What a year 2021 was! In both the highs and the lows, the Lord has been so faithful to us!
In January of 2021, Nate helped lead one of the first international mission teams since the pandemic began. This was an exploratory trip to Costa Rica with leaders that were committed to bringing a team later in 2021.
January and February were full months of soccer for Reagan, Abbi, Malachi, and Isaiah, keeping us very busy, but enjoying life in Florida.
In March Nate, along with the PPM president, returned to Costa Rica to welcome back the first team to serve with their local church partnership that was put on hold due to the pandemic. Many of our Central America locations opened up after the pandemic as well, and were back encouraging, assisting, and building up the local church.
As spring was approaching we were feeling that a shift was happening with our family, but we didn't have direction as to where we would be "shifting" to. In April, Laura took a secret trip to scout out Alabama (friends of ours were from there and were moving back and told us how it was a great, family-friendly place to live). Laura and Nate both felt it would be a great place to live, but didn't quite know how God was going to make it happen yet.
April also brought the PPM staff back together in Colorado as we were able to gather and prepare for a busy summer of ministry back out on the mission field.
May 1st we announced we were moving (in faith), and shortly after that, we were offered a confidential listing (truly a miracle in the midst of a crazy housing market!) for a home in Daphne, Alabama which we accepted and put an offer on. God's hand was all over this and we still look back amazed at how God leads and provides!
Knowing we were moving, the mad rush began to pack up the house and make sure everything was in order for a move that summer. On the ministry side, Nate was exploring partnerships and building relationships in Africa (virtually) to help PPM expand into new countries. Nate's phone began to blow up with connections, needs, and desires to see something new happen among African pastors.
School in Florida wrapped up in June and soon Nate was off leading his first-ever USA mission trips in Rhode Island and Arizona. The kids were enjoying summer camps and saying their bittersweet goodbyes. Nate returned home on July 6th from his trips at 8:00 pm, by 10:30 pm we had packed up the Uhaul and started driving to Alabama!
Upon arriving at our new home, Laura tested positive for Covid-19! Shortly after her positive test, most of us followed her, all while setting up and painting our new home. After quarantining as a family, we broke free and started exploring our new community. We are thankful for a community pool where we met many new people in our neighborhood and started building relationships here.
In August Nate hit the ground running by hosting monthly, virtual gatherings with African pastors, sharing the vision of PPM Global and setting the stage for future expansion. The kids also started school in a new state once again. Not only that, Darrell joined the army and left for Basic Training!
In September, Nate began holding one-on-one meetings with pastors primarily from Kenya. This really helped to build personal relationships with our possible new partners, all gearing up for a January 2022 trip to Kenya!
Laura's parents visited in October, they hadn't seen the children since before the pandemic began. It was great to spend a week with them, showing them around our new home! Our good friend, Taylor, also visited this month.
In November, Nate was able to return to Costa Rica for a long-awaited Pastor's Conference after 2 years of not gathering together! What a breath of fresh air it was for our partners to be together again. Nate's parents came and spent Thanksgiving with us, we love having family in town!
December brought Darrell back home with us for over two weeks of a break from the military! We have had a great time together celebrating the birth of our King and enjoying a lot of family time!