Just When We Think We Have Things Figured Out….


As you hopefully saw in yesterday’s blog post, we arrived safely here in Quito the day before yesterday.  The original plan was to have the seminary as a landing place as we look for a home here in Quito, where we planned to live for years.  We also planned on leading the Medical Momentum Short-Term Team in Ibarra, Ecuador July 25-August 1.

Well, the part of the plan where we arrive in Quito and we lead the short-term team remains the same.  However, the part of the plan where we live in Quito long term has changed.

This is where the story shifts from Ecuador and what we imagined to Argentina and a new position.

The church-planting team in Córdoba, Argentina began to work there in late May.  Two weeks ago, we learned the Cluster Coordinator family needed to return to the States for personal reasons.  Through a series of meetings and much prayer, we have accepted the position of Cluster Coordinators in Córdoba, Argentina.  Our team is on the ground until late April of 2017, just a couple months longer than our original contract.  We have tickets to fly to Córdoba on August 5th after we lead the medical short term team in Ibarra.

There are seven church-planting missionaries in Córdoba: three Argentines (Juan, Damaris, and Celeste), four North Americans (Dani, Brooke, Rachel, Ashley) and the pastoral couple (The Rodrigues’) and their daughter.

A church building was signed for this week, and inauguration should happen soon.  There are four in-home Bible studies happening in Córdoba, and this week brought the first two people to accept Christ as a result of the ministry there.  Exciting things are happening!

In looking back on this, it is amazing to see God’s hand working before any of us knew there would be a need.  Our original plan was to move to Ecuador in May.  Due to our funding, we were delayed.  We had a peace about it and trusted God’s timing and perfect plan.  Anndee mentioned some of the benefits to our being delayed in yesterday’s blog post.  In addition to those, we also realize that if we had moved in May, we would have a home by now, and have it furnished, decorated, utilities setup, etc.  This would have made a transfer from Quito to Córdoba much more difficult.  Right now, it is a re-routing rather than a hard change in plans.   It is amazing to see God’s hand working in these ways.

What this means for the Stringer family and our job roles:

  • Chris will continue his role as Short-Term Missions Manager with some amendment in job resposiblities.  With rare exceptions, I will not act as Project Coordinator for short-term teams outside of Córdoba after the team in Ibarra in July.
  • Anndee will continue her role in Messaging and Short-Term Communications, with some scaling back needed in regard to her responsibilities for communication during projects not in Córdoba.
  • We will not attempt to complete all of our classes this calendar year and thus have the possibility of ordination next June.
  • We still plan on homeschooling the girls.
  • We reviewed finances to ensure that we are funded appropriately in regard to living in Córdoba.  We are blessed to say that our funding matched up perfectly and there are no gaps in our funding.

 

In light of this, we have many prayer requests:

  • The next three weeks as we lead the team in Ibarra, home school the girls, have various meetings in regard to our change in plans, and go through our stuff here.  Most of it will not make it to Córdoba, so we will be sorting to determine what from our home in Amabto (that has been stored in Quito for the last few months) will be sold/given away, stored for the future or packed in our suitcases for Argentina.
  • Adjustment to a new house, a new team, and a new rhythm of life in Argentina.  It will be much different than the pace and culture of our Andean Mountain life in Arequipa and Ambato.
  • Wisdom, understanding and discernment for Anndee and I as we make the necessary adjustments in order to give attention to all the parts of our lives.
  • Protection for and unity in our marriage.

Even though it seems like chaos, we are confident that we are following God’s peace through these changes and transitions.

 

Argentina