This summer signaled the end of our initial commitment to 24-7 Ibiza, and so we have been spending the last few months considering whether we should commit to a further 2 – 3 years here, or whether it was time to move back to the UK.
As in all of these types of decisions there have been many factors involved as we prayed, chatted, reminisced and also imagined future in each place. We now have Solomon and so distance from extended family is heightened, but both Ibiza and the UK are a great place to bring him up; we have done 3 1/2 intensive years and need to grow team, but this can be done; there is great quality of life here, but there are more opportunities in the UK to grow and develop as people; we have friends here and we have friends at home; sunshine here and erm well not sunshine in the UK….
Ultimately, either option has it benefits and challenges, but we have sensed that God has been leading and directing our thoughts towards relocation, and we have now committed to that move, by the end of 2016.
We are so grateful to God for our time here and it has certainly been shaping, challenging and life giving; we have made mistakes and grown immensely. We feel as though this time in Ibiza has been an absolute gift for us – and now it is time for us to give it back. It is a place where we have spent almost all of our married life, learning to lead the work together, exploring life here and having the privilege of spending time with some incredible people who have come on many of our mission teams during the last four seasons.
We have been so warmly welcomed by the local expat and the wider Ibicenco community of Ibiza, and have gained some very dear friends, who will be difficult to leave.
In our time here we have seen growth and change in San Antonio: the development of new aspects of the work, mainly prison visiting and providing support for women who work in the sex industry in San Antonio. We have also had the privilege of sharing the beginning of the journey of 24-7 Prayer in Sa Penya with the Hampsons. And we have seen the pre-existing work in the West End, providing prayer and help, grow stronger. We have also seen the foundations laid for an Ibiza-shaped expression of Christian community to grow, identifying and practicing key values which we believe God has formed in and through us as a beginning for all-year-round community life.
We fully believe in what God is doing in Ibiza – we continue to see incredible works of God’s power and presence here. In the words of a song we have been listening to – ‘He has been faithful to plant the seeds and He will be faithful to always send the rain’. There are greater things to come for Ibiza.
And so…..we need to now find some wonderful people who are going to take this work on and continue what has been established here over the last 15 years. If you feel prompted, or have done in previous years, that being a part of the permanent team here in Ibiza is something that God may be inviting you to do, then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Our return to the UK is still a year away and we are very much looking forward to our final season of 2016. Teams are certainly starting to fill up but we are still looking for more long term team members to spend extended time with us helping to lead and facilitate this coming summer. Why not join with us this year? More information and application forms can be found at http://teams.24-7ibiza.com
If you have any questions, queries or comments about any of this, then please feel free to contact us on the email address above.
Charlie and Abby (and Solomon!)