Greetings from El Paso, Texas!
Since this is our first official update since moving to El Paso last February, we have a lot to catch you up on. We hope you enjoy reading this letter about what we’ve been up to since starting our Specialized Assignment through Nazarene Global Mission a few months ago.
Greetings from El Paso! We have enjoyed 10 short but exciting months of transition, into El Paso, it’s climate and its culture; reacquainting ourselves with the little Spanish we knew and adding more; learning about the Nazarene Border Initiative, and our part in it; figuring out how to use the time we have, now that we are not pastoring locally, to invest in the lives of precious Nazarene Missionary Kids (MKs); and eating lots of tacos, unlike any tacos we have ever had! ¡Que rico!
We live in the Lower Valley area of El Paso (1 mile from the border), not regarded particularly highly around the rest of the city, but it is becoming OUR neighbourhood, and we LOVE it! We love the 350m (400yd) walk to Samuel’s school; the untold number of Taco & Burrito stands within walking distance; the miles of dirt roads that line the irrigations canals, great for a run; the Adobe Ranch-style architecture; the daily opportunities to practice Spanish with 99.9% of our neigbours; and the many palm trees!
Naturally, there have been some things that are a little harder to get used to; like the late night Reggaeton music every Saturday night, the barking dogs, and the lack of any Tim Horton’s within 1200 miles. But the main difficulties have been mourning the loss of our faith-family and friends in BC, a home that we loved, a neighbourhood where we knew everyone, and helping Samuel make the adjustment to Kindergarten and in missing his friends, and everything he has ever known.
El Paso started to feel like home as we began adapting old traditions and integrating them with new ones; helping us to grow into this place, and understand what it means to be the Tarrant Family on Mission here. We have found some happy places – the Franklin Mountains, Chihuahuas Baseball games, and the Hammock Hayley installed out back at Wenda (the ministry centre we live in). Family dance parties, binging on 24hr News, and bedtime routines continue, and we just set up the Christmas tree as before, but it was our first fake one; no cut-your-own tree farms out here in the desert. There IS coffee; it isn’t Timmies, but we are surviving. We have peace of mind knowing that as we continue to create new memories here, we will feel more and more like El Paso is HOME.
The verse God gave Andrew when he first left home (to go to Bulgaria in 2000), Psalm 121:8 is holding true, “The Lord [is watching] over [our] coming and going both now and forevermore.” There are daily reminders (in texts, cards, pictures, prayer magnets, etc.) of you, the people, the church who send(s) us; through whom God equips us, and who are with us each step!
Thank you for your partnership on this journey! Peace & thanks & love!
Missionary Kid Care
MK Care is a significant part of our focus and time and most of our preparation and communication for this part of our assignment will happen online. This gave Global Mission the opportunity to strategically relocate us to a location where our physical presence could be utilized – El Paso, TX!
Rendezvous is all about equipping the High School Aged children of our Nazarene Missionaries, for cultural re-entry, cultural transitions, and preparing them for their transition to adulthood; inviting these dear transcultural young people to present themselves to God, allowing Him to shape their Identity in Him. So far there have been Rendezvous events on the Asia Pacific & Mesoamerica Regions, but the aim is to host these 5-day Rendezvous on each Region of the Church of the Nazarene every 2 years. RendezvousMK.org
- We have visited 3 of our Nazarene Universities so far; spending time with the MKs who are enrolled there, and meeting with Faculty/Staff of the universities to identify what is already being done to support MKs and what can be added.
- Andrew and Hayley travelled to Asia Pacific to help facilitate a Rendezvous event for the MKs on that region and Hayley helped facilitate a Rendezvous Plus event for young adult MKs in British Columbia.
- Andrew went to Chihuahua Mexico for meetings with church leaders from both sides of the border.
- Hayley continues to use her graphic and web design skills for Rendezvous and NBI.
- We are getting to know some neighbours and families from Samuel’s school; we’ve attended a few parties and went trick-or-treating with our next-door neighbours on a military base.
- Andrew has been singing with the worship team of our local CotN.
- Visitors, Hayley’s parents came here and Andrew’s parents accompanied us on our road trip home from General Assembly in INDY.
- Pray for Samuel’s continuing transition into school
- Pray for new and deepening friendships with our neighbours and families from school
- Pray for Nazarene MKs all over the world who are adapting to life without their parents or life in a new culture
- Pray that we will improve and grow in our Spanish abilities and confidence
- Pray for safety for our visits to the Nazarene Universities and for upcoming deputation trips
- Pray that we will figure out how to communicate better with Rees (17mo.)
Partner with Us
In order to fulfill the church’s mission and vision of creating a network of support and care for our Nazarene Missionary Kids across the globe, we need your help. Whether you’re able to offer support through prayer, through volunteering of your time and resources, and/or offering your finances, your support is invaluable and will be used to keep this mission fuelled.
There’s power in prayer! Please pray for us, our Nazarene MKs and for those we partner with in El Paso. Check out our prayer requests above for ways to pray for us specifically.
Consider bringing a group to El Paso to help us with construction projects here at the NBI Ministry Center or get in touch to discover other areas of need on either side of the US/Mexico border.