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Updates: Celebrations & Changes!- Warning-Cute baby pictures included!

Hello family & friends! 

Wow, I know that a LOT has been happening for all of us in this strange uncertain time. I want to update on what has been going on with myself and the World Race. But before we get to the current reality we are all facing, let’s back pedal to where I last left you guys, Indonesia. 

E-Squad Debrief & Training

Early February I flew to Bali, Indonesia for training and debriefing E-Squad who launched in January. Our debrief and training in Bali was incredible! We worshiped together, dug into the word together, and learned more about the Holy Spirit. We learned how He can be a part of our daily lives, as well as how He can lead us to minister to the people around us. Our debrief takes the first four days to focus on the health of the individuals and teams among the squad as well as hearing the Word from our Coaches (who visit the squad alongside me). Then for the training portion, we aim to focus on how to live our lives in a way that exudes, ‘life is ministry, ministry is life’. How do we stay attentive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding us toward people He wants us to share His love and truth to, even during the mundane routines of life- grocery shopping, laundry, exploring etc… Our aim is that they learn to live a life on His mission wherever they are. Even after the World Race when they don’t have assigned ‘ministry’ but are home working normal jobs. Do they know how to be a light for the Kingdom even in that! That is a huge goal of mine for these Racers to learn! That it’s not just what they can do for Him in these 11 months, but that it’s about transforming our whole selves to be continually on fire living our life fully for Him for the rest of our lives! I am happy to say, E-Squad is on the right track to see this vision realized in their lives! <3

(E-Squad, first day of Debrief in Bali!)

(Baptisms turned into everyone jumping in the pool after one of our training sessions. <3)

Y-Squad Debrief and Parent Vision Trip

From Bali I flew to Tbilisi, Georgia. Yes, Georgia the country not the state Georgia that I live in.  I know that is confusing! Haha In Tbilisi I met up with Y-Squad for a debrief as well as their Parent Vision Trip (PVT). Debrief for Y-Squad also went really well! They were at the end of 7 months on the field. We focused on bringing unity and refreshment to the teams. The Lord definitely breathed some new fresh life into this group and they were soon ready to go again! But before they headed to their next destination, Azerbaijan, we stuck around to see their parents! PVT is an opportunity for the parents to join their Racers on the mission field. They get to experience a little bit of what the Racers’ life on the field is like. I love PVT time. The Racers are the ones that teach and then send out their parents into ministry. It is a really cool time for me to see some fruit of my labor by watching the Racers train others in the things God has taught them during their time on the field. I always feel a weird mixture of being proud and wanting to cry at the same time! Y-Squad did a PHENOMENAL job training up their parents. And the parents had a great time too! 

(Y-Squad at debrief after a session on our identity in Christ!)

(Y-Squad with their parents during Parent Vision Trip!)

Called Homeward

About one week after I arrived back from my month long trip, we started encountering some serious issues because of the coronavirus that was spreading throughout the world which resulted in closed borders and potential quarantines. Our top priority was making sure our people were in areas where there were not huge breakouts, in countries that had adequate healthcare, and also in countries that were not going to close their borders or hold any of our participants in quarantine out of suspicion. We made a few decisions to change up some locations for both of my squads. However, as things progressed it became evident that this world issue was going to increase in size. On Saturday March 14th, the decision was made to pull all of our participants from the field and get them to the United States ASAP. With all the unknowns of what was happening, we did not want to risk them getting stuck in a country and not be able to make it home. 

We then launched to coordinate the return of over 550 missionaries from all over the world. It was a crazy time but many many people here worked around the clock to get it done ASAP! The decision was made on Saturday evening and by that Tuesday morning I was getting on a plane to New York to welcome my two squads who were both flying into JFK. It was a very sad and hard process. The Racers were in shock, frustrated, sad, grieving, and also in some levels relieved and glad to be home. I stayed in New York for two full days while 47 of my people flew in. Even though it was a tough situation, I was very thankful I was able to welcome them and catch up briefly before everyone headed in their different directions. 

Virtual Debriefs

Since their transition off the field was fast and unexpected, we were not able to do any of the debrief processes we have for returning home. Those processes have now been moved to virtual debriefing tactics. For the past month, my goal has been to connect with both squads for group and individual check-ins and going through transitioning materials. It has been a hard process but also a joy to be able to slow down and connect with so many of them through the weeks. Y-Squad was in month 8 out of 11, we are not planning on relaunching them once the virus is over. Since E-Squad was in month 3 of 11, we hope to still be able to send them back out whenever we can. But at this moment, like most everyone else right now, we are in a waiting game. 

(Zoom call with Y-Squad peeps! Such a fabulous time of connection and encouragement! <3)

How are YOU?!?

In this waiting season, I will continue to guide and care for my Racers who are now home. I also would like to pray and care for all of you! A lot of people are in hard places right now and I want to come alongside ALL of my friends and family in support and care! I would love to know how each of you are! Please don’t hesitate to message or call me. I would love to know how you and your family are doing and how I can be praying for you. So, how are you?

With Love,

Steph

*PS- On a personal note, February 26th my sister went into labor with my first NEPHEW, Davey Albert Rybarczyk! I just had to include his cuteness in here to uplift your spirits! <3

7 Comments

  1. Thanks Stephanie for sharing this great update. I look forward to rescheduling my trip to visit you. Love, Grandma.

  2. Great update. I love hearing about you are teaching your squads how to live a Holy Spirit led life. Comes via teaching then experiencing.

  3. Thank you for the update. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. I love hearing of the adventures and teaching and learning you all do.
    ??Raylene

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