Dear Partners in Mission,
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,” Ecclesiastes 3:1. The season has come to be back in the Dominican Republic and for that I am grateful, to God and to you, for making it possible.
The start of the new term is always a bit hectic and this term has been no exception. My efforts to alleviate some of the stress around that week failed. Early in December I tried to communicate via email with the seminary, about housing possibilities, and the university, about possible class schedules. Receiving no replies compounded by the holidays through 3 Kings Day, left everything to the last minute. With classes at the university starting on Thursday, I met with the dean of the seminary that same day with the news that there is not room for me to stay there with any regularity. Going to the university to retrieve the materials I’d left for the other professors and get my class assignments later was unsuccessful, given the crush of students in the office who were overwhelming Pamela. A text Friday morning confirmed that I had neuro that afternoon. Not until arriving at the registrar’s office and requesting a copy of the student rosters for the two classes did I learn that I only have neuro this term. With that, the need for weekly overnight housing disappeared. I texted the other professor that she has the class she’d covered for me in the fall, about 4 hours before her class started. Last minute scramble, absolutely. God meeting my perceived needs, again, absolutely. God teaching me to trust in God’s provision rather than my own efforts is an ongoing process. Please keep praying!
God has blessed us greatly with your friendship, prayers and support. THANK YOU. This has been a busy year past and will be a busy year ahead. God has blessed us with a retirement from Heaven.
Polly is ever more involved with the local community. Apart from volunteering at the local thrift shop, primary school and our Church ministry, she now chairs the “Friends” of the local library. When the ground is not covered with snow, she is busy in the garden. Winter provides lots of time to cook, read and write while I am traveling. We minister together at the healing services at the Spiritual Life Center of the Diocese of Albany.
Last August, Polly was the featured speaker for Mothers’ Union of the Women of the Diocese of Toliara, Madagascar, where she ministered with the Rt. Rev. Todd and the Rev. Patsy MacGregor. She did really well, using a hands-on booklet of felt squares for evangelism and witness.
The climax of 2014 was a gala event to celebrate my 70th birthday. Family came from England, California, Ohio, Maryland and New York. What fun. I do not feel that old, and someone said that 70 is the new 50. We shall see.
In October I was surprised to be invited by Bishop Bill Love of Albany to be the interim priest in Cambridge, NY, which is only 8 miles from the diocesan Spiritual Life Center where Polly and I are members of the healing ministry. What a joy it is to serve St. Luke’s, Cambridge, on a part time basis. They are a small congregation and yet very much alive and spiritually energetic. They were thrilled to balance this ministry with my travel for SAMS and SOMA. Indeed one of the wardens, and family, was with us on a visit to Peru a few years ago. We are there for Sundays and then later in the mid week.
I have continued my ministry with SOMA and with SAMS. SOMA sent me to Myanmar and Kenya. With SAMS I was in Madagascar, Peru twice and spent some personal ministry time in Kenya with my old Diocese. While in Myanmar I was able to spend a morning (just short ride from Mandalay where I was speaking) discovering where my mother was born a hundred years before – very moving to visit the church and see the font where she was baptized in January 1915. I continue to serve on the board of SOMA-USA which is a delight.
This coming year looks busy. The SOMA board meets in early February, then Polly and I will spend St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland as representatives of the Diocese of Albany. We then go on to a family wedding in England at the end of March. May and June will hold two trips to Peru, the first for preparation for the June visit, and then mission work with the team from New Grace Anglican Church, Jacksonville, FL. In July, Polly and I return to Madagascar where SOMA will lead a men’s conference, and I have been asked to lead that team. We will probably combine Madagascar with a mission to Kenya so as to make sense of an expensive airfare.
We have our health and strength – God is so good. Thank you and bless you for your being so much a part of this exciting and fruitful time in our lives.
To those of you who have given financially, and I know sacrificially – a special thank you. The need continues as these trips to the far side of the world are getting expensive. SAMS handles all our ministry funding, including SOMA ministry. I have now led three SOMA teams, each on a different continent and with team members from different cultures. It is challenging and exhilarating as we seek to listen to God and minister accordingly. Without your support, daily prayers and passion for this ministry, God’s Kingdom would be diminished. THANK YOU and BLESS YOU.
In Christ’s love – Ian and Polly.
Tax-deductible contributions to the Montgomery’s ministry may be made online.
Checks may be sent to SAMS PO Box 399 Ambridge, PA 15003 –
in the memo line please note for “Montgomery Ministry.”