Dear family & friends,
We trust that 2021 has started well for you. This past year has been like few others in our journey, and we expect that many of you have similar stories. Here are a few points of update.
Zoom! Zoom! Not sure if you remember the Mazda ads, but Zoom Zoom is the new reality for much of our work. We are thankful that so much can happen virtually and that there are platforms like Zoom (and a whole host of other online platforms) that allow us to continue to connect with people on various levels.
Leadership Matters Course (LMC) (wetrainleaders.org).
Both of us continue to be involved in training leaders internationally. Michelle is part of the pioneering team that is doing the first set of training virtually at a global level. Currently she is training from 10:00pm until midnight on Tuesdays and then coaching on Thursday nights with leaders from Taiwan, Philippines, and India. She is also on the committee to get a combination retreat/virtual training course going inside of Canada. Murray continues to be on the leadership team for the Spanish version of this leadership course, meeting monthly with the Spanish trainers and working towards a virtual version and hoping for an in-person training course in 2022. Please pray that this essential leadership course will continue to meet the ever-changing needs of leaders around the world.
TeachBeyond Mexico / BridgeWay North American School
One of Murray’s ongoing engagements is being on the boards of these two organizations. TeachBeyond Mexico provides training and resources for schools in Mexico that are interested in doing transformational education. BridgeWay is one of the key schools in Mexico City that provides for the needs of MKs from various mission organizations, and is a lighthouse in the community. Currently the school (like all Mexican schools during Covid) is limited to virtual school. BridgeWay is doing a great job at continuing to provide great education. You can check out the website here. You can check out TeachBeyond’s website here.
University of British Columbia
As some of you know, Murray is doing further studies as a grad student at UBC Okanagan. His area of focus has to do with the role and impact of religious institutions in refugee settlement in Kelowna. All of the research data has been gathered and he is moving into the thesis writing process this month. The research process has opened doors for all kinds of new relationships with people from various cultures and walks of life.
Over the last few months we have both had the opportunity to give the leadership workshops for the Levite Summit (you can check Levite Summit out here). Jon Buller and his team do an excellent job at equipping those who lead churches in music, worship, and the arts. It has been a privilege to add in the leadership skills component into this training.
The Alliance Church in Canada
We continue to serve the churches in BC with regards to their global involvement. The current Covid restrictions in the province mean that we cannot meet physically with pastors/leaders nor visit churches, though we do continue to meet virtually with them and small groups. Please be in prayer for local church leaders as they navigate so many ongoing dynamics. Pray for wisdom as they think creatively about opportunities and challenges around the corner and around the world. You can also pray with us that more doors will open to serve these churches in the months to come.
As for many of you, getting together with family can be very challenging in these days of higher restrictions. We have learned to find creative ways to be together outdoors. A winter skate on a nearby pond, walks, and other activities will have to suffice for now. We are so proud of Myles and Mikaela who both graduated from Okanagan College in January – Myles in engineering and Mikaela in marketing. They are both employed full time in their fields and are really enjoying their career choices. Mattea is in her last semester of nursing at UBC and will graduate in April. Mitch & Lauren continue with life and work in Vernon, caring for Emil, and awaiting the arrival of their next child in July 2021. We feel so blessed to live near our family at this time.
Thank you for your ongoing love, support, and prayer for us. If you would like to support our work you can give here. Your ongoing prayers for the above mentioned areas would be much appreciated. And feel free to leave a comment and give us an update on yourself and how we can be praying for you.
Murray & Michelle