The last time we corresponded with you we were packing our apartment and moving from Philadelphia to Phoenix, AZ. That was May. And so much has happened since then! We hope you can take a few minutes to relax, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and catch up with your missionary friends David and Joyce. We’ll start with today and work our way backwards.
David’s in Brazil
This week marks the beginning of the fourth group of students in the Masters of Theology Studies (MTS) Latino/a Ministries. It is a collaborative program that International Ministries & Palmer Theological Seminary began last year. This new group of students is from Brazil! David will participate in their orientation week, and will launch our class, Spiritual Formation I, on Thursday. Please pray for everyone involved as many of the students will be translating papers from Portuguese to Spanish, and we are hoping Google Translate will give us the gist of their intended message!
We’ve moved to Tucson
We spent the summer in temporary housing in Scottsdale, AZ. Twelve days ago, we moved to Tucson, AZ! This is going to be our base of operations as we continue in our Regional Missionary role to Latin America. Joyce’s health is still being monitored, and her immune system continues to reboot. It is best for her to live in the U.S. right now. But the exciting news is that International Ministries already had a mission paradigm in place to allow this to happen! There is a number of global and regional missionaries based in the U.S. who carry out mission around the world. Mission in the 21st century is evolving and shifting to new models. IM is on the front edge of these changes, and we are thankful for their vision!
Our new address is: 6640 W. Brightwater Way, Tucson, AZ 85757.
House Warming Gift
A tradition in the southwest is to collect crosses and display them on a wall of your home. We want to adopt this tradition, and we’d like to invite you to be a part of it! We would like our family and friends to send us unique crosses that we can add to our wall. Please put your name and the date on the back, or if the cross’ design does not allow for this, then attach the information with ribbon or string. If the cross represents a group of people from a particular church, then please put the church’s name. We’re hoping for a unique collection that captures the diversity and love of our faith community
Discipleship: Go and Grow
The focus of our ministry is discipleship. How can we go deeper, and grow deeper with God? We are training church leaders through the MTS program, through personal visits with pastors & leaders in Latin American countries, through Skype calls to offer mentoring and guidance, and through one-on-one discipleship. We’re also assisting IM in developing a discipleship initiative that will encourage all of IM to deepen spiritually as they carry out God’s Mission around the globe.
Conference for Missionaries (CFM)
At the end of July into early August, we joined 50 IM staff and missionary colleagues for CFM at Green Lake, WI. Our role was to provide self-care/soul-care opportunities for rest and renewal. We led a 90-minute workshop, had many one-on-one deep conversations to offer spiritual counsel, and met with different IM staff to brainstorm how member care for domestic and international global workers could become more intentional.
ABW Conference for PA & DE
Joyce was the guest missionary at the PA/DE American Baptist Womens’ conference in Shippenberg, PA in mid-July. During her workshop, she shared about the women of Cuba, and had lots of great conversations with women over the course of the weekend. She was overwhelmed by the love so many women shared with her through their prayers for her health and continued recovery. The faithfulness of your prayers sustains her every day!
Mission Summit in Portland
In late June to early July we attended the Mission Summit in Portland, OR. We were available for spiritual direction & prayer, we helped staff the IM section of the exhibit hall, we got better acquainted with IM’s newly appointed missionaries, we had conversations with numerous pastors from across the country, we talked with several IM Board members, we shared Sunday worship and had the opportunity to talk about our ministry with Grant Park Baptist Church, we participated in a bike ride of over 100 American Baptists, and we attended various gatherings focused on life and ministry in our denomination. American Baptists are thriving and not afraid to confront tough issues!
In early June we gathered with David’s family to celebrate & remember the life of his step-father Jim Katcher. July 2 we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary in Portland. We also got to visit our nephew Michael and his family who live in Beaverton, OR. Our son Aaron resigned from his job with the AZ Conservation Corp at the end of July. He and his fiancé Madeleine are now working at Kodiak Baptist Mission, Kodiak, AK. Before they left for AK, we all visited our oldest son Ian in Los Angeles where we enjoyed the beach and sites of L.A.
Thank you for your prayers, your financial gifts, your faithfulness to missions! We have a great story to share with you that began in La Paz 16 years ago, connected with people in PA, and is about to continue in India. That’s our next journal! Look for it soon!
Falling Deeper in Love with Jesus,
David and Joyce