End of year round-up (English)

End of year round-up (English)

Ett brev från Scott och Yasmine, skrivet på engelska och ej översatt…

Merry Christmas! It’s mid-December and I wanted to update you all on the past few months. It has been some of the busiest of my life with a lot of change and transition.

Yasmine and I were in America in August this year. We joined my family on a vacation in Hawaii, one that meant a lot to us as it was a celebration of my fathers ongoing recovery from his stroke he had in November. We had the opportunity to tack on a trip to the YWAM Kona base – the biggest base in the world. I got a teaching gig on one of their staff training courses that went very well. It resulted in being invited to speak for a full week on another DTS in Kona in February (more on that later).

We came back to California to meet up with our Church and our supporters, it was not a long trip and we did not get to see everyone like we would have liked to. I will have 1 week to meet people in February as I will be in California after my teaching gig.

At the end of our time in California I received an unexpected call. The current Director of YWAM Rostrevor (the base I’ve worked at since 2014) called me to update me that he landed a new job in another organization. This was great news, but it came with a bit of pressure. We, at that point, were considering a hand over of the base from him to me in January or February. With his new position, he needed to start in November.

I had a month from that call to get my ducks in a row and get ready to lead the base. It was a lot to ask and a difficult time. That difficulty was compounded by a pre-booked travel arrangement, 5 days at a European Leadership Gathering in Albania.

On October 29th, we had an official handing over and commissioning time. It was only held for our community as it was not a big farewell to the previous leaders but rather a moment to mark the official ‘passing of the keys’.

Since then, it has been full on. A few leadership principles began to show itself in me. One of them being the desire for transparency, good communication and patient process. I see leadership as a position of service. It is also the place in which fresh vision is birthed and released. It is also the burden of hard decisions and swallowing failure.

I want to lead my community well as time marches on. This means we are spending an exponential amount of time with people. ‘With’ is an important word to me. Being with someone, in my mind, requires for us to earnestly listen to them, avoiding the temptation to pacify their issues, struggles and complaints with easy half-truths and gaslighting. Withessis the groundwork of servant leadership. We as leaders seek to be wholly accessible to the people we lead and have a policy of utter transparency. In other words, nothing, absolutely nothing, is off limits when it comes to questions and concerns people might have about anything.

This means we have been busier than ever. We experienced an initial flood of meetings. Some of them regarded past hurts with myself or previous iterations of the Leadership Team. Other meetings were to help clarify certain things about the base and how we are moving forward and other meetings simply provided time for some of those people we know less to get to know us better.

That busyness was also compounded by another trip, a quick 4 day teaching gig in England. The topic that week was ‘Mission’ and it was a wonderful time to see lightbulbs go on and to help shape the next generation of missionaries. It has become a bit of a passion project for me and something I see as part of my ministry from here onward.

With speaking, there is also a bit of honorarium I make while doing it. Each location I may speak at gives something different and I do not ‘do it for the money’ but that honorarium helps.
Yasmine has been doing a stellar job on working towards her honours degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy. She has been studying part-time while doing missionary work since September this year. I am so proud of her and I want to continue to support her in this challenging venture.

This does lead us to the difficult part of our last year. With the pandemic and other situations outside of our control, a lot has changed for Yasmine and I in the financial department. For a long time now we have seen a real reduction in our support. We have lost at least 500 dollars in monthly support since the end of last year. Mix that with Yasmine’s university fees, we find ourselves in more difficult times. We have seen God provide through other supporters and other ways which has been lovely but I would really like to see our monthly support increase. Would you pray for us in this? I will include a link below in which you can give a one time donation if you feel led to but I also am free at any time to talk about becoming a monthly supporter, feel free to email me at sotomayor@ywamrostrevor.com.

As we look forward to the new year, we hope to see God continue to do new things in us and in our base. We want to see a fresh wave of vision in and around us and to be firing on all cylinders as a base. There is always opportunity to be a blessing.

We have re-pioneered our english club in October this year and will continue to use the club as a platform to help former refugees integrate in Northern Ireland. This is also a core vision for us right now. We feel its of the highest imperative to seek out and encourage and bless our societies most disenfranchised and challenged people. That passion will follow us no matter our location and no matter the people group, in this case, mostly Syrian immigrants.

In the new year, we would like to see an increase in impact with this community in developing new ideas and initiatives. We would also like to see a bigger impact on Ireland as a whole and ambitiously we want out international impact to increase as well.

2021 has been a great year, challenging in many regards but what year does not come with its difficulties? I hope you have a brilliant Christmas and a Happy New Year with great food and drink, precious time with loved ones and the moments to soak up all the reasons to be grateful.

Blessings,

Scott and Yasmine

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