Derksen Feb/Mar 2017 Update

Hello dear friends,

We trust that spring is upon you (if you are in North America that is :0).  It is beginning in the Okanagan and we are thankful after a rather long winter (snowiest winter in the Okanagan in at least 20 years).

February was another great month of seeing things move forward in many ways.  Murray was in El Salvador with Leadership Matters (wetrainleaders.org).  We have the second full Spanish course coming up this August 13-26 (Lima, Peru).  In preparation we needed to train some of the new trainers so met up in El Salvador.  People came from 6 countries and 5 different organizations.  We had a great week together.

Murray was also able to spend a meal time with Carlos Calderón, leader of the Alliance movement in El Salvador.  It is always a pleasure to spend time with national leaders.  They had a great heart conversation.

Twice a year we get together with the Alliance leaders from across Canada and around the world.  We are thrilled to be a part of a movement that is reaching the least reached globally and in Canada.  It is a privilege to sit at the table with these leaders.

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Among these leaders are long time friends.  Michelle is standing with Joanne (Gould) Beach (Director of Justice & Compassion) and Bernie Van De Waal (Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Ambrose University).  These three were in the youth group together at Hillsdale Alliance in Regina in the ’70’s!

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In the few days between Toronto and Cuba, we had some family come up from Florida for a visit.  It is always good to see our nephews and niece – Burt, Randy, and Melissa Petrescue.

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Amidst our travels, Michelle is working on getting her Certification in Conflict Resolution and Third Party Mediation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).  In March she had a chance to teach 20 women leaders in Cuba with this information (see below).

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From Cuba Michelle traveled to Costa Rica where she met up with Murray (and Mattea and her friend Hailee) for some time with the Doells and Perrys on retreat.

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We really do have the privilege of working with some great people, in some really cool places.  Since we were there in Costa, we took the last few days of March (Mattea’s spring break) as holiday.  It was good to be back in Costa Rica and we took lots of time to process once again the reality that we are not living there any longer.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for us these last 2 months.  We plan to update this blog at the end of April with some more pics and short updates.

Murray & Michelle

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