Crystal and I have returned to the U.S. for a little while now; resting, preparing for little baby Thomas, reflecting, and beginning to debrief and share what the Lord has been doing in Ecuador. We have been thinking about this last year, the highs and lows, but many aspects are still very present for us. When we left a year ago we had some specific goals- to work with the girls being rescued from the slavery of sex trafficking and build a center where girls with no place to go could find a home, education, and safety to be kids again and experience the love of Christ.
We Praise God that the house is close to being completed! We are thankful to remain in contact with our friends in Ecuador and continue to celebrate the progress and steady work of Dunamis and Fuel the Mission in serving these girls. We Praise God for His provision and are continually in awe of His powerful and redeeming love transforming the lives of each girl.
Transitioning and wrapping up with God’s mission in Ecuador was a very difficult decision to make but the Lord was faithful to give us peace and clarity about this decision. We have faith that God is leading us elsewhere, but where? This is the new question for us. At this time we have been wrestling with what's next, and a few offers and meetings have already happened. This has been very encouraging but also eye opening. There are so many remarkable places and ministries that need workers; and with the wise words of one of our mentors- we need to be thoughtful what we say yes to. We are seeking the Lord and to join His will and plan for the next season. I write this to encourage you and thank you for your involvement over the last year, and share where we believe we the Lord is leading us.
So what is next for the Holders?
Currently we are in Iowa wrapping up our time with Crystal’s family. We are so grateful for the opportunity to visit here and cherish the moments the Lord gives us. Some highlights of our time here include:
Sharing what God has been doing in Ecuador to our friends, family and supporters here, a special highlight having the opportunity to share at Crystal’s grandmothers church and with close friends in Wisconsin.
Attending birthing classes, diaper class, prenatal yoga, and nursing class to help us prepare for baby Thomas due September 15th!
Relishing the joy and gift of Crystal being pregnant and sharing that joy with those around us.
Spending precious quality time with Crystal’s family and our friends in the mid-west.
Prayerfully contacting organizations for future long term missions that we may partner with.
The Lord has been so gracious to give us peace and clarity in our commitment to enter back into serving abroad as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we will be transitioning into parenthood, participating in various trainings to prepare for our next steps, and meeting with organizations and individuals to share what God has done and explore where and how we may join His work abroad now.
For those who have supported us in our time in Ecuador we thank you greatly! Your prayers and support have made the house and working with the girls possible. We are still needing support but completely understand if at this time you would prefer to donate directly to those in “the field.” You can continue to support us through Fuel the Mission at this time attn: Rise Up Ministries, and we will keep you all updated on our progress and future endeavors.
We would welcome and celebrate the opportunity to meet with you in person or speak over the phone if you so desire. We love sharing about what God has done in Ecuador. If you would like us to contact you via phone or text, please email us to let us know! We are also hopeful to have a celebration ( in Arizona) to welcome the arrival of Baby Thomas sometime after he is born so you will be receiving an invitation for that as well in the future.
We wish you all a cool summer and look forward to connecting with you soon. We have been reminded of this blessing often and wanted to share it with you:
May the, “The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’