Paul and Jo are heading to Ecuador in June 2016! Below is some basic information about their adventure. If you want to be bang up-to-date with what is going on with them, just click the image below to be taken to their blog.
Hello there! We have some exciting news to share! As many of you will already know, for many years we have both been developing a growing passion to help provide support to the poorest and most vulnerable in society, which we have been able to work out through a number of initiatives set up by our home church, New Life Church. More recently Jo’s studying has focused on the human rights aspect of the needs of these people, culminating in her receiving a Master’s in international human rights law in October. On the back of this, and in line with some key biblical scriptures from Isaiah 58, we have decided to take the bold and slightly scary step to go out to where the need is greatest and assist overseas in the fight against injustice. So in June 2016 we shall be heading to Ecuador to volunteer for a year with a Christian human rights organisation called Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope), who are dedicated to promoting justice for people and communities who suffer all forms of injustice and poverty (www.pazyesperanza.org).
In Ecuador, domestic violence and abuse against women and children is a particularly big issue, and perpetrators of this abuse operate with near impunity, with only 5 convictions each year from over 1,000 complaints. Paz y Esperanza is the only organization that provides free comprehensive holistic care and full-representation legal services to survivors that live in very poor and ostracised communities.
In order to be of use in Ecuador we will definitely need to brush up on our Spanish language skills (which are rather limited at present!), and so we have decided that from January to April 2016 we will be moving to Spain to undertake a Spanish language immersion course at a specialist Spanish language school in Granada. We will then return to the UK in May to run a half marathon and fundraise before then heading off to Ecuador.
We have well and truly put all our eggs in God’s basket for this one. We’ve sold our house, sold our car and will be leaving our jobs to step out in faith for something we believe is close to God’s heart. And we would love for you to be part of this journey with us. There are several ways in which you can play a part in all this.
Firstly and most importantly, we would hugely value your prayers. The kind of things we’ll be getting up to are dangerous. So please do pray for our continued safety and courage as we take a stand for the vulnerable. Please do also pray for good working relationships with the Paz y Esperanza team, an ability to pick up the Spanish language quickly (especially for Paul!) and assistance with working out all the logistics.
Secondly, we are in need of a significant amount of financial resource to enable us to train up in the Spanish language and then volunteer for a year in Ecuador. We have done our best to scrimp and save as much as we can, but if you would like to contribute to our cause financially it would be hugely appreciated. You can do this by looking at the details below.
And thirdly, we’d love to keep you informed with what we’re up to at each step of the journey, so we’re planning on writing a regular blog. If you’d be interested in hearing from us just let us know your email address and we’d be delighted to keep you in the loop with all our very latest news (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you so much for reading.
All our love,
Paul and Jo