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Winter speaks of endings

Hello family, friends, and partners,


I am so excited to be going into winter! This is my favorite time of year and I'm sure that I will miss being overseas next year. Winter is a season of endings. Not devoid of renewals as each spring brings rebirth each year, but for the time being the winter speaks of endings and conclusions, even in the leaves on the trees falling. The season changing makes me think of the nature of God, all while being the same yesterday, today, and forever, that he is also dynamic. He moves, he is active, like a piece of music… or like a changing season. The seasons are like God. Spring shows us his propensity for creation, hope, and rebirth. Winter tells us of the built-in beauty of endings, designated by Himself. So, as fall gives way to winter, in each leaf on the ground and cool morning breeze, we see from far off an ending to a great year.


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;"

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2


The last months of 2023 are going to be exciting, to say the least. Thanksgiving is already next week! Shortly after that, we will be in Jacksonville, for my sister's wedding. I am very excited to be getting another brother! Both Victoria and I will be in the wedding party. It will be a great time to connect with family, new and old! Shortly after that, it will be Christmas time! This is our first year together through it all, and it has already been such a joy to have two homes and be welcomed into two families. We are super excited for the holiday season and getting to experience it married for the first time


This year, for both of us, has been a year of expansion, growth, and increasing capacity. In a year marked in my mind by hard work and stretching, I feel my capacity has grown exponentially. This year in the States has taught me about hunkering down and getting the job done, in moments where life is really busy. It has taught me not only when to check my emotions at the door but also when to allow myself to rest and feel what I need to. It has taught me about teamwork, both with the sector and teammates here that I am a part of and also within my marriage. I am learning what the Bible means when it says, “Two will put ten thousand to flight." I feel that the next season ahead of us and the trials that may come will feel all the easier having lived this year together in the States. Victoria and I trusted the Lord in our year commitment to this US-based position and I am so glad that we listened to the voice of our Shepherd.


But as I spoke of earlier, the winter is coming on and with it the conclusions it inevitably brings each year. But in the same way, we remember the year that ends in the winter, we look forward to a new year and a spring season that brings new adventures. That being said, I'd love to tell you a few things that the new year and the spring will bring for Victoria and me.


Our time here in the World Headquarters officially ends with the end of our lease in January, right after the time of Overland's conference and staff retreat. The Overland Missions conference is open to the public and is a time for spiritual refreshment and recruitment for our team. You are welcome to join us January 10 - 13th in Jacksonville, Florida at New Life Christian Fellowship Church. (My home church!) We would love to see you there. Our staff retreat is not a public event but is specifically a time for our whole team to spend time together and reconnect as sometimes we don't often see each other. After the staff retreat, we will have the privilege of being involved in an Overland Missions Music songwriting retreat. In past years, the team has amassed quite a repertoire of music written with the gospel and the great commission mind. At this once-a-year event, the songwriters within the team get to come together and write new songs of worship to the Lord. Overland Missions Music is the result of this powerful move of God in the creative realm for us, check that out on Spotify here! Below is a recently released music video that Victoria and her team worked on shooting late last year in Zambia.



Shortly after songwriting, Victoria and I will pack up our apartment and begin our nomadic life for the next few months. We will spend February in Bradenton, Florida, and Match in Jacksonville, Florida. This will be a time to connect with family, friends, and our partners before we set off to Zambia in April.


As I mentioned earlier, our capacity has definitely increased this year, and naturally, as we move into this next position in Overland, our financial need has increased as well. During this time back in our home cities, we will be checking in with those of you who have been faithful financial partners with us, and hopefully gain new supporters to come alongside our ever-growing vision. We know that the Lord will bring the right people our way to join our team and we are believing for that increase. If you feel that you want to be a part of that increase in our vision, please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to meet with you in person and share our hearts in more depth about what is coming next.


With a fully raised budget, we will launch out into Zambia to start in our new positions as part of the Operations team, if you want to know more about that, check out Victoria's last newsletter for more details.


There is much work to be done and we are so excited to put our hands to the plow and get it done. Thank you so much to our partners for your continued support and to our family and friends for being behind us always. That's all for now!


Blessings,

Ethan



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