The holidays were a whirlwind of activity in the Passmore house, and we are gearing up for what God has in store for us in 2015. He has already done much through Youth World this year, and we are so excited to see how He might use us in the months to come.
After Eddie and Maggi's trip ended in early January, Aaron and I made a QUICK trip to the US a few weeks later for Bethany's wedding (Bethany is Aaron's sister). We had so much fun seeing her new home and city (Boise, Idaho) and supporting her on her "big day," and we also enjoyed time with Aaron's parents, brother, and sister-in-law. We were in the states for about 5 days, and then headed south again to reunite with our kids. Some dear friends stayed with them at our house, and they had a BLAST! We certainly were happy to be reunited, though. I've never been an entire continent away from my kids before!
When we arrived back in Quito, we both went straight to work. It was final exams week at Alliance, and Aaron was busy prepping for Youth World's Annual Team Conference which was that weekend. Annual Team Conference happens every year in January, and the entire team gets together for a weekend to gear up for the year, hear highlights from each of the ministries, and get some much-need respite. Aaron did an AMAZING job of planning activities that would allow his staff to rest, be rejuvenated, bond with one another, and meditate on how God wants each of them to focus their hearts this year in ministry. I helped out a bit with some pre-trip cooking, and also organized the childcare so all of the parents could be in the seminars. We left the weekend exhausted but encouraged; it is so evident that God is going to do incredible things with this team this year!
Since Annual Team Conference, we have had a bit of time to catch our breath (and some sleep)! We are back to our normal routines after the holidays, and I am so blessed to watch Aaron in leadership here. He has had to make some tough calls, and continues to navigate choppy waters sometimes. He is learning a LOT about how to be a godly leader, and he is approaching this learning curve with such an eager attitude. I am several weeks into a new semester, and am enjoying my classes very much! My DNA girls' group is flourishing! We added 4 new girls this semester, and I am so excited to continue to pour into each of them.
Additionally, I'm working with another teacher to plan the girls' retreat (the girls' version of "Man Up" that Aaron attended in October), which will take place the last weekend in March. Our theme for the retreat will be "A League of Our Own," and we will challenge the girls to consider that God has called us into His "league," and He has equipped each of us with unique talents and abilities that we can use to worship Him and share His love with others. My time with the girls has revealed a startling fact: most of them believe that they are useless to God and unloved by Him because of their tarnished and painful pasts, and we want to encourage them that God does, in fact, have a unique plan for them. I can't wait to share with you how the weekend goes.
We are looking to raise funds for the girls' retreat. We have very little budget for the weekend, and we are looking to raise some support to: help sponsor girls who cannot pay on their own, offset the cost for all of the girls to make it more affordable for everyone, and also to provide materials to run the programs and games. If you feel led to contribute to this project, you can submit it directly to International Teams and mark that it is for the "Girls Retreat" and also for the Passmores. I really appreciate you praying about your possible involvement in this! If you want to donate to the girls' retreat, please click on the "give" button in the sidebar.
This month, we'd like to highlight another one of our seven ministries and share what God is doing in this specific ministry. This month, we'd like to share about La Red, a ministry that serves to train national youth workers. Ivet, the Director of La Red, hosts a prayer group, directs seminars for youth workers, and offers youth workers an opportunity to be connected with each other. She recently returned from furlough in Costa Rica, and she returned very energized and excited to see where God is going to take this ministry this year. Since Ecuador does not have resources for youth workers (unlike the abundance of resources available in the United States), La Red offers invaluable support to churches throughout Ecuador. Ivet is in the middle of a certificated training course with many youth workers, and has also started several "Life of Christ" ("Vida de Jesus") Bible studies throughout the city. Please pray that those who are participating would be equipped, blessed, and supported as they prayerfully approach their youth ministries.
We started a website- www.passmorefamily.com. It is still under construction, but the hope is to update the blog and photos section regularly (and still send out monthly/bi-monthly updates). Please visit it!
- For the planning and execution of the girls retreat- March 27-29. Please pray that our young ladies would develop (and in many cases, begin) strong relationships with Jesus
- For Zeke and Damari and their continued acquisition to life in Ecuador
- For Ivet and the ministry of La Red to continue equipping youth workers in Ecuador
- For our support levels- some supporters only signed up for the 2014 year, so we are looking to add a few supporters to our team. Please pray about your involvement in this, and also feel free to pass on our information to anyone else you think would be interested in joining our support team