Greetings from (a very) sunny California! News has been slow in coming over the last few weeks, but it is time for us to give you an update, and ask for your prayers as we continue the process of Deputation and seek partners to continue our ministry and mission in Belize!
But first things first, many of you have been waiting for pictures from the wedding! Our photographer has sent us the final cut of over 700 pictures, and they look amazing! Please feel free to check them out and to share in our joy!
Over the last few weeks, we have been visiting with churches and other supporters, even as Mary Beth has begun classes and we have almost completed the process of moving into our for-the-time-being studio apartment in Fullerton. On January 31st we were honored to visit Holy Trinity Parish (Ocean Beach), and the following Sunday, January 6th we returned to our primary sending church, the Anglican Church of the Resurrection (San Marcos) where they are already missing Mary Beth, her presence and her piano playing.
This weekend itself will prove to be quite busy. Tomorrow (Friday) I will be headed to a clergy meeting for the Diocese of Western Anglicans, and on Saturday will be presenting about our mission at the annual meeting of the diocesan House of Delegates (i.e. Synod). Immediately afterwards, we will then fly east to Nevada, where we will spend the rest of the weekend with the good people of Christ Church of the Sierra (Reno) who for years have been key supporters of our ministry. We plan to be back in Southern California again by Tuesday so that Mary Beth can get back on campus, preparing for her senior piano recital to be held on May 6th.
In other news, Lent has begun and with it a serious and introspective character to life. It is difficult for me to be away from my friends and ministry in Belize, and the somber mood of preparation for Holy Week and Easter seems to resonate for me during our sojourn away from the mission field proper. Financial support is coming slowly, and it is tempting to lose heart as we wait on the Lord. But Mary Beth and I believe that the Lord has indeed called us to Belize, and he will prepare the way for us to return. And so we ask you again to join in praying for God’s provision and providential hand in preparing the way for our speedy reunion with our beloved friends in the Cayo District.
In the meantime, things continue on very well at St. Andrew’s and St. Hilda’s. This past Sunday both churches held their Annual General Meetings, and with the guidance of Bishop Wright and Deacon Tulloch, the leaders for 2016 are already jumping into action. My “State of the Church” addresses (one for St. Andrew’s and one for St. Hilda’s) were given in my absence, and I commend them for your reading as well. I am excited to see where the Lord takes our churches over the next few months, just as I am excited to return and be wtih them once again.
So, thank you all for your prayers, for your support, and for your encouragement. May the Lord richly bless you!
War…and Rumours of War
Jesus, the Prince of Peace
“The tongue is a small thing, yet, …how great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” (James 3:5)
(Ps 112: 1,7) “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord…he is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”
Pray for the children
~ Please Pray with us ~
|St Frumentius students with Grant and faculty member Jeremiah Maet, taken the day before the trouble began.|
~ Pray for our wisdom and discernment regarding the safety and well-being of our staff and faculty.
“Mosquito” used in our Mothers’ Union teaching on Malaria, during the dramatic presentation of “Helping Each Other when Little Things cause Big Problems”
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
How can this not be one of the most wonderful, beautiful statements ever uttered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? It has comforted me and encouraged me many times over. The darkest time is no longer dark, but filled with the light of hope and love when I remember this promise. I will never be alone, never without love and hope, no matter what this life brings. I have repeated this to countless people suffering from tragedy, anguish, or fear. I pray it brings them the comfort it does me.
|This wasn’t Kennet’s first rodeo.
He knew what was coming!
Recently, it occurred to me that Jesus made this promise is not only for the diffiult times, but the happy ones too. It was hearing “SPLAT!” that did it. It began with a funny game I brought back from the US to play with the medium boys called “Pie In the Face!” It is a simple game. You spin the dial and turn a crank the required number of times, your face positioned just right. At a random moment, SPLAT! You get hit in the face by whipped cream! Hilarity ensues. Very quickly, the game devolved into taking turns getting hit in the face. Everyone had to participate!
It was as funny the 50th time as it was the first time. And who do you suppose laughed the hardest? I am sure it was Jesus, sitting there with us, holding his breath until Kennet, or any of us “lost” the game again, then bursting out laughing!
Then again, I heard a “SPLAT!” This time it was a water balloon. I don’t remember who the perp or the victim was but it didn’t matter because seconds later we had pandemonium. Water balloons flying across the courtyard, children shouting with victory or laughing in defeat. It was every man, woman, and child for themselves! Then….(imagine foreboding music) the big guns came out.
There was Menguin, house dad for the big boys, standing in the middle of the courtyard swinging a hose over his head, promising all a well aimed spray! That unleashed the more strategic warriors and the bowls and buckets appeared. Every faucet, placed for fire prevention, was going full force. Filling a constant supply of balloons, buckets, plastic cups and anything else that could hold water. And who was in the middle of it, pointing out vulnerable victims, directing balloons to their target? I am sure it was Jesus, whooping along with everyone else, laughing to see Menguin get his from a bucket from behind!
When Jesus promised to be with us always, he meant always and in every situation, including pie face and water wars. I was filled with joy when I could see him there, face covered with whipped cream and hair dripping wet from a well placed balloon strike. That is what love is…To cry with us, to struggle with us, to grieve with us, and to throw water balloons with us!
As the child’s hymn goes,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Dear Ones –
Thank you so much for sharing in the Peru
ministry last month. It was a good and fruitful time, though at times difficult.
The original plan was to celebrate Bishop Bill’s retirement and the consecration of two more Peruvian bishops. Neither happened as the plan to become a Province of the Anglican Communion was derailed. Bishop Bill has been asked to stay until the end of April and no bishops are scheduled to be consecrated. Quite how the future will unfold is unclear. My hunch is that there will be a bishop elected to become diocesan and then, after Bishop Bill returns to England, the development of Peru will continue.
There was much disappointment, indeed some fears for the future. I joined John and Susan Park – veteran SAMS missionaries and a team of three from the Diocese of Worcester, England, – including the Rt. Rev. Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley. We met and planned how we could help after the transition. While there, we all sought to exercise a ministry of encouragement and hope. Susan Park went to Arequipa, I went to Huancayo and Bishop Usher met with the new bishops.
I also spent time in San Mateo, Lima, where we sought solutions to their water problems – intermittent delivery and hugely polluted. Thanks be to God there are some solutions in sight thanks to a companion parish and “Living Waters for the World.” The school has huge needs – does anyone have a 16 camera security system the state is now mandating?
In Huancayo there are four clergy –all tent making so as to serve as priests and missionaries. There is one new candidate for ordination. They are under the leadership of Vicario Carlos Quispe. There are four missions and all are in rented property. The clergy there were despondent having just had two of their community depart for another denomination. They are dedicated and know how to reach into the communities across the valley from Jauja to Huancayo.
I am returning in March with a small team. Louie Midura is coming from my own parish and three or four will come from Grace Anglican in Florida. The goal is to introduce them to what God is doing at San Mateo in Lima and to give them a first look at Huancayo. Grace Anglican is sending a team in late July. This trip will give them a vision for Huancayo.
I want to give thanks for the success of the January trip. I had no altitude problems, my Spanish became fluent if imperfect and all travel was easy. Please pray for the same in March.
In late February I head to Florida to be with Grace Anglican and then on to a SOMA board meeting. In April I shall be at the New Wineskins conference in North Carolina, preceded by the SAMS missionary retreat where I am to lead worship.
Thanks for your continued support. As ever, we need financial support as well as lots of prayers. We are a team – senders and sent. Bless you all,