To my wonderful supporters,
The last two months have been very eventful. I have procrastinated in writing this post to you all, but now, I have no excuse to not write it and every reason to write it. If I were to tell you everything that has happened in the past couple months, this post would be a long one indeed, however, I do plan to do my best to convey to you where I am at and how I got here. There were many huge decisions that I had to make, all of which affected my life in larger than normal ways. I do not feel that I have missed God in any of them, He has brought me here and has directed my steps in each instance.
I do not work at I-TEC anymore, I now work for a company called Slack Construction. I met the owner of Slack Construction through I-TEC, he is good friends with Steve. He was here this last time helping with the plans for this new big addition for I-TEC. I actually met him around the first couple months after starting to work with I-TEC. Slack Construction is a very versatile construction company, we do almost everything from digging footers, to roofing, to drywall, to airplane hangars and more. He also started a side company that is actually surprisingly booming. We make corian window sills and the occasional countertop. Im kinda the rover who swaps between the two companies depending on where the most help is needed. I’ve been there for a couple weeks and though I have had some rough days, I am really enjoying it.
So how did I leave I-TEC, a ministry organization that God definitely sent me here to work, grow, and serve with, to working with a bunch of guys that, though I love them, curse like sailors and smoke a frightening number of cigarettes a day? Well, it was not an easy decision, by any means. There were many sleepless nights, talking with many people from home and here at this church and at I-TEC to finally come to it. What it really comes down to though, is I want to get married. Katelyn and I have known it for a while now, but we are waiting until she graduates. Basically, that gives me two years to be stable financially, and have enough saved to pay for a wedding and honeymoon and in general, money for us to get started with our life together.
It took a while for me to realize that I would have to work somewhere other than I-TEC to make this happen. I tried to make deals or figure out ways to stay there and still make enough for us, but really it just couldn’t really happen unless I raised more support. The support I have had for the past nearly 3 years has been awesome and there is no way I could have done anything I’ve done without it. But that was just for me. It was perfect for me living on my own, I was able to pay my bills, buy food, put gas in the car and even give a little. The only money I was able to save was from side work that I picked up here and there, those funded my fun trips and savings. But as I said before, that was good for me by myself. Katelyn’s parents have also been sure that they didn’t want their daughter marrying someone whose sole source of income was other peoples’ donations. I did not make this the basis of my reasoning; I know that God will provide (I’ve seen him do it over and over) but it was a factor I needed to consider. Many of the men I talked to were very understanding of that point of view, seeing as they had daughters themselves.
Someone who works at I-TEC told me that the only reason he was able to work there full time was because he had everything paid for. He already bought his cars and house and had worked at companies before I-TEC and was able to save. He didn’t see how it was possible for me to get married and stay at I-TEC. Then there was another talk I had, also with someone from I-TEC, a father of 4 daughters, that also encouraged me to probably find a job and start working full time. I was starting to get the feeling that the managers had already talked about the idea. In fact, I found out later that it was discussed a little while they were down in Ecuador this last time and they seemed to think it was a good choice.
I had considered the possibility of leaving I-TEC before, but dismissed it every time because I liked working at there and I knew that God had lead me there. But there are times when it is just time to move on to something different, there are people that have left I-TEC while I was there, and you knew, though it was hard to see them go, that it was time. Missionaries will usually take a furlough every few years to raise support or simply to take a break and recharge. I feel that my time in ministry is far from over, I still want to fly and I-TEC has given me permission to still use their plane to train in when I get my medical. I still want to give to ministry and help them when I can. But in all humility and in all unselfishness, I feel like I need rest. I feel so drained, emotionally, physically, and most of all spiritually. I think I will get that rest when I go to Seattle to care for my dad. There will be quite a bit of free time and also time to get to know my dad a lot better than I do at the moment. But getting that alone time away from everything is going to be good for me, I think.
My plan was to wait till I got back from Seattle to quit because I assumed that I would need to vacate the room I lived in, but when I told Steve I was going to quit, he said I could stay in the house, so I decided to start working for Slack Construction now. I will move either to Gainesville or closer to Ocala when I return from Seattle. The truck I was driving belonged to I-TEC, though it was in my name, so I signed it over to Paul and bought myself a little ’02 Mazda protege with all the cash I had managed to save. No car loan. I also paid the insurance through the rest of the year.
So I started working for Slack construction and the hope is to pay off my only debt which is medical bills. This is not me being foolish with money debt. (I listen to the Dave Ramsey Show everyday) I have had that debt and paid it off several months ago, this is “changing health insurance companies and still going to the doctor” debt. It comes to about $4,800 and though I know I’ll have to put my plan on hold once I get to Seattle, i should be able to pay $600 or $800 before heading up there. I want to get as much of it paid off as possible before heading that way, so we will see. That is my reason for leaving so quickly. Living off support, I was only able to make enough to put minimum payments or a little more, so the only way to pay it was from side work. The plan is to knock it out as fast as possible, then save all that money I’m currently paying to on this medical debt.
As for the support that Rose Creek Village has been sending me, I think it would be great to continue sending it to I-TEC to support Paul and Tipharah. They will continue on at I-TEC for now, but we plan to try to stick close together as far as living goes. We have already talked about trying to make sure we schedule time to see each other several times a month depending where I decide to move to. But what they do for I-TEC in caring for the guest house and taking up all the construction and maintenance around I-TEC is a lot of work and they are doing amazing. They certainly could not do it without your support.
If any of you have any questions or anything, please feel free to call me or email me, I will do my best to get back with you as soon as possible. I feel like I covered everything, but if I failed to answer anything don’t hesitate to contact me. Once again, thanks so much for all the support, both financially and spiritually, that you have given me for the past 3 years. I truly am blessed blessed.
Your brother in Christ,