Man, has it been a crazy year. We've lived here at the Center for thirteen months now. The Center has been functioning with residents for eight months. One resident is graduating to resident-advisor this month, and one is graduating to her own apartment. We'll accept two more in the following weeks, and more are on the waiting list.
God has been accelerating this project like we can't even believe.
We moved to Argentina in October and December of 2017 with the hope that we could purchase some land, build a center, and begin to accept survivors of human trafficking within a year or two. All while learning the culture, improving on our language skills, and connecting with local organizations interested in ending human trafficking in Argentina.
Well, as we are all aware, we can plan and prepare, but God's got His own plans. Within a couple of months, a beautiful 4-lot property with four buildings was donated. Five months later, we accepted our first resident. We've had survivors ranging from 9 years old to 26. We've helped our residents through everything from drug withdrawal to finishing school to parenting. It's been a whirlwind!
And with all of the confirmations of God's Hand on our work, including the acceleration of the creation of this Aftercare Center, He has changed our plans, our hearts, and our lives in a multitude of ways. I don't think any one of us are the same person who got off the plane in Buenos Aires in 2017. We have learned to cling to Him and His Word through storms we couldn't have imagined two years ago. We learned to lead and follow- and to know when to do each. We've followed the Spirit more closely than ever before. We've trusted each other and grown closer. God is doing a might work in these last days.
To continue in His apparent pattern of changing everything we have planned and teaching us how to grow in our trust in Him, God has brought about another change this past month. That's what I'm here to announce.
In our prayers, both personal and in groups of our spouse, pastors, and peers, God has revealed to Clayton and myself that the next step in His plan for the Center is to head back to the USA and support the work in Argentina from there. Just our family, not Ben or Rachel.
If I'm honest with you, the other changes that were made to our plan in the last year were really exciting, and acceleration felt really great. The Hand of God was so apparent that it was such a joy to see Him completely scrap our plans and dump blessing after blessing on our ministry. This change feels a lot different than that. This is hard to see as acceleration- though He has already begun revealing that it is. I've struggled with feeling like this is a step backward, despite all of the lessons in trust we've gone through in the last 13 months (and longer). This has been hard to swallow.
We've prayed with trusted pastors and friends both here in Argentina and in the USA in the last three months and have outward confirmation as well as inward confirmation that this is the will of God concerning our lives- for this season of our lives. We are trusting God that the good work He started in this ministry will be continued and our obedience will grow the impact of Vos Tambien in ways we can't even imagine right now.
We are not leaving, we are changing our roles in this ministry.
I will be traveling around the US more, speaking abut what we're doing in Argentina and raising funds to support our team on the ground at the Center. I'll be traveling back to Argentina two or more times a year to see how we can best support the ministry from the States. Clayton will be planning and training teams to do maintenance and building when the needs arise.
We appreciate your prayers during this time of change.
A local Argentinian family who has been volunteering at the Center and whom we trust completely has accepted our offer to come on as full time staff for a minimum of one year, and we are absolutely thrilled. We also have a resident moving up to resident advisor, so she will be helping us as well. We aim to leave the Center better-equipped than when we were here.
Friday, my son and I fly back to the States. Clayton will follow two weeks later.
We hope to see you guys there.
In the meantime, any questions can be directed to me at jessica.coss @vostambien.org
We love you guys!