Again the Persons have been off line way too long! Not sure we will be number one bloggers.
This past year has been packed with many miles of travel, changes and decisions. The biggest change was, which most of you know, we retired on August 31, 2013 from the General Board of Global Ministries as full time missionaries. We completed 35 years in Congo.
Here's what's been happening over the past year...
January – March 2013We travelled and visited many of you on the West Coast and Hawaii starting in Washington. During our stay in Seattle, David officiated the wedding for Andrew and Judy. The event took place on a beautiful old ferry boat. It was great to celebrate with the whole family. We were glad to visit so many of our churches and spend time with you. Also to enjoy the beauty of the west coast and Hawaii.
April – MayWe travelled east to Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia and a meeting with the Board in New York.
June – JulyAt the end of our travels, Lori came down pneumonia which delayed our return to Congo until the end of July. One huge bonus in the delay was being present for our second grandchild, Cora, of proud parents Jeff and Michelle.
AugustWe were able to arrive in Congo in time to celebrate the Seminary’s graduation for 18 pastors and their wives. As always, it is a miracle to have these students complete their studies.
In August, the Seminary welcomed the Kafakumba Pastors School. We had 123 pastors plus wives and children. This is a yearly program like the Conference Course of Study bringing in lay pastors for 4-6 weeks a year. These men and women mostly serve in rural areas. This always entails a big cooking effort -- like 460 wood oven backed rolls every day and a lot of meals over charcoal! Many of our Seminary staff were faculty for this program as are also the directors of the Kafakumba Pastors School who are past graduates of our institution!
It's such a blessing to see them continue to fulfil their calls in ministry. Thirty-eight pastors graduated this year from the program and will be ordained by their Annual Conferences. One of the graduates has taken 15 years to complete the 8-year program. His determination and commitment to completing this through trials of the war in Congo and problems of travel was so inspiring. His call to be a pastor was something he would not give up!
September – NovemberMulungwishi also hosted two Volunteer in Mission teams from the States. We were excited by the vision and project to use e-readers for the schools of Mulungwishi. They started with elementary and secondary school teachers to have a Kindle. Now, we are working towards our seminar students having a theological library on a Kindle. The Second team was involved in drilling water well, working with downs syndrome children and consulting.
At the same time, the new academic year for the Seminary started and we continued teaching our courses, then returned to the States in mid-December. Since then...