New Staff Weekend in Visalia

This past weekend, I attended a new staff orientation weekend at the SI office in California. I was so blessed with the opportunity to meet the staff in the office who have worked so hard to make these Guatemala trips possible and are continuing to do a great job in helping me prepare to hit the field full time! As I expected, this weekend provided a lot of answers to some questions I had and fired me up even more to join the mission field full time! I feel fully equipped to really hit the fundraising hard and work on the final preparation details. Seth, one of the SI Guatemala leaders, came up from Guatemala to meet with us. (What a blessing to see him!!!) He confirmed my budget goal of $1,500 per month and really emphasized the fact that I can not take my usual frugal, barley-skimp-by mindset with my fundraising. I want to be a good steward of the money that you are pledging to me, but Seth pointed out that in order to have a sustainable ministry, I need to be fully funded at $1,500 a month which would provide plenty for me to live safely in Guatemala with savings for emergencies or life changes. Being a good steward of God’s blessings means living wisely and making smart decisions concerning money.

Seth told me that the tentative plans for me right now are to work full time in the art school. This is where I interned my first and third summer. SI Guatemala has been hoping for a full time staff member to work in the art school for some time. The artists that host the school are not SI staff but have been partnering with SI for about 4 years. But the ministry site has never had a full time staff member to work there and has been relying on interns to translate for the Spanish speaking artists. I am so excited to get the opportunity to team up with Carlos and Telma full time because they are so dear to me! I am excited for all of the opportunities that lay ahead in this ministry. Of course I am always flexible to changes in ministry needs, so I do not know how long I will be working at the art site full time. That is up to the SI Guatemala directors.

Also, I now officially have a goal date to head down to Guatemala! I know that I still need to attend a three week training period before I go to Guatemala, and I want to for sure arrive before the summer teams start coming and it gets really crazy down there. So I am planning on attending MTI (training) in April and moving to Guatemala early May. That means I have very little time left to finish fundraising! I have been pretty passive in my fundraising efforts thus far because it has been the most daunting task of my missions commitment. But I was inspired this weekend by many others’ amazing stories of God’s provision in fundraising as they are preparing for the field. I am extremely thankful for all of the donations that have been coming in so far! They certainly are a blessing to me! However, the majority of my donations have been one time gifts and I need $1,500 in committed monthly donors. So this is definitely the area of my focus now! The one time gifts will be a huge blessing for me to pay for my three week training in Colorado as well as the initial extra start up costs as I move in down in Guatemala. My current monthly support raised is $165 a month. If you sent in a monetary donation in the form of a check and meant for it to be a monthly commitment, please let me know! Any check recieved was assumed to be a one time donation, unless clearly noted on a response card. We can get you set up on a monthly donation schedule! The office staff greatly encouraged the ACH automatic withdrawal (EFT) so that transaction fees do not have to be subtracted from a credit card donation and you won’t have troubles remembering to mail a check in each month. Many people told me that they want to support this ministry, but have not taken the steps to do so yet. Please let me encourage you to take action NOW! As I have told you, time is of the essence as my departure date for training is three months away!!!!!!! (I get an adrenaline rush every time I think of it!) I am going to be more proactive in my fundraising now. Please know that I am not begging for handouts. I am offering up an opportunity for you to join in a partnership with me as I serve in Guatemala. I know many of you have hearts to serve others in need but do not have the availability to do so. Let me be your partner in ministry! Please visit my updated “Support Monthly” page at the top of the blog. I have added a link to the form that you can print off for the EFT to make it easier to contact SI.

I am very excited and encouraged after my weekend at the office! The whole time I was there, I just kept thinking to myself (and out loud) how amazing the people at SI are. I am SO happy that I am entering into this SI family of people who are radically following God’s calling to share His love all around the world. These people are so beautiful and I am so thankful to be joining them soon! And thanks to you guys for supporting me through this process! It would not be possible without you!

love, Britney

11 new SI staff serving in the Dominican Republic, Fiji, and Guatemala!

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