Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Nice to Be Home!


We hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and that you enjoyed the holidays.

We ended 2011 with an American-Canadian-German-
Korean Christmas. Karl's parents came from Canada for the holidays, and Hyesun's family came from South Korea. So, on Christmas Eve we enjoyed Bulgogi from Korea, a German recipe of herring in a cream sauce over boiled potatoes, and I'm sure there was some Canadian/American food in there as well. Then, we took our family Christmas picture.

A good time was had by all!


2011 was one of the busiest ministry years of our life. Between Debbie and I we logged over 175,000 miles in the air and on the ground. By the time our travels came to an end, we felt like this:


We are so thrilled that we have once again been able to become part of what God is doing through Dr. Hugo Gomez and Community Health Evangelism (CHE) in Meso-America - and particularly Guatemala. It has been 7 years since we were last there, and this year we've both been able to go back twice! In November, Debbie led a team of 11 women from Mission Community Church to work among the women of two villages in the mountains of Western Guatemala. They had a wonderful time of sharing life and ministry with the women of Chicoz and Chirammos.

With Karl being on the Board of Directors of Global CHE Enterprises, and Mission Community Church being in partnership with Dr. Hugo - we know that we'll be back again partnering with the Mam and Quiche peoples.

Malawi and Fiji

Debbie spent more than 12 weeks in Malawi and South Africa this year - facilitating and leading teams from Visionledd and Mission Community Church and being part of the staff of Somebody Cares. Karl was in Malawi 3 times. Our trip in September was of particular significance.

Missions is no longer from the "north to the south" or from the wealthy nations to the poorer nations -- it is now from everywhere to everywhere. T
he church is truly global, and Christians from different parts of the world have much to learn from each other. God is bringing the church together in new ways in order to see individuals and communities transformed.

In September, Debbie and I facilitated
dialogue and discussion between Somebody Cares Malawi and Homes of Hope Fiji to see how these two ministries can learn from each other and support each other. Homes of Hope rescues and restores women and their children who are victims of incest, abuse, rape and trafficking. Somebody Cares in Malawi is increasingly working with women who are victims of similar circumstances. It was wonderful to see how the Lord knit together the hearts of Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares and Lynnie Roche of Homes of Hope and to see open doors for potential future collaboration. It's a new day - a day where the global church works together, prays together and transforms the world together. Here is what our little group looked like in Malawi.

30 Years!

This year we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. It's hard to be
lieve we have been married that long. I guess we must be old! It's been a great 30 years. We have been so blessed in our marriage and we are so grateful to God for all He has provided. We have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law - we have friends around the globe, and even after 30 years we still love each other. In fact, we are more bonded together than we have ever been.

Courtesy of lots of frequent flyer miles from Delta, and a great deal we found at a Bed and Breakfast, we were able to spend 10 days in Maui. We really enjoyed the beach, the hikes in the mountains, and just spending time with each other without responsibility. It was wonderful!

Looking Ahead

In the fall of last year Karl was able to go on a retreat for a few days. The focus of the retreat was "Sabbath". It was during that retreat the Lord began to speak to him about 2012 and how we not only needed a Sabbath year, but that we needed to keep a Sabbath regularly. It was clear we needed to simplify our life and ministry. We had become very tired, and the Lord clearly spoke that 2012 needed to become a year of rest - physically, spiritually and emotionally. We needed to spend more time learning, and less on trains, planes and automobiles.

We wondered what that would
practically mean. After a lot of thought and prayer we made a decision that Karl needed to move out of his role as the Executive Director of Visionledd and become the full-time Justice Pastor at Mission Community Church.

We want to be sure that the transition from Visionledd is smooth and that we do all we can to help. We will most likely continue in a much smaller role with Visionledd for the 1st quarter of 2012 as the way forward becomes clear. At the same time Karl will focus the great majority of my time on my role as the Justice Pastor at Mission.

We will continue to be involved with Somebody Cares Malawi, Global CHE Enterprises in Meso-America, and Homes of Hope in Fiji. Building and facilitating partnerships globally and locally will be a big part of our ministry in the days ahead.

Thank you so much for your friendship, prayer and support.

We pray that 2012 will be a year of peace, joy and fulfillment.


Gary said...

Thanks for the update, guys and congrats on your 30th anniversary. We wish you a happy (and more relaxed) 2012! - Gary & Cheryl

gogo grandma said...

always a blessing to hear and see what God is doing your life.