Well now that the books have been published, I’ve been able to share my first update since mid-July.
I’ve been continuing to work part-time at the St. James Society on facilitating mission appeals, doing some computer and administrative work, and assisting in the house management in the rectory here where I’ve been living. It has helped me to raise income for me to live here and put towards B2B. As a result, I’ve been able to pay off personal debt and cover personal expenses over the past year, and B2B currently has about $4500 in funds available for next steps. But this has also taken up valuable time from developing B2B, so things have been moving slowly along.
My searching out some roles in teaching English as a Second Language didn’t turn up any worthwhile opportunities. But the search was worthwhile in helping me better understand the field and its landscape, especially within the context of what’s called Workforce Development. I can share more in another post, but the time searching gave me more confidence in what I had been in developing in what I called Language in Communion. LIC is something I hope to grow again as I refocus on Barriers to Bridges!
In a related way, the pilot Career Transitions group that I was developing with a few other folks in transition came to an end, and there was a lot learned that I hope to use going forward in developing groups and workshops in B2B!
I spent some time exploring other missionary societies as well. Obvisouly my time associated with the St. James Society gave me insight, and I've had dialogue with Rostro de Cristo and Family Missions Company as well. These have all led me to see the unique value of Barriers to Bridges, the simple but committed spirituality and practicality of it. To be all in one family of God, and all that that implies practically speaking, has a unique place in the "missionary" landscape. I haven't found anything like it in my explorations. And so …
I aim to bring more of that out in this site (you'll see more posts in More on Mission to the Poor) and in other forums, to highlight the value of B2B, the core spirituality and practicality of it. This I feel is going to be necessary for helping determine next steps, and when / in what context I'll be returning to Ecuador.
I've also started to take a few small online courses on entrepreneurship and idea development, to glean some practical guidance that might be useful for this stage of the journey!
In September, I was able to visit the Ecuadorian community in Lawrence on the feast of the Virgen del Cisne. (See the pictures here.) I had been one of the animators of that feast coming to life 3 years ago, and since losing my car, it's been difficult to maintain contact and relationship as much as I'd like (as well as some internal tensions within the parish and community, and with the pastor of the parish as well.) There are new priests in the parish who I know from my seminary time, and there's hope of returning and collaborating - when I can get the space to set that up!
After being too busy early in the summer, I've resumed visiting the parish Most Holy Redeemer in East Boston, and particularly one of the priests, who is a friend, and one of the youth groups.
This month there's a plan to get together again with the Hispanic group from St Anthony Shrine as well, as the summer busyness has ended.
Finally, after this post, I aim to get out a long-term update with financials. Also, a presentation to be able to share on the past year's experiences in Ecuador and Peru, as well as here in Boston.
So, stay tuned! Thanks for your support, and feel free to comment, send feedback, or just send a note along!