Ten Years A Missionary – David Alenskis (February 2021)

Dear friends and partners in ministry,

I want to take this time to wish you a very blessed Ash Wednesday, and to thank you for all the support that you have generously given us over the past few months! It has been a joy to know you are praying for us, and to receive your notes of encouragement since our last update in December.
This year certainly does not feel like any Lent Mary Beth and I have experienced recently: in Belize by this point in the liturgical calendar we are usually boiling from the hot season rolling into town, but at the moment we instead have sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow where we’re hunkered down in the Midwest. As we prepare for Easter in just over forty days, we ask you to keep our family in your prayers as we seek his strength, provision and guidance in the months ahead.
Yesterday I posted an update on how we are doing, and I invite you to give it a read:
Here is a quick brief summary of what the blog post is sharing:
  1. Academics. So far I am performing very well in my doctoral program—despite having to do everything remotely—and I am enjoying the coursework I am taking. I am still on track to defend my thesis and graduate by 2024 … it will be tough to fit in everything by then, but I am highly motivated to get it done and my track record so far is encouraging. (Read more!)
  2. Family Life. Mary Beth and the boys are doing very well. Because we were unable to proceed to Canada in time for the Winter term, we have rented a small two-bedroom place a few miles from my parents’ home in Indiana, and we are enjoying being together as a family in our own space.

    A very big development over the last few weeks is that our parish in San Ignacio, St. Andrew’s has decided to rent out the Rectory as soon as next month, so we are shipping our belongings to our home in the States—and we will probably not be returning to Belize this summer to pack out and say goodbye. We are grieving the loss of this opportunity to take an extended time to pack out and say goodbye, but at the same time we have seen God’s hand working in amazing ways. (Read more!)

  3. Finances. Shipping our belongings from Belize to the U.S. is going to be a tremendous expense (around $7,000), right at the same time that Mary Beth and I will have to take a salary cut. Our regular/pledged giving is $3,300 below our bare-bones basic SAMS budget each month, and now that we are in 2021 we will have to lower our salaries by 30–40% beginning in March. (Read more!)

    To make sure that we do not have to decrease our salaries any further, we would ask you prayerfully to consider giving a one-time donation to our missionary account to help us rebuild some margin. And if the Lord is guiding you to become a pledged supporter of our ministry, we would be deeply grateful to have you on the team.

Next month will also mark ten years (!!!) since I left California to become a full-time SAMS missionary in Argentina. So much has happened since then. I want to thank each of you for first supporting me, and then Mary Beth, and now our whole family as we pursue the vision for mission and ministry that the Lord has given us. Please keep us in your prayers, and be in touch as together we move ahead in service to our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his name,
David+ and Mary Beth (and Austin and James)
Posted in Belize.

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