The time has finally come for me to leave for Ecuador. It all has gone fast and slow at the same time. I write this in the Atlanta airport, as well as thousands of feet in the
air somewhere above Panama, and at the house of César and Patricia, where I am currently staying. It has been good to reconnect with family and my home area a bit before leaving, and I have a lot of good support from folks.
My girlfriend Beth took me to the airport. It is a blessing that life has brought about
this relationship. Now that I am going to go to Ecuador, we will have the challenge of
communicating from far away (other than visits). We trust that if it is my calling to be
here, then this challenge is reachable.
I will have some time to get to know the neighborhood where the downtown Mennonite church is located and the neighborhood in Calderón. This will involve meeting lots of new people (sometimes stressful for an introvert) before I take part in a STAR training. STAR stands for Stategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience and will prepare me for working with individuals or groups who have experienced trauma. Since there are a number of Colombian refugees who have had to flee Colombia that now are part of the house church in Calderón, this is extremely pertinent for my work. Paul Stucky, who has American parents, but has lived his life in Colombia, will be leading the training.
Once again, I appreciate the support I have felt from so many people.