Polly and I are sending out the support letter that is attached and asking for prayer and financial support. The summer has sped by and the last weeks have been a wonderful time of family visits and reunion. After Labor Day Polly will go to Ohio to spend a week with her mother and to help out there. At the end of September Ian will spend the weekend in England with his ailing father. Meanwhile there are several speaking opportunities to share about the ministry in Peru. In mid October we go to MTI in Colorado Springs for “baby missionary school.” This will last for three weeks and then back for a week of closing up the house before returning to Peru on November 16.
Once in Peru we will be developing our language skills further while beginning our ministry of working with the clergy of the Anglican Church there.
God has blessed us hugely this summer with financial and prayerful support. I am amazed and humbled by the number of people who are sharing and partnering in this ministry. Thank you God! There is still a great need for more. Every month SAMS-USA send us a printout that shows who and how much has been given. We have not reached the goals for monthly/annual pledges set for us by the SAMS, however sufficient has come in for us to return to Peru this fall and to continue this ministry. THANK YOU to all who have contributed and especially to those who make regular pledges. I am especially grateful to the small Anglican communities of Vermont who have so wonderfully and generously adopted us as mission partners with them. At a time when so many mainline churches are crying poor and shrinking their budgets it is heartening that these new fellowships are building mission giving into their DNA.
This has been the first summer that I have spent in Vermont. It has been a joy and an adjustment. Retirement is a challenge as we really do change our status. As a senior pastor I was not only busy but there was a kind of status in the community. Now I am simply part of the community. On occasion I am trotted out to help but I am there to help not to run things. That is of itself is a joy. I have found that I can come alongside folk, especially clergy, and be a listener and encourager. Meanwhile I sit in the pews of St. Luke’s Church here in Chester, VT where I first helped out nearly thirty years ago. It is a joy and delight. That is not to say that I have not been busy as I assist on occasion in Turners Falls, MA, at St. Andrew’s. However my focus is on God’s calling of us to Peru and the realization that this is a ministry of service.
In Peru we have a marvelous cadre of Peruvian clergy and we, the overseas missionaries, are there to serve them and to help them become the clergy and leaders of that wonderful country. In this post-colonial age how vital it is for us as foreign missionaries not to lord it over people. We are not there to run things, to make them American or British! We are there to see the Peruvian Church emerge. It is a privilege to serve.