Earlier this year, the Ethnos360 Home Office team all moved from the office spaces we’d all occupied since 1978 into new space, a mile deeper into downtown Sanford. To move a huge team of 200+ support personnel into new offices is huge, but we one-upped that! Our Communications and Marketing team led our organization through the process of taking on a new name and brand, Ethnos360 just two months later.
These two things would be enough to put anyone in a work-coma for the rest of the year, but there was no rest for us.
Following the name change, our team led the efforts to help Ethnos360 celebrate it’s 75th Anniversary! For the last 6 months, we prepared for four live events, spread out over just one week, here at our recently completely finished offices. It was an incredible series of events that encouraged thousands of people. The final event of the week was live streamed to other ministry locations around the world as well as to roughly 5000 people online!
In the meantime, life at home has been equally busy and tiring. After a sweet reunion with all of Joel’s immediate family at a cabin in Georgia, we welcomed the very unwelcome Hurricane Irma. We’re still in the process of working with our insurance company and will need to replace our roof and fence, as well as have some other repairs completed.
We did come “up close and personal” with catastrophic loss when a family in our church lost their home to a fire, related to the storm. We had the privilege of hosting them and two of their kids for three weeks while they worked through the next steps to rebuild their home and lives. We constantly saw opportunities to encourage them with the comfort that God had encouraged us with many times in our lives.
All the while, the kids continue in school and life. We covet your prayers for us as a family. This school year has shown us some big areas of struggle that we are totally dependent upon God for grace and wisdom to shepherd them through. And, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve been incredibly encouraged by a parenting book we would totally recommend; Paul Tripp’s “Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles” We are constantly having our hearts challenged and taught as we both read through it.
As much as rest from work is a want right now, more stamina is needed as Joel’s team heads into the final two months of the year. They are full months with mailings and year-end campaigns as well as holiday related things. Joel is approaching having served in his role as ‘Social Media Strategist’ for a full year and is taking stock of what he learned and implemented and how it all worked in relationship to the strategies of Ethnos360.
Finally, we have to ask you concertedly pray with us in the area of Bethany’s health. Overall, the year has been relatively healthier as she has been able to manage things, like what she’s exposed to with skin issues, her need for consistent/full nights of sleep and the general need to maintain a more restful lifestyle. But after investing much time and resources, working with the team at the Mayo Clinic, we are still without an answer as to why she’s struggled so much with swelling, water retention, fatigue and related issues. Those issues have progressively gotten worse over the past year and Bethany is finding herself in a lot of discomfort and pain on a regular basis. It’s not debilitating but it’s frequently present and sapping her strength. We don’t see many options remaining ahead of us as she has already pursued the care of several different medical specialists, but we recently became aware of a doctor in our area who’s both an MD and ND, and who takes a combined medical and holistic approach to conditions like hers.
We’re praying for wisdom on whether to take a route like this. The initial treatment and testing are costly and not covered by our insurance so we would approach it soberly. We are constantly driven to wholly depend on the Father for everything we need daily and are grateful for His presence in our everyday lives. But we would love to see Bethany be able to live free from chronic issues like this one. Would you pray that the Lord might exercise His healing of Bethany in whatever way He would choose?