Monday, May 07, 2012

10 countries in 5 months

We continue to daily give thanks for those who are prayerfully supporting us as we serve as missionaries.  This update will give brief bullet-point updates of how God has guided us over the past few months.  As always, we look forward to your emails, phone calls and Facebook messages -, is those pieces of encouragement that keep us moving forward.

  • Joel visited Cuba for the first time where he participated in leading a Leadership Conference for youth leaders; spoke at the district youth convention and had the rare privilege of meeting with (along with one of our General Superintendents Dr. Jesse Middendorf and a few other church leaders) the Director of Religious Affairs for the Cuban government.  God is moving faithfully in the life of our church in Cuba!
  • Pam helped finalize the travel arrangements for our international team of missionaries from nine different countries who are serving on a 6-month mission called "12:7 Serve."
  • Joel visited the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis where the 12:7 Serve team served for 3 weeks.
  • The General Board of the Church of the Nazarene voted to enter 4 new countries this year - the Turks & Caicos Islands, a part of the Mesoamerica Region where we serve is amongst those countries.  Joel and another missionary, Bernie Slingerland were the first two missionaries to visit Turks & Caicos where they met Mrs. Nathalie Sweeting.  Nathalie and her husband have been living in Turks & Caicos for 3 years and had ALREADY started the church work before and missionaries had arrived - an incredible story of God's faithfulness  (< click this link to read!) in calling and equipping His people!
  • Pam traveled with local church leaders to an indigenous area of Costa Rica where our church is assisting the development of a ministry presence in a very poor, rural area of the country.
  • Joel spoke at a district leadership conference for the Leeward & Virgin Islands District in Antigua.
  • Pam has been actively leading a discipleship group in our home with the ladies who were our Spanish language teachers - these two ladies, Gaby and Zeidy have become very dear friends.  It is a joy to meet with them each week as we walk through "Experiencing God" (Henry Blackaby) over a great cup of coffee, reading Scripture and praying together.
  • Joel was able to train leaders during the Caribbean Nazarene College's Leadership Conference in Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Pam has helped lead united meetings with youth leaders from both of the districts of Costa Rica - leadership training, team building and ministry strategy were the highlights of these times together.
  • 24 participants attended the Missionary Orientation camp in northern Mexico - which was lead by our dynamic team of leaders, with Joel's assistance in April.
  • Our family traveled to Panama the first week of May to take part in the first-ever Missionary Retreat for the Mesoamerica Region.  Over 60 missionaries and more than 20 missionary kids came together for a time of encouragement and renewal.
  • The children have started their first full-year in a Costa Rican school:  Allison (age 12/grad 7); Nicolas (age 9/grade 4); Annikah (age 6/grade 1) and Paulina (age 4/pre-Kindergarden) are attending Colegio Metodista about 15 minutes away from our home in San Jose.
We need your prayers and encouragement.

While we are serving where God wants us to be - we face times of loneliness and discouragement.

We have been blessed to work with a dynamic team of missionaries within the Church of the Nazarene and have been so privileged recently to develop wonderful friendships with missionary friends from other organizations who are serving Jesus so faithfully.