Happy Fall, Ya’ll!! It’s hard to believe it’s already Fall time! Even harder because as you can see from the picture below, leaves aren’t changing color here and it’s not getting cooler, yet. I’ve been enjoying peoples pictures though of one of my favorites times of year! We are finally done with the rainy season here, so we have been having some beautiful weather.
The rainy season isn’t the only thing changing around here…I went from no roommates to 2 roommates within a month!My friend Vanessa moved in for a month and my friend Sarah also moved in for a few months. It has been such a blessing to have my house filled with great friends.
Vanessa was my first new friend I made here , the week I moved to Antigua last year. She recently completed her commitment to the ministry she was serving at so moved back home to CA. As you can imagine this was a hard goodbye for me, along for many others. Not having family here, we quickly become that for each other. It was important to me though that she knows how loved she is and how much we support her faithfulness. So we had a send off for her at my home, where over 30 people came to love, pray and support her in her next step of faith. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to how transient things are in ministry, especially here in Antigua. I can say that I am so thankful to have the deep friendships and community I have here. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had before and I definitely don’t take it for granted.
Another group of amazing people I have in my life are the Youth Group! The group ranges from ages 11-17 and consists of anywhere between 10-15 kids. It’s a smaller group this season, but I am thankful for the growth and unity we’ve been experiencing. I haven’t just experienced growth in them, but in my life as well. This is an area of leadership that is completely foreign to me, so stepping into this took, and continues to take, a lot of trust, getting out of my comfort zone and believing God will lead me in how to lead them. Each time we meet, I am reminded what an honor and privilege it is to be a part of them learning what it is to own their faith. I am humbled that I am the one who gets to be a part of praying for them and a part of their lives.
In addition to being the youth group leader, I have also been devoting time on getting things up and running with One Mercado. In case you aren’t familiar with One Mercado, it is the fair-trade initiative I am working on starting to represent and work with local artisans, who I am collaborating on designing products with to create jobs and sustainability. Yes, it’s a mouthful, and so much work!! But my hope is to equip, encourage and empower people in a skill or trade, to protect and promote the artisan culture here, while also providing sustainability and a means to further education, promoting change in future generation! That’s just a quick rundown of things, but there will be plenty more information to come, and hopefully a website soon! I believe a website will be the best platform to promote these products, represent the artists, educate people and share the vision.
Pictured is Anika, who is also working on starting a fair-trade business.I have had the opportunity to meet with a few people who share my love of culture, artisans, and a passion to help people through creating sustainability. It is always so encouraging to connect with others with similar passions.
So that’s just a little about what’s going on with me! I would love if you all would be praying for the following:
*Continued guidance with One Mercado; especially which artisans to partner with.
*Financial support as the year ends and I’ll be reviewing my budget for next year.
*A new roommate as I will be living alone again in December.
Let me know how I can be praying for you!
Love you all, Marissa