I have some pretty heavy things to share with our community.
I know you are overrun with email, but I hope you might give me a few moments of your time.
The most important message is to share how much I love and appreciate you. Your faithfulness to the Orphan Prevention Community is overwhelming. For the past eight years, Angel and I have lived on the financial generosity of folks like you. During this season we have not had traditional jobs where we exchange our time for a paycheck. God has assembled a team of people united in expanding his Kingdom and loving the poor and hopeless. Orphan Prevention Community (OPC) continues to thrive and produce fruit in Guatemala. I lead the ministry from our new home in Kennesaw, Georgia. In Guatemala, OPC operates with a team of 15 local men and women who love Jesus. They run the ministry every day. They are the most amazing team I know. I count it a privilege to work alongside them.
Let’s skip forward to end - Angel and I are not leaving ministry or OPC. We are in this for the long haul. We will serve OPC and Guatemala until God tells us to do something different. Doing something else is not what this letter is about. Being who God created me to be is what it’s all about. Either God is enough or he isn’t. He either needs my help to expand his Kingdom or he’s got it all rigged for his glory. I’m learning that I have a role to play, but the star of the show is the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The next message is harder to share because it requires me to take the risk to be transparent and honest. For the longest time, I haven’t known where to start. I’ve been sitting on this message for several months. I trust God knew I needed time to sort out my thoughts and emotions.
I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since 2013. Each day I take medicine to help smooth out my emotions. Earlier this year I went back to counseling. At the end of a two-hour session, I was walking to my car diagnosed with PTSD. Living in Guatemala exposed me to long-term stress and many traumatic events. The news was a strange mix of sobering thought and freedom.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
As a financial partner with our family and OPC, my emotional health has affected you. Since 2013 I have dealt with an all-consuming fear of revealing the truth of what is going on. I have lived in the very unhealthy space of believing a lie I told myself. The lie that says a good missionary is not depressed, or anxious about life on earth. That God was not pleased with me because I was unhealthy.
On a deeper level, I feared our financial partners would leave us if they knew the truth. I did not write updates because I did not have a lot of good things to say. So I did not say anything. Or write anything. Which is not fair to you and our relationship. You deserve more than social media post. You deserve to receive love and value as friends and ministry partners. You have proven to be trustworthy and I want to be honest with you.
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11
In February I started the journey to health including trauma therapy for PTSD. The plans include working less, working out more, diet changes, and better sleep habit.
I believe this letter can serve as a new start to our relationship as friends and co-laborers for Christ. I’m praying for the strength to live with a greater sense of dependence on Christ and his sufficiency.
Here is my hope for our future. Each month I will send a ministry update. God has given us such a fruitful ministry and we have so much good news to share. Your donation makes all this possible and we want you to share in the joy of seeing God work. Lord willing, I can visit with more of you in person as I travel to share updates and fundraise.
Thank you for taking the time to read this note. It means so much to me.
P.S. - I would love to hear from you. Feel free to write back. It would be an honor to know how I can pray for you during this season.