Dear Family & Friends,
Greetings to you from Kelowna, BC. We trust that each of you are experiencing the presence of our heavenly Father, who loves us all and watches over us in so many ways.
This has been an interesting season in all of our lives. It is hard to describe the varied emotions that we have experienced in this last year. In November 2019 we had a conversation with our leadership in The Alliance Canada, letting them know that we would step down as the regional leadership couple for Latin America by June 30, 2020. Little did we know that we would go through that transition in the middle of a pandemic! They graciously gave us a one year home assignment and we have used this time to assist churches with their vision for global involvement, to work on education, and to discern what was next for us.
It has become clear to us that we are to remain in Kelowna. Michelle will pursue a more focused coaching career (with an emphasis in conflict engagement training, coaching, and mediation). Murray will pursue a PhD at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, in September 2021. This will allow us to be close to our family and help care for some of their needs. We are also looking at the ways that we can more fully engage our own community through involvement and research.
The end of this month marks 29 years as international workers with The Alliance Canada. This career has had us living in Canada, USA, Mexico, Egypt, and Costa Rica; and traveling to many countries and falling in love with people from so many different nationalities, cultures, and languages.
Thank you for walking alongside of us in this journey. Many of you have partnered with us in so many ways – friendship, moral support, financial support, emotional support, and your prayers for us have made a difference. “Thank you” just doesn’t seem sufficient, but it is what we pass on to you – our gratitude for believing in us.
Since our last update earlier this year, we have continued to speak virtually in churches, done leadership seminars, spoken in international conferences in Spanish, mentored young leaders, led and participated in boards, coached individuals and couples, studied, done a bunch of writing on different topics, cared for family members who had need, buried Murray’s oldest brother (who died on March 8), and a host of other things. We have not been taking as many pictures as we used to (especially when we were traveling), but we share a few pics with you now…
We had a day of skiing at Big White. We love spending time with our grandson. Our latest family photo (partial) was at Murray’s brother’s burial. Fishing and time on the lakes in the Okanagan are wonderful. Mattea moved into her own apartment on May 1. We continue to do much virtually (preaching in two churches at the same time in this shot).
This ends our formal use of this blog to update you on our international worker life. If you want to stay in contact you can post a comment and pass on your e-mail address (we will not let it be posted to the website) and we will correspond with you directly through e-mail.
Murray & Michelle