Newsletter: July 2016

When Louise was considering my proposal of marriage 32 years ago she thought: “Well, if I marry him, I will never be rich, but my life will never be boring.” So, she married me and life has never been boring. But we are rich…rich in the Lord and rich because we have each other…and rich because serving the Lord is always rewarding, especially when one thinks it isn’t. That’s the time to keep your eye peeled for the real treasures in life.
July has not been a boring month. We ended June on a very high note having just had nearly two weeks of prayer with James and Julie Conlon from South Carolina. We started July on a very high note too with the arrival of Frances Metcalfe…she came as a SAMS Bridger (http://samsusa.org/content/go-bridger) to teach our compulsory English Intensive Course…and boy, was she good! We hope to have her back next year, with Charlie, her husband.
We had a number of applicants, but it soon became clear that some could not understand even simple instructions in English. To cut a long (and somewhat painful – it is never enjoyable to send a prospective student away) story short, we now have eleven brand new students starting – YIKES! – next Tuesday! You have been receiving short bios about them for two weeks now and we will continue to send them out until you know them all.
The special thing about this year’s intake is that three of our students are from the Mabaan people group…history in the making. Praise God for these three men! Please pray that the refugee camp authorities will allow them to relocate to Gambela so that they may attend the College.
WE NEED SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EVERY ONE OF OUR NEW STUDENTS! Please pray for us. If you know someone who might be willing to sponsor a student, please let me know asap. We need US$ 3,500 per student per year, which includes their tuition, board and lodging, travel and per diem (for going home, field education and research placements), and basic medical costs. See how to give below.
On a personal note, Louise and I have been in South Africa for two weeks seeing doctors and dentists. Louise had to have a root canal done and I had to have several follow-ups with my cardiologist. My heart is fine…even the battery in my pacemaker is doing great…but apparently I have a wee bit of a holdover from the postoperative seizure and stroke…something they call focal epilepsy…which sounds far worse than what it actually is. So, new meds for me…zip-a-dee-doo-dah…and no driving for a while.
We leave for Addis tomorrow night and for Gambela early Monday morning. We start the new College year with a bang. A professor from Addis will be coming down with us to teach African Church History to our second and first year students as well as our part-timers. Thanks to the gracious gift from Pastor Mike Hellum or Westmark Church (https://westmarkefc.org/) to Langham Literature (http://us.langham.org/what-we-do/langham-literature/) in our name we have been able to buy all the books we need for our students this semester. 
We have found that the postal service in Gambela is working well…Karen Salmon used to receive small care packages on a regular basis and we have received letters and a book so far. So, if you would like to mail something small to us, try the following address:
St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College
Gambella Anglican Centre,
PO Box 177, Gambella, Ethiopia
If you would like to make a donation to the College, here’s how:

In the UK

If you live in the UK you can send £ Sterling cheques*, payable to “FACE” to:
Friends of the Anglican Church
in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa
Gresham Lodge
52 Westerfield Road
Ipswich IP4 2UT
* Donations made by UK taxpayers through the Friends of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia may be eligible for Gift Aid. If you would like to Gift Aid your donation visit the FACE website for more information.

In the USA

If you live in the USA you can send US$ cheques**, made payable to “FADE” to:
FADE
2104 Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
** Donations made by US citizens through the Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt (a 501(c)3 organisation) may be eligible for tax relief. 

In Canada

If you live in Canada you can either send a cheque to:
Devxchange
PO Box 224
Barrie, ON L4M 4T2
or donate online using PayPal or your credit card right HERE.
If your donation is for scholarships, please make sure you make that clear on the check memo line or the space provided online.
Thank you again and again for your support and love and your encouragement. I know we seem to say this every time, but we really do mean it: we simply cannot do this without you.
Many blessings and tons of love

Johann and Louise

INTRODUCING OUR NEW STUDENTS: YOHANNES ABRAHAM HARUM

Yohannes Abraham Harum is a 23 year old, dynamic Christian man. He is not married. He told us that it was his father’s consistent Christian witness that brought him to Jesus in 2009. It is evident that the SIM missionaries to the Mabaan did an excellent job at explaining the Gospel to these dear folks as well as their need to disciple others. 

Yohannes told us that he has been in a refugee camp for 7 years together with a number of other young Christian Mabaan. They decided to get together every evening, except Sundays, to hold Evening Prayer services. The non-Christian camp authorities promptly arrested them all! Their pastor came and told the authorities to put him in prison too with them, as he was their leader…they were all set free…and have not stopped praising the Lord since! 

Yohannes wants to be a pastor. He would also like to translate the Bible into Mabaan. Pray that the camp authorities will allow him to relocate to Gambela so that he may pursue his studies with us at St Frumentius.

INTRODUCING OUR NEW STUDENTS

Ojulu Omot Obang is not married…not by choice though. The price to marry is simply too high…a sad reality of a culture not yet completely changed by the Christian worldview. 

Ojulu met Jesus in Kenya and has served Him ever since. Before coming to College, he lived in an area rife with conflict between different people groups. When asked what his goal is in life he simply replied: “I want to be a peacemaker or reconcile when there is conflict between people.” (His own words.)

July Newsletter

Bishops’s chapel, Belize City, Belize, C.A. A place of spiritual
 nourishment. Where diocesan staff devotions take place, weekly. Photo by the Rev. Dr. Shaw Mudge, (c) 2016.
Bitten by the bug.
When it comes to missionary work, I have been bitten by the missionary bug. I can’t seem to get it out of my system. And this is confirmed by the fact that my identity is now perceived by many people solely as a missionary, especially those who have not known me in other roles.
Multi-cultural environments have become a way of life. Living on the edge in culture is an exhilarating way of life. Watching what the Holy Spirit does through us is a way of life. And the lessons from missionary life are sometimes lessons that we pass along which help make spreading the Gospel more effective in the U.S. for other folks.
Being bitten by the missionary bug, is being a third culture Christian, living in the mindset of at least two cultures, though as I look ahead to 2017, it could be simultaneously four cultures. People ask how I can do it. It is like any skill: practice, practice, and practice.  
Isn’t it dangerous? Yes and no. There are moments of excitement. Being aware of my surroundings, and taking necessary precautions to guard against unnecessary risks, living in moderation and according to cultural norms: it helps keep me on top of my game, so to speak.
What about spreading the Gospel? That is what I do regularly, in one form or another. Simply be alert to what God has in mind. Spreading the Gospel occurs in word and deed. It always includes following the lead of the Holy Spirit into God-incidences.
Over time, we may end up with interesting results, such as this month, which includes moving ever closer to the publication of Spanish Prayer Book for the Province of the Church in the West Indies and the ordination of 3 priests in Belize, a historic moment for the Church in Belize. July marks my 14th trip to Belize since 2012, and Julie is joining me, making a return trip, as well. The results are cumulative, over time.
And we could not have caught the bug without your prayer and financial support. We are ambassadors for Christ. Thank you for enabling us to do what Jesus has called us to do. In that sense, we are your ambassadors as well.
God bless you,
In Jesus,
Fr. Shaw, and on behalf of Mtr. Julie.
SAMS missionaries with the Diocese of Belize.
Support.
Please pray, and continue to make checks out to: “SAMS“. Put “Shaw and Julie Mudge” in the memo, to support what we are doing.
Mailing address:
SAMS,
P. O. Box 399,

Ambridge, PA 15003-0399

Chicago, this is my love letter

There are lots of reasons not to move into the city. Street parking
and tickets, loud laundromats, crime. You can’t deny it: the city is messy. And
quite literally so. The snow is black, you get soaked carrying your groceries
into your apartment in the rain, there is garbage in the gutters. But having
lived in inner city Chicago, there is something about the urban scene that I just
can’t shake.

This is where I became who I am. Where I chose to launch
myself out of the safe financial fold of my parents’ provision and into the
abyss called adulthood. And the city caught me. Knowing a city as an adult is
completely different from knowing it as a child (except for memorizing where
the McDonalds are. Somethings never change.)   I paid
rent for the first time here, learned how to cook for myself, dated with more
mistakes than success, figured out how to see my friends when they weren’t
right across the hallway from me, worked a job that was not my fave to say the
least, and filled my free time with things that mattered to me.

I love this city. You sheltered me when I needed it but also woke
me up to the needs of our community and nation. No matter where I live, part of
my heart will always be here, among the overpacked highways and the tamale
carts, the quiet corners of the 570 public parks and the bougie gelato places,
the brownstone buildings and the CTA stops. 

Chicago, if you couldn’t tell by now,
this is my love letter. And I will miss you something fierce.  

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