The Importance of Rest
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
- Psalms 23:1-3
We hope 2017 is off to a great start for you! We finished 2016 and started 2017 doing something we have never been intentional about before. We rested! Alex and Maggie were able to come home for the holidays. We had watched from a distance the effects of our influence on them as they balanced work, studies and down time. We realized that one of our major parenting faults was not being good examples of taking a break for yourself when you have worked hard. So this year we cleared our schedules for two weeks straight and took time together as a family to enjoy each other's company, to renew our bodies and souls to prepare for the new year ahead.
I have always felt guilty for taking time off, but after taking this time, I see the benefits of leaving the work aside and learning to say no for a short period of time. This was the perfect time for us since the country in general takes vacation time from December through mid-January. We were able to close out the year strong, take a break and then get back to work.
We learned a lot from our rest and were almost instantly challenged with the task of taking what we learned and passing it on. The week after we returned to work, a dear pastor friend of ours and his family arrived because they were doing what we had just done. They had to leave their city so that they could find rest and we were able to open our home and give them a few days of family down time. We had worked in their church during our time in Bogotá. It was wonderful to reunite with them.
We are launching two new initiatives this year and the time away from our normal hustle and bustle gave us time to clear our minds and let the creativity flow for our strategies for 2017. This year we are launching a mentoring program to train children's pastors as well as diving into a new frontier to help expand university ministries to Medellín. Castillo del Rey has already kicked off this year and next week we will return to Las Lomitas to teach English to the children. We also have teams on their way in February and March.