How is it December already? I have no idea where this year has gone!!! I know that also this is the longest amount of time I’ve gone without communication – 7 whole months!! Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep this update brief so you can see what I’ve been up to!
You can see in the picture above that we have a large group of students at the Ranch this year!! We have eight students in the first year at the Ranch, and five are in their final year of training. They are planning on graduating in May and then will serve in remote tribal areas here in Mexico and around the World!
This year we also added a new member to the Ranch team. Her name is Gris and she recently worked in Baja California with the Triqui people. We are very excited to have her here at the Ranch. She’ll be helping me out with my workload. *Announcement further down in the email!*
Trip to Bolivia
My trip to Bolivia was lovely! It was wonderful meeting other missionaries and students with the same desire to see the world reached with the Gospel. My coworker, Nancy and I, even had the opportunity to visit a tribal area where missionaries are working learning the language and culture.
My main goal in heading to Bolivia was to teach two classes: Time Management & Working with Singles in Ministry. I loved spending time with the students, sharing my experiences and hearing theirs. At the last minute, I also taught a class based on the “One Another” verses in the New Testament! After all, was said and done I taught almost 20 hours while I was there.
We finished our English & Tribal Language Practicum last Friday! We had one couple (Cranes) & one single girl (Allison) come from the United States, one couple from Canada (MacDonalds), and missionaries from the city that run the Guest House (Chapmans). We also had our former students Vicente & Erendira come to help our four students that are well advanced in English. All the students made huge improvements in using the language learning method, computer work, and it building relationships. It was definitely a successful practicum!
Training my Replacement
Gris will be taking over a large number of my responsibilities at the Ranch. I’ve been training her since August to take over my different jobs at the Ranch while I’ll be on a Furlough (*announcement is in the next part of the letter).
Gris comes to the Ranch with numerous years of experience in Baja California working with the Triqui people group. Her female coworker and friend got married earlier this year, and with different changes happening in the country, she was looking for another ministry and accepted our offer to work at the Ranch with us!
Home Assignment Announcement
After much prayer and counsel from others including my sending church, I made the decision to take a 7 month Home Assignment a.k.a Furlough in Baker City, Oregon. I could probably list out all of the reasons why I feel now is the perfect time for me take a furlough. One of the largest reasons is my coworkers the Sanchez’ are planning on taking a year furlough in 2018, and then in 2019 the Grangers will take one, and in effect, I would have to wait until 2020 to take mine. This next semester just seems to work for me and my team the best. If you are interested in hearing my other reasons feel free to contact me.
I’ll plan on leaving Mexico in less than 2 weeks! Which means lots of packing, sorting, finish teaching my class, saying goodbyes, etc. I’ll head to Oregon on Dec. 15th and make it to my parents’ house on Dec. 17. Yes, July (my cat) and Cabela will be traveling with me to spend some time in the snow! Then I have a trip planned for December and will spend January through the end of July in Eastern Oregon. I haven’t set up much else right now but will work on that at the beginning of January.
– for a wonderful semester with a lovely group of students.
– for Gris, who can take over my responsibilities so I can take a short furlough.
– for the ability to take this furlough in the springtime! I’m so ready for it!
Prayer Requests ::
– for Gris as she’s taking over my responsibilities. For wisdom and patience for her.
– saying “goodbye” to my team, fellow missionaries, church, and friends – I’ll miss lots of events next semester: graduation, a wedding, a missionary ladies retreat, etc. but I know that this the best time for me to take a furlough.
– for travel plans to Oregon. No snow on the roads & an easy trip “home” while traveling with Cabela & July!
– for a time of rest for myself. When people ask how I am, I’m responding with “tired.” I’m ready to feel normal again.
– adjustments – life, people, and time have changed things for me and for those in Oregon. Pray for me.
Remember that New Tribes Mission has changed their name to Ethnos360. If you would like to read an article on why, please click here.
I’ll be contacting churches and friends in Oregon starting in January, but if you are worried that I’ll forget to contact you, please let me know. 🙂
Time for me to keep working on packing, sorting, cleaning, & organizing!!
Merry Christmas to all!
Love, Crystal Pierce