Anniversary to us!!!!! Celebrate with us!!! Along with celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary, we are celebrating our 15th year of cross-cultural service overseas with TMS Global (Costa Rica, Peru, and Spain)! For the past 9 years, we have lived in Spain and served in several ministries and capacities in Europe and around the world. The scope of our work is multifaceted: training, refugee relief and development, care and counseling for cross-cultural leaders and aid workers, and community outreach. Check out the updates below for more about what we've been doing in the past few months:
Refugee Aid for Ukraine
We are partnering with other refugee aid workers to get the maximum amount of help to the people who are truly in need. Many of the larger aid organizations are funding relief to large city hubs, leaving those in smaller cities or isolated areas without food or shelter or help. We are helping our contacts and partners in smaller, more agile organizations to swiftly reach those in need and support relief work in areas that are running dry. This includes feeding tents in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland (3 meals per day for Ukrainian refugees), food and supply drops to pastors and churches in Odessa, Ukraine, and emergency shelter programs in Romania, Slovenia, and Czechia. We are now gearing up to help refugee children have the school supplies they need to start a new school year. Special thanks to Christ Church (College Station, TX) and Covenant UMC (Dothan, Alabama) for their generous special gifts in helping us work alongside these organizations and the cross-cultural workers who are sharing Christ’s love with displaced people.
Training for new workers and church leaders
In July, Laurie led the yearly training event for new cross-cultural workers and church mission leaders. We had 60+ people attend the 3-week event in North Carolina. New workers will now be ready for launch to assignments in Kazakhstan, Albania, Spain, various USA locations, Solomon Islands, Jordan, and Paraguay. Church leaders and pastors also attended and are better prepared to send and care for cross-cultural workers, as well as implementing healthy mission work locally and internationally. In September, Laurie and her team will lead another training in Spain which will prepare workers who will be attending from or launching to United Kingdom, Spain, Egypt, USA, Germany, and Costa Rica.
Care and Counselling for global ministry workers
Care for cross-cultural workers, pastors, and global leaders: Billy has been overwhelmed with the amount of care and counselling needs among those who work in ministry and aid roles. Response to his work for ministry worker debrief sessions, burnout recovery coaching, and care for aid workers has more than doubled this year. He has been teaching care and training workshops, leading debrief retreats, doing critical incident debrief and coaching, and guiding men’s spiritual renewal hikes for ministry workers. All of this is critical for the resiliency and longevity of cross-cultural workers.
Wide-reaching effect of this work
While it has been a very busy summer of teaching and training and care outreaches, it has been wonderful to be in a season where we feel that our gifts and talents are being used and where the ripple effect is truly reaching far and wide. From our work with refugees and aid workers to our training for cross-cultural workers to the time we spend listening to and counselling pastors, workers, and community leaders - those efforts effect the work and the people in Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Egypt, Germany, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Bali, Thailand, Turkey, Kosovo, Albania, UK, Kazakhstan, Solomon Islands, Oman, Paraguay… and even back in the USA as we help train churches and pastors and cross-cultural workers to reach out in their own country and communities.
Thank you for being a part of this important work and for being a part of our ministry team!
Laurie & Billy
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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!