2014 was an atypical year in many ways for the Elam fam. We met some new challenges, downshifted a bit to regain some perspective and energy, and now are headed your way for a support-raising season to get positioned for the next season of life and ministry in Brazil.
PREPARED: We called it a "semi-sabbatical". A kind of part-time rhythm for Jon and Tathiana in terms of our ministry responsibilities in order to focus on health: physical, emotional, marital, spiritual and with our growing family. It lasted from January to August of 2014. In a much-to-oversimplfied summary, it was REALLY GOOD FOR US.
ASSESSED: Then came a sort of evaluation of our job and how we fit into what we are doing. Recently these types of Assessments within Campus Outreach have been more proactive, wanting to evaluate before any burnout comes sneaking in. Three Assessors from CO came to visit us, and also a Brazilian psychologist who has worked with several members of out team recently filled up about 4 days of meetings and read a gazillion pages of diagnostics and reports that we had previously filled out. Tathiana and I were excited about really thinking through our role, our calling and our future. Admittedly anxious to receive feedback indicating something we weren't expecting.
What a joy it was to hear from my director and the other assessors words like "right-fit", "influential couple", "a lot of personal growth", and "leaders."
POSITIONED: With this, we made a decision spend a few months in the US to get positioned financially for the next season. We have lost some support over the past years, and have some specific goals we would like to reach for our family. We will spend the end of December with family for Christmas in Chattanooga, then spend January through March raising new long-term support for an extended investment in what God is doing in and through the CO ministry in Belo Horizonte and possibly new cities in the near future! More info coming in 2015.
See you soon!