Testimonial

Meet FMTM’s New Director: A Personal Introduction

family
Fun Facts: This is a photo of me with my favorites (Richard, my husband; and Sofia, our daughter). I love coffee, baking to share, and recording music with my husband. I can’t wait to meet you!

Hello FMTM Friends,

I pray this New Year be filled with much light, growth and abundant joy!

I am thrilled to serve with you as FMTM’s new Executive Director. With your love and support, as well as the wisdom of those who have gone before, I am jumping in with both feet and my whole heart.

After serving in Chimbote, Peru for 2 years with the Incarnate Word Missionaries, I leaned on FMTM’s support as I transitioned back into life here in the US. I had been working full-time at Centro AMAR with women and children involved in prostitution and human trafficking. I had seen, heard and worked through many challenges and triumphs. I had fallen in love with the warm and welcoming local community and the way and pace of life, and leaving was painful. I returned home wrestling with an array of emotions.

I found it essential to connect with others who had been transformed by mission, who crossed borders and cultures, who had seen violence and poverty in a developing nation, and who had experienced community and hospitality differently. I needed help figuring out what was next for me. Nothing seemed as important, or as intense and needed as what I was doing in Peru. FMTM allowed me see beyond where I was and focus on how I was living in the present; FMTM helped me understand that true mission extends into all that I do no matter where I am.

Since my time in Peru, I have been shaped by marriage and motherhood, working with survivors of domestic violence, young mothers working toward self-sufficiency, selfless social service providers, and for-profit and not-for-profit leaders who put people and mission first everyday. I am a learning leader and strive to continue to build a toolbox to do mission-based work well. With this toolbox and a heart for mission, I am committed to leading From Mission to Mission to its future. With your help, I hope to reach more and more people who need our expertise, to find home again within themselves as they navigate major transitions.

We have big dreams for expanding our support to missionaries going forward by allowing for greater access to our services through the versification of mediums and the addition of another staff member. Please reach out if you’re interested in getting involved by sharing your ideas or by taking a more active role as a volunteer on our Board, or as a general volunteer offering your gifts and skills in service to FMTM. It takes a village, and you are ours!

Here is to living mission together!

Peace and goodness to you and yours,

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Kelli Nelson

Testimonial

Joyana Jacoby on FMTM Experience

“The From Mission to Mission Re-entry Workshop provided me space to continue to unpack and put into perspective the many struggles and joys I had witnessed and lived”-Joyana Jacoby

“I grew up in central Wisconsin and now live in Chicago. My heart has residence in many places including central Mexico. I served in Leon, Guanajuato for two years as a Good Shepherd Volunteer. I went ready to “listen exquisitely to another way of living on the other side of the border.” There, I accommpanied women in a sewing cooperative, taught English, and worked at a girls’ boarding school. I learned new depths of patience and human resiliency, how to work in a relaxed manner, and the meaning of being a woman in today’s world.

While ready to return ‘home’ after 2 intense years of growth I knew I would have a lot of unfolding to do upon my return. The From Mission to Mission Re-entry Workshop provided me space to continue to unpack and put into perspective the many struggles and joys I had witnessed and lived. It was a sacred space to honor my experience, including the painful and difficult parts, share stories with people who really listened and allowed for ‘my spirit to catch up with me.’ Having the opportunity to spend a weekend with kindred spirits was a pure gift and helped me as I moved to integrating what I learned in Mexico into life here.

I am currently the Service Immersion Coordinator at DePaul University where I have the opportunity to accompany students during transformational immersion experiences.”