Mission Partner Update - Aaron & Alexis Gurkin
ARE YOU READY FOR IT?
As the summer winds down, we hope that you have enjoyed a slower pace, good time with family and friends, and beautiful weather! This has been a summer of transition for us as our niece, Hailey, returned back home to south Florida and we have sought to find a new / return to normal as a family of five and help two of our kids gear up for the next phase of academics. We will miss Hailey dearly and continue to pray for God's goodness and guidance in her life.
We find ourselves occupied with planning and preparing for a busy fall season in ministry and as a family. Caleb will begin his junior year at our local high school, and Luke will join him as a freshman. Caleb has already been back at his 12-hour practice days with marching band and Luke hopes to join the cross country team, with whom he's been practicing this summer. Susanna ended her elementary school career and will start middle school this fall at a hybrid school. We are looking forward to having her home more with us during these sweet tween years. She's excited to be one of three 6th graders to have earned a spot on the middle school volleyball team and it's fun for us to see her love a sport Alexis played as well.
This will be a heavy travel year for us as both our roles will send us to visit teams around the world. As an International Sending Coordinator, Aaron will be in Houston in August for the Global Briefing, a conference for which he has been serving on the Design Team to plan and provide operational support and where he will emcee. At Global Briefing, our international teams will receive the last of their stateside training before heading to their overseas assignments.
In September Aaron will be in Minneapolis for his International Sending Guild meetings, and Thailand in January for mid-year conferences with our teams serving in Asia. In her role on the People and Culture team, Alexis will be traveling all over the southeast for campus team visits, starting with Clemson in October. Team visits are invaluable as they let us encourage and shepherd teams by being with them in their contexts, and offer developmental content and organizational direction where needed. We will meet with entire teams and one-on-one with each staff member, allowing us greater insight into team health, ministry fruitfulness, and any special needs that need to be addressed.
Another exciting development is that Alexis will be returning to campus this year. Though her primary role is as the CORE Training Coordinator for our ministry geography (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina), where she helps oversee the first two years of theological development and ministry skills training for all our new missionaries, she was praying about an opportunity that would allow her to engage more actively with college students in a way that would complement and inform her training focus with our Cru staff. So, this August, she will be back up at Kennesaw State University leading a small group bible study and discipling some student leaders.
We are trusting God for great things this fall, in our family and ministry! It is going to be an exciting time of new opportunities and experiences for all of us, and we are so grateful for your prayers that sustain us.
Aaron and Alexis