This post is gonna be epic!
First things first: We are alive and well! This last month we...
Witnessed the "bwessed awangement" of our friends Amanda and Levi
Visited our families in Fresno and Oakhurst
Our sweet niece Ava Karlyn Nash was born!
Worked our butts off at our jobs (jk- just Justin works hard- I just stare at this all day)
Learned SO MUCH about the character of God
Discovered more about our future with YWAM (it's still happening- don't freak)
Went on a few Dolphin Quest tours (why not when it's free!- Thanks Mike!)
"Let's get down to the nitty gritty"
I (Korina) have been getting more involved with the worship team here at Singing Waters and it has blessed me so much to see God moving. There is so much for me to learn but just saying "use me" was the best thing I volunteered myself for ...probably ever. I have been using the gifts I have been blessed with to try and help others here discover their purpose in the Lord. Work is keeping me busy in between everything else going on and I am blessed so much to be able to see the ocean every day.
I am realizing more, as time goes by, that I am eager to expand in the world of hospitality. I want so much for people who are far from home to feel a little less homesick by making them a meal, creating a comfortable environment for them to relax, and share long extravagant stories about our different adventures. I have no idea what that means long term or how it will play out but when I talk about it my heart just about jumps out of my chest.
I am trying to acclimate to living in a place where most people have a generational history and something I like to call "islander fervor" -which is really just pride in never having lived anywhere other than Avalon, having your whole family here for generations and all the glorious entitlement that encompasses it. Most islanders are hesitant to change and no matter how deep you think your roots go here - someone else's grow deeper. I can respect that sense of pride, but it also makes ministry hard, especially when you are "young and idealistic". Anything that can be suggested is usually taken with a grain of salt on your merit alone as a non-islander. We are prayerfully trying to pursue the hearts of the community here while also maintaining the respect they expect. Its a thin line.
As in any culture, we are trying to remain respectful to the hard work the ministries here have worked so long to establish while also bringing a fresh set of eyes to the equation. Having an "Encouragement Board" in our room helps too...
Meanwhile, we have been discipled in a way neither of us could expect. Being surrounded by so many mature believers has raised our standards for our own walks with God. We have learned so much about the character of God and really fallen in love with who He is all over again. We are so excited to share more of Him with the unreached people of the world in practical and unexpected ways. We have been encouraged to engage our community with intentional relationships and service.
Justin has been really blessed by his job lately with plenty of hours to keep him busy but not so much to take away from his work at the church. His chef has taken him under her wing and developed his skills exponentially in just a few short months. He is learning more specifically about creating menus that cater to dietary restrictions while maintaining a respect for the ingredients and processes used. He is being mentored still by Enrique (our main pastor here) and learning more about teaching and leading in the church body.
We are so excited for the carnival that is the summer season in Avalon! We are really stoked to work a bit more and save some money for our next steps toward doing a Discipleship Training School. Everyone who lives here year round usually have a few jobs and work work work through the summer to sustain themselves for the rest of the year, so we are jumping on that bandwagon with the rest of the locals. Our jobs provide ample opportunity to love on people (even tourists!) and we are looking forward to this next season.
Some things to pray about for us:
Financial coverage for our next step toward YWAM
Wisdom regarding when and where we are doing a DTS
Continued breakthrough with our congregation as we enter into a season of JOY
Our relationships we are establishing here and their continued growth
YWAM Yosemite as they enter into their first DTS in the fall, for a vehicle for them and the property they are actively pursuing- that God would be big and cover their finances above and beyond what they could ever expect.
Please let us know how we can be praying for you as well! Comment here or shoot us e-mails or a good old fashion post is always well received if you feel so inclined :)
Justin and Korina Barigian
PO Box 1101
Avalon, CA 90704