“Jesus commands us to get in the boat with Him to cross over to the other side…it is not the other way round.” While at first this seems to be a rather simple statement, the words of the speaker at chapel this past Thursday at Trinity School for Ministry struck a chord. When one seeks to follow Jesus, you follow, you do not lead, and when you follow where He leads, exciting things happen…storms are calmed and demoniacs are set free.
So we have climbed into the boat with Jesus…again…
This past week, our first week back in the US, has been both uplifting and encouraging. We had a debriefing meeting with the SAMS leadership, and a wonderful luncheon given in our honour. We attended many lunches and dinners with dear friends, and visited with Barb Costa in her lovely home where we have been staying. We heard wonderful sermons in the chapel and attended informative lectures on Discipleship with the Rev Dr Amy Schifrin. People we have never met before would come up and tell us they have been praying for us. Quite a few students told me that they had read my doctoral dissertation on Missions. Really? Apparently, they were told to do so by the faculty. And we also were told: “You two are so stinking cute!” Thank you Lord…you have spoiled us.
We will also be attending a “class” on Monday on how to prepare short-term missionaries taught by our very own Lynn Bouterse of SAMS-USA. Thanks Lynn!
God willing we will leave Ambridge on January 24, and sleep over in Charlotte with our youngest and his family. Amelia is over a year old now…we last saw her when she but a babe in arms. On January 25, we plan to leave for Greenville and will be with Larry and Tess Worley until the 27th.
SOOO…Greenville friends, let’s hear from you…we have only one night this time round, so we could plan a general get together…but we shall return…so stay tuned…
On January 27 we plan to leave for Mobile to be with our oldest and his family…we haven’t seen them for an even longer period of time as last time they were all sick and could not join us at Camp St Christopher’s. We hope to attend Holy Spirit Anglican on January 29…they have been great prayer warriors and supporters and we long to see them again too. Our children have planned a family getaway for us all in the GA mountains so, God willing, we will all be together even though only for a brief period of time.
On February 20 we plan to leave for Charleston to see friends and supporters in both the Diocese of the Carolinas and the Diocese of South Carolina. We will be staying at Camp St Christopher’s so we hope to see many of you while we are there. On February 26 we will be speaking at the Historic Church of the Epiphany in Eutawville, SC…but the other days and nights are wide open!
On February 27 we plan to leave for Greenville and will stay there until early March…see, I told y’all Greenvillians to stay tuned!
That’s as far as we have planned for now…
While we are still in the same boat…with Jesus and with SAMS-USA…we will be crossing over to a different side.
God willing, we will join “Growing the Church”, a team of committed Anglicans who seek to teach discipleship, prayer, and missions to individuals and groups in parishes in seven southern African countries: Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, and the St Helena island group. We hope to be based in Kenilworth, South Africa, a suburb of Cape Town.
However, as the cost of living is higher in South Africa (especially the rent!) than in Ethiopia, we will have to raise US$1,500 per month more than what we currently receive. SAMS will also have a special project account for us for transportation, as we will be travelling quite a bit from Diocese to Diocese and country to country. Both of these can be accessed in the same giving page on the SAMS-USA website: https://give.samsusa.org/missionaries(Please note that while our current SAMS-USA page still has us down as missionaries to Ethiopia, Bonnie Walker is busy creating an amazing new page for us as missionaries to Southern Africa!)
Will you hop into this boat with us? We already have a number of faithful friends hoisting the sails with us, so to speak, and we are and always will be eternally grateful for y’all.
Do you perhaps know of others who might want to partner with us in this new adventure? Please let us know who they are or let them know who we are!
We can only promise exciting things happening ahead as the church in Southern Africa stands at a crossroads…political solutions have failed in so many ways and the people are disillusioned…South Africa, among others, is now listed as one of the most dangerous tourist destinations in the world! The folks here need Jesus and what better method than to come alongside and walk with them as Jesus walked with His disciples? Discipleship, prayer, and missions.
Let’s go sailing together, shall we?