“The spiritual life is not an escape from reality, but an absolute commitment to it.”
Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
On-Line Class Inspires Students in Mexicali
We have almost completed the third cohort with our on-line class in Spiritual Formation. This group of 24 students is from Northern Baja, and had their orientation at the end of January in Mexicali, Mexico.
Here is a poem by a young man named Carlos about his understanding of prayer after he spent time in silence with God: “Prayer is more than asking, more than giving thanks and saying words. To pray is a waltz. It is a merging with the Holy Spirit and God. To pray is intimacy, discovering joy step by step. To pray is to love and to feel loved, to always be with Christ. This is prayer.”
Brazil and Bolivia will be the locations for our next international cohorts as the Masters of Theological Studies in Spanish enters its second year this fall.
Member Care at International Ministries
In February, we conducted a personnel satisfaction survey for domestic and global workers at IM. The purpose of the survey was to create a baseline to begin to evaluate how staff and missionaries perceive member care at IM. What is the organization doing well? What are the growing edges? Are there areas where IM needs vast improvement? We’re part of a small team whose purpose is to help IM develop best practices and policies for member care. Our goal is to develop a comprehensive Member Care policy that provides holistic needs of all IM personnel. Our role specifically is to address the areas of spiritual care & renewal.
Update on Joyce’s Health
Thank you so much for all your prayers on Joyce’s behalf! It’s now been 2 ½ months since her surgery and she feels great. Her energy is returning, and she seems to have no dietary issues. She has decided to remain gluten free. The surgery did trigger some lower back issues, so she is going to visit a physical therapist next week. And she sees her gastroenterologist the first of April to determine when she needs a follow-up colonoscopy. We truly believe your prayers have assisted in her rapid healing—not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Thank you for praying for a miracle!
Due to Joyce’s health challenges, we are going to remain in the United States for now. However, since we’re Regional Missionaries, this won’t greatly impact our work or slow us down at all! In the middle of May our plan is to move to the Phoenix, AZ area. Not only will this bring us closer to David’s family (his dad has been struggling with health issues), but also allow us to spend less money on trips to Latin America. Flying in and out of Phoenix will be less expensive than Philadelphia for our international travel. Initially we will be staying with family while we look for a place to live.
Aaron is also moving to AZ! He is going to serve with the AZ Conservation Corp in Flagstaff, AZ from mid-April to mid-September. It’s been his desire to relocate to Flagstaff for some time, so he hopes to find another job in that area when this one ends.
Ian recently moved from El Segundo, CA to a new apartment in Santa Monica. It seems to be a theme in all our lives lately! He is busy at SpaceX sending rockets into infinity and beyond.
How to Pray for Us
–For our Mexicali students as they wind up this class and prepare to write their final papers.
–Scholarships for all the students in the program. Palmer and IM are already underwriting this program, but each student still needs to pay $150 per class. While that doesn’t seem like much to you or me, to students in other countries it can be equal to their entire monthly salary. If you would like to sponsor a student, or provide funds for an entire cohort, please let us know.
–That all the details of our move (including finances) would come together: packing, U-haul rental, driving across the country, finding a place to live, etc.
–Joyce’s body would continue to return to 100% health. That whatever illness attacked her colon was totally taken care of by the surgery, so that she can resume international travel with David.
The season of Lent is an opportunity for each one of us to fall into the mystery of what it means to journey towards Passion: the Passover Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Trial before Pilate, the Crucifixion, the Silence of Saturday, and the Empty Tomb. May your heart be renewed. May God’s grace sustain you.
In Christ’s Love,
David and Joyce