Kate and I are now well into our furlough here in the States. Our first stop was Michigan to visit friends, family, and both of our home churches.
My home church, Ward EPC in Northville, Michigan, held its first triennial missions conference at the end of September – Compelled by Love. The week was themed after 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
We are so thankful to be a part of a congregation that is so active and passionate about missions. Ward Church supports more than 30 different missionaries and ministries both locally in Southeastern Michigan and around the world, and they invited us all to attend the conference together.
We had a wonderful week full of opportunities to share about our ministry and get to know many new people in the congregation. We enjoyed sharing with different individuals, staff, elders, Bible study groups, and children’s Sunday school classes all week long. It is exciting for us to be able to tell others about the work that God is doing in Peru and for us to cast our vision for work there in the future.
In addition to the opportunities that we had to share with others, Ward really worked hard to pour into our lives as well. All week long we participated in different workshops that ranged in subject matter from The Power of Prayer, Conflict Resolution, and Keeping the Sabbath, to Children’s Ministry and Technology in Missions. We really enjoyed the time of learning and fellowship with other missionaries from all over the world.
We closed the week with an opportunity to get involved with a special Sunday school event called FX: Family Experience, designed for families to attend together. The first Sunday of the month is FX Sunday where the children and parents come together to explore the month’s virtue that will be discussed in subsequent Sunday school classes. The virtue was “responsibility” and both Kate and I were able to assist with the presentation.
My brother, Matt, works for the church’s children’s ministry, and it was really neat to see his awesome (and often crazy) creative process. It is great to see how this ministry is touching the lives of so many families and children, and it was a blessing to be a part of a different children’s ministry from the one that we do in Peru. Different place, different setting, and different culture, but in the end our mission is the same anywhere we go — to bring children and families to the feet of Jesus, that they might grow into a meaningful relationship with Him.
Please continue to pray for Kate and I as we are now hitting the road. Throughout the month of October we are traveling all over the United States praying that God would use us as his instruments to help build support for the boys’ program. We continue to struggle to keep the homes open, and we pray that God would open doors for us and touch people’s hearts for this ministry.
– Billy & Kate