November! It's still hard to believe that the year is almost over, but it has been fun to continue to see God through the beautiful, fall colors and even the change in the temperature (even though it is cold!!!).
Since we have been here in Memphis, we have felt the desire to get involved in a ministry with people from Latin America. We have been able to go through a few different events through a church named Esperanza, but it was difficult since we are attending another church to get involved. There is a ministry that is connected with the church called “Su Casa,” which is a ministry providing ESL classes to adults from Central/South America and homework-help classes to their kids. We have started attending weekly and helping where we can. Since we had two teenagers that ministered alongside us in Latin America this summer (Austin in Belize and Peyton in Ecuador), we thought it would be the perfect option to get them involved in ministry as well. It has been a lot of fun so far! Although a little bit crazy at times! It is nice being able to help as needed and getting to be around Spanish again.
And then Richard really got to use his Spanish! In the beginning of November, he was able to go to Colombia to visit one of the ministries in Leticia. The current director of the orphanage, Lucy, is in her late 60s and is looking forward to stepping back from direct leadership. Since there is a missionary family from Tennessee, Mike and Julie, that is looking to move down to help with the ministry, it seems like the perfect time for them to be able to be trained to step into that role. So, Richard was able to attend their yearly board meeting along with Mike and Julie to discuss what the transition process will look like. It basically meant translating from English to Spanish and then back from Spanish to English. After 12 hours of translating, his brain was about to explode, but everything went incredibly well. God’s guidance was evident in every part and we were very encouraged by the steps that were taken. And he go to play with some amazing kids!!!!
As soon as Richard got back in the US, we all started working extra hours to prepare for one of the Orphans fundraisers, Double December. It is a time where Orphanos asks donors to give an extra donation to cover the office costs like credit card fees, stamps/envelopes, wire transfer fees, etc. To be able to stuff and address the envelopes, we were able to get a few of our “boys” to join in as well. Austin and Peyton came to the rescue again, coming and spending quite a few hours with us to get it done. It was actually incredibly fun to stuff envelopes!!! We laughed a ton (especially at Peyton’s way of stuffing which basically meant him talking to himself like a crazy person!) and were able to get everything done!
One of the biggest honors this past month was the ability to go to Corpus Christi, Texas for a quick visit. It was an honor for 3 different reasons!
First, we had first met Justin Ruiz on the last missions trip that we received in Ecuador a few weeks before we moved to the US. We travelled down to the jungle with everyone from the Fellowship of Oso Creek to do medical clinics and VBS with the kids. It was an amazing team, but Justin stuck out for a few different reasons. We knew that he was just beginning to become interested in Christ and that his main drive behind coming to Ecuador was for the medical clinics, as he was studying to be a nurse. Whenever we did things like “Highs/Lows” and “How you are going to apply what you have learned to your daily life?”, he was very unsure about how to share. He would always go to Richard and make sure that he was sharing what he “should.” And for Ximena, she was able to tease him constantly about not knowing how to speak Spanish and having a last name like Ruiz!!! A year later, he returned to Ecuador to be baptized in the Rio Misahualli after beginning a personal relationship with Christ as well as proposing to an amazing girl, Vanessa. We were extremely honored to be invited to the wedding and get to celebrate how God works in extremely mysterious ways, even when we aren’t expecting it!
Second, Richard received an invitation from our pastor, Matt Brennan, to officially ordain him through one of our home churches, the Fellowship of Oso Creek. Whenever Matt first called him, it was really an encouragement and a surprise to hear his desire to officially stand behind our testimony of faith. Richard and Matt were able to team teach that Sunday on Ruth and then the church was able to gather around Richard and Ximena in testimony of the work that they have been doing. It was really beautiful and filled with many tears…it was one of those moments that stick with you through time. (Special thanks to Jade Payne for the pictures!)
Third, we were able to spend Thanksgiving with family! After that Sunday, we were able to visit so many of our closest friends, some who have been involved in our lives since before we were even married. On Thanksgiving Day, Richard tried his hand at making Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie Cheesecake from scratch and Ximena made her world-famous Mashed Potatoes…well at least they are famous in 2 countries! It was so much fun to just enjoy community and being around people who we love so much and who constantly care for us in so many ways. We were spoiled...we were stuffed...it was truly getting to be with family.
So how else could we end this besides saying that we are blessed. God continues to place people in our path that truly impact us and spur us onto good deeds. And we truly get to enjoy the ride!
This month, we would like to add a special request. Due to the fact that Richard pays the expenses of his trips to visit our missionaries and orphanages around the world out of our personal support, our account has slowly been depleted. We are in need of $6,000 in one-time gifts to be able to cover the ministry expenses in the upcoming visits to our missionaries in 2018. If you feel led to give towards these costs (or you find a money tree in your backyard and you don't know what to do with it!), you can donate here:
How to give via Orphanos:
1. Go to https://orphanos.org/donate
2. In the "Choose your designation" field select: Support a missionary (the 4th option down)
3. Type in "Richard and Ximena Roseland" in the box that says "Specific Missionary")
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good deeds..." ~Hebrews 10:24