Scott here, your friendly neighborhood program assistant. I have some unpopular news to share. I have completed my two year commitment serving with Strong Missions, and have decided to not renew my time serving in this placement. It was not an easy decision to make, and I feel very blessed to have so many people tell me they disagree with it and want to kidnap me—nothing makes me feel more loved than being kidnapped (as those who celebrated my 21st birthday with me can attest...but I digress)! However, I managed to escape all kidnap attempts and am now back in the US.
I do want to take this chance to offer thanks to:
- God, who by some mysterious grace and flow of circumstances put me in this beautiful place to serve and grow, at just the right time in my life. And who also gave me wisdom, strength, and joy along the way. Let me always remember Your faithfulness.
- The staff at Strong Missions. It has been a great place to work, because you are great people to work with. It has been fun getting to know everyone, and figuring out how we can all function as a team (like, figuring out how to function in an office with 4 very different personalities, or on a worksite with 3 different construction workers giving instructions). I am also very grateful for the way the staff has welcomed me and made me part of the family.
- The volunteers who have come to serve during my time here. I have often said that getting to know you all (or, as Charlie would say, y'all), has been one of the best parts of my work. I may not have gotten to know deeply each of the hundreds of people who I have worked with in the last two years, but at least some of you have become friends I hope to keep. I've been very impressed with just about everyone who has served with us; nothing that we do can happen without you.
- The community of folks in Costa Rica, especially in Carrillos. I have felt very honored by the Evangelical Methodist and Pentecostal churches that have welcomed me and made me part of their church families, and by the actual families that have opened up their homes and hearts to welcome this weird gringo.
- Friends and family in the US, who have supported me during my time abroad. Thanks for letting me go, and for letting me come back! Dad, thanks for always saying, “I'm not going to tell you what to do. You're going to do whatever you want anyway. And do what you want, because if you won't, you won't be happy.” (Yes, that is Andrews-speak for “I trust you and I want you to be happy.” I think.) Also, thanks to the folks at FUMC-Waukesha for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, and even coming down to serve.
I'm really tempted to give a shout out to some of my favorite people and experiences during my time here, but the list would be too long, and this blog post is already long enough. My heart is too full for all of that. I will say that of all the people I've encountered in the last year, I feel very blessed by my coworker Rebecca. We've had to really esforzarnos to understand each other sometimes, but the resulting friendship has been so well worth it. Gracias Rebe!
I realize my departure may come as a surprise to some of you reading this, and I apologize for that. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd be happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.
Following Christmas my position as program assistant will be filled by an outstanding gentleman, who is also from Wisconsin, and who you will get to meet on this blog soon. Please welcome him with the same warmth and joy you have shown me.
Scott Andrews (aka Escot, Escotito, el Flakito)