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this update is so overdue, if it were a baby it would have been induced.

May 17, 2010

and it was:
justin said “write an update on the blog. today.”
he had gently suggested the update be born for several weeks.
but “today” provided a deadline, and the labor begins.

it’s not that i didn’t want to meet the update,
of course, i knew it needed to come out.
but sometimes these things get so big
it’s just scary to push through them.

stage 1. overview.

since we arrived in january,
justin has been diligently formulating the plan for the program next year.
through conversations with tom, heidi, and myself, trimming edges and
pinning down exactly what it is we want to accomplish
with 8 students for 3.5 months in a introduction to marketplace ministry program.
this type of work comes very naturally to him and he immediately began
typing up mission statements, schedules, requirements, applications, etc.

at the same time he’s been working very hard to learn spanish.
first with a local teacher, presently with an online program,
and next september he plans to do a one month intensive course
before the program kicks off in october.

he has also been busy acting as the on-sight maintenance mr. fix-it man.
he built screen doors for the apartments, helped build and tile a bathroom on the roof,
and is constantly helping with other projects and upkeep around the house.

i, meanwhile, began working at the coffee shop right away,
learning the ropes and trying to help in areas that need a little organization.
writing standards of conduct and employee requirements, as well as job descriptions
and other instructions to try to ensure consistency in presentation and professionalism.

all of that was discussed in another blog,
where i described another of my default responsibilities which has been
extensive translation: documents, phone calls, conversations.
fluency in spanish is a privilege of my life experience.

moreover, we got pregnant just a few weeks after we arrived.
everyone was thrilled and excited, but this did bring some negative effects-
namely persistent migraines, presumably due to drastic hormone changes.
this is ongoing and exceedingly frustrating, as sometimes 4 days or more are lost.
maybe someday i’ll dive into that further.

stage 2. details.

everything has come together nicely in these planning months.
students will arrive in october, stay 3 and 1/2 months.
we have one room for boys and one for girls.
justin built bunk beds in the rooms.

the vision behind the program was to give students a chance
to experience living a somewhat “normal” life in a foreign country,
and to ensure that life was one of service and commitment to Jesus
without the sense of a bubble experience that doesn’t translate back to real life.

their lives will look like this:
-work at the coffee shop three days a week.
-volunteer in a local ministry one day a week.
-attend one business, one ministry, and one spanish class each week.
-spend one day a week in a “family adventure outing”
-go on two trips: one mission, one camping/bonding.

that is the skeletal outline.

we were hugely blessed to find out that justin’s best friend, steve kline,
and his wife beth and daughter breckyn will be coming down next fall to help us
with the pilot program.
both steve and beth have big big ministry hearts and will be such an asset
and encouragement to us, the lonsdales and the students.

steve’s business experience will help us to streamline some things
to ensure that the business we are teaching kids is healthy and viable.
he will also be teaching the business classes, while justin teaches the ministry ones.

beth has extensive people management experience,
which will come in handy in helping organize the house
and keep students content and growing in community living.

stage 3. the immediate future present.

the temperatures climb a little higher each day here in mazatlan,
and with that the humidity.  70% right now, according to my fancy weather clock.
i believe it too, i don’t think my skin ever dried after my shower last night.
all the snowbirds left in the end of march, and very few tourists are arriving.
they have google, they know there are more pleasant temps, elsewhere.

all of this means that we will soon close the shop for the season,
and head north for the summer.  probably beginnings of june.
justin has an entire route mapped out for us,
we have never seen the pacific northwest or a lot of northern u.s. states,
so we are taking the long way home all the way up the pacific coast
and across the north.
if you know anybody living in any of those states,
let us know as we are relying on the kindness of friends to afford this adventure.

we will arrive back in pa in the end of june
and justin will probably work for his dad in construction
to help us save a little for next year.
i would like to find a job too, hopefully.

then we’ll return in september to get ready for the big kick-off in october.
our baby will be born here, in mid-october, or early november.

this update was finally born today.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. kelleyann permalink
    May 18, 2010 17:26

    If you are going through Boise area … (I’m bad at geography)

  2. May 19, 2010 03:39

    you know, i don’t know either.
    i’ll have to ask the mr.
    he’s made an entire itinerary.

  3. lola permalink
    May 19, 2010 08:34

    le bearfriend and i will be in denver from june 8-13. any chance we could run into you guys?

  4. May 19, 2010 23:02

    Mr. here, no sorry, Boise is way south from our route, we are driving smack dab through the middle of Montana and North Dakota

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