Dear Family & Friends,
May 2017 be an amazing year for each of you. Here are a few snippits from our lives in 2016, starting in April.
In April we were able to make a stop in Costa Rica where our teammates, Curtis & Linda Doell, help train local leaders who are doing an amazing job at seeing neglected communities transformed in many different ways.
We were also part of a consultation in April regarding the role of various partners (Canada, US, Chile, and Peru) in Cuba. What a great sense of camaraderie and solidarity, especially facing the various changes that are happening between the US and Cuba at this time.
In May the biggest accomplishment was the launch of the Leaders Matters Course (wetrainleaders.org) in Spanish. This was the culmination of 4 years of planning and mini courses. What a great success it was. The next one in Spanish is planned for August 2017 with an even greater number of Spanish trainers. We are excited about this leadership skills course.
At the end of May, beginning of June our Canadian Alliance family had our get together at General Assembly. What a time of refreshing and a time to see God doing many really cool things among us. We feel privileged to be part of C&MA Canada (cmacan.org).
Later on in June we went to Winnipeg to celebrate Kilcona Park Alliance Church’s 40th Anniversary (www.kilcona.org). This was where we “cut our teeth” in pastoral ministry from 1987 to 1991, and where our boys were born (while living in our first “owned” house ever :0). It was great to be together with so many people we intersected with during those important and fruitful years.
We spent Canada’s 149th birthday in Victoria, BC and on the island with family and friends. What a great heritage we have in this country and we are so thankful for all the support we get from here. We truly are blessed people.
In July we got to spend some time in Mexico, partly on holiday, then on retreat with our teammates there, plus speaking in a couple of churches in Guadalajara (which was our first international post 1992-2001). It was wonderful to reconnect with so many people.
One of the key activities in August was visiting Chile – Santiago, Temuco, Quellón, and Iquique. What an amazing country, full of people that are so warm hearted and hospitable. We made many new friends and ministry partners in the 9 days that we were there. It was winter in August :0).
In September we got to spend some time in Kelowna and area. We had Gabriel & Iris Li, our team leaders for the work in Aruba, with us and got to show them some of the beauty of the Okanagan.
October saw us back in Toronto for our regular meetings with other regional and district leaders from CMA Canada. On a weekend retreat with our global team we were able to stop by Niagara Falls, ON. What an amazing place. Truly one of this world’s natural wonders.
From Toronto Murray was able to travel on to Turkey for a conference of Latin international workers sent out from many South America countries. The conference was held close to the ancient city of Ephesus on the Aegean Sea. It is so good to look back at history and realize that although the city, that was host to a famous New Testament Church, is no longer there, the faith that inspired that church stills lives even stronger in most of the globe.
From Turkey, Murray was able to attend the Alliance World Fellowship meetings in Bangkok, Thailand. Once again the gathering of Alliance people was inspiring, especially with leaders there from Syria and Iraq where so much conflict is happening and where the church is staying and working closely with refugees. Mitch (who lives in Qatar) joined Murray in Thailand for some adventure :0).
November was a full month, with trips to: Whistler, BC for the district pastors retreat; Paraguay to help get the Maskells settled in their new location; Venezuela to speak in some churches, help formulate an aid plan, and spend time with our teammates there (Wong, Hiebert, and Dyer); Panama to meet up with some of our Chinese partners; and Mexico to spend a few days orienting our new team leaders there (Blake & Kathy Penson).
We were all back together in the snowy Okanagan for December. Mitch & Lauren came in from Qatar, Myles from Chilliwack, and Miki from Vernon for some fun and special Christmas celebrations.
From our family to yours, we trust that 2017 will be an amazing year for each of you. May faith rise up in you and may your relationship with God fill the caverns of your life.
Murray & Michelle
Some Prayer Items:
- We head back to Mexico mid January to spend time with our regional leadership team (Jan 14-21). Pray for the Spirit of God to do His work among us during that time together.
- Michelle has a leadership development course for women that she will participate in as well (Jan 23-29). Pray that the material will be useful for the development of female leaders throughout the region.