So, exciting news:
I (TJ) have recently accepted a position with an organization called Palmetto Medical Initiative as the Regional Director for Central America, and will be moving with Holly and the kiddos to Managua, Nicaragua in the coming months! I know… crazy, right?!
But, then again, you’re probably not too surprised… ‘cause you know us better than that.
Many of you will know that I’ve just finished a Master’s in International Development from Eastern University. It was a great experience and prepared me well to be involved in lots of different kinds of developing-world ministries. The organization I will be working for, PMI (Palmetto Medical Initiative), is an innovative, faith-based non-profit dedicated to developing excellent, sustainable primary medical care in impoverished communities all over the world. Though I’m no doctor or nurse, I have seen countless times how access to medical care changes the life of a person and the future of an entire community. My role with PMI will be to oversee the establishment, sustainability, and expansion of their programs and medical clinics in Nicaragua and eventually, into the rest of Central America.
I have really enjoyed my work coordinating mission teams and teaching with Lipscomb University in Nashville. Although Holly and I will really, really miss our friends and family, this new position is a great opportunity to use our passion for Latin America and experience in developing communities to help PMI achieve a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God.
As for the family, we are thrilled about jumping into this new adventure together. Holly has already investigated the availability of Dr. Pepper in Managua, and TJ is pumped to try the Nicaraguan version of Cheetos. The kids are learning to say NIC-A-WAGWA, and are giddy at the idea that everyone there will talk like Dora and Diego.
OK. Here’s the timeline: I will move down November 5th to get set up. During that time, Holly and the kids will have a blast in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both sets of grandparents live there, and with so many hands eager to help with the kiddos, it's Holly's personal version of Disneyland. I will come back for the holidays, then we'll all move to Nicaragua in January.
We’ll have a guest room at our house in Managua, and Nicaragua has awesome beaches just a short drive from us. Come on down and learn how to surf with me! Or, just be there to laugh at/with me as I try. PMI has regular volunteer medical/mission trips to supplement the clinic’s work in community outreach, and I’d love for some of you to join up and serve with us at some point. You don't even have to fly. You just drive south… and keep on going. And going.
It's really tough to leave Nashville after nine great years of being surrounded by friends and family. But this is exactly the type of opportunity and ministry we have been preparing and praying for. And we will stay in touch. We can FaceTime! Skype! Viber! (Or, whatever the cool kids are into these days.)
Anyway - love you guys. How many breakfasts and coffees and lunches and dinners and church services and memories can we fit into the next 30 days? Let’s see.
TJ and Holly