Hi everyone. We are experiencing one of those glorious summer days. The sun is shining, but the temperature is just right, not too hot and not too cold. Forgive me for sounding like one of the three bears here. J
Ted had a very moving trip up to Cross Lake, Manitoba. He joined a group of youth and adults from our congregation to lead Vacation Bible School for a week. Each day they gathered with kids at two different schools in Cross Lake and on Thursday had an evening presentation for the parents. They return very tired, but exhilarated by the week. One day, they had over 200 kids, and had many opportunities to speak to people in meaningful ways. We praise God for the trip. Ted is putting in some long hours preparing for a multitude of upcoming events. Next Tuesday, Ambassador's Board of Directors will have a quarterly meeting. We pray for God's direction for the board as they make decisions about our organization. On Wednesday, Ted leaves for Australia. He will be gone until September 11th. We pray that he will be able to get all the many things completed before he leaves. We also pray for his strength and stamina as he goes. These long days and the trip to Manitoba have begun to take a toll and he is weary. The day after he returns to the USA, he will travel to Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference in the Washington, DC area. He will lead some sections there and then return home a very tired man. So we pray for his preparation for all these events, for his travel to be problem-free, and for his health over the next months.
Bruce has made a decision on the call to New Mexico. He has declined the call and is awaiting information for a congregation in Australia. We pray for God to direct him. He and Kathy are making plans to leave Billings. Wherever God places them, they will be going for a limited time, and hope to be able to come back to Billings. With that in mind, they have decided to rent out their home. God has provided a family who will move in the end of September. Zagels have begun to pack some things and move them into a storage unit. In a recent report Bruce said,
"These past 5 ½ years have been a life changing and extremely rewarding time for both Kathy and me. We have had the opportunity to see God’s grace personally at work in many individuals and congregations and have witnessed God work powerfully through Ted’s leadership. While I regret I will not be able to see first hand how God will continue to work through AoR and CLM, I will continue to promote AoR’s mission wherever the Lord takes me and however he allows me to interact with AoR in the future."
We are so thankful for Bruce's years with us. He has brought much richness and wisdom to our interaction with clients. I personally will miss him so much here in the office. He ministers to me often and both he and Kathy have become good friends. We pray God will be with them through this transition. Before he goes, Bruce will lead a seminar in Wyoming for us. We pray for him as he prepares, travels and presents next week.
Ed is on his way to Billings right now. He will have a few days off visiting his sister and family here. Then next week he will be in our office for meetings. He is working at approximately a 2/3 workload. We pray for his continued healing. He continues to work with clergy couples, congregations, schools, and individuals. He plans on presenting at Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference in September, as well as, a seminar for Blessed Are the Peacemakers also in September in Indiana. May God bless Ed as he prepares and presents at these events. CrossLife Ministries will host a major annual fundraiser at the end of September. It is a golf outing and hence Ed will be hiding out on one of the holes, seeing how he can make the day of those passing through. Golf is not one of Ed's favorite pass times, preferring to be on the tractor instead. We pray for the success of the fundraiser, and for Ed to enjoy/endure the day.
Our finances continue to be quite strained. Recent sales have increased a bit, but only nominally. We have learned that a training event scheduled for early next year has been significantly reduced because of the client's finances. Our two Church Reconciler Training events for this fall are still planned, but the registrations so far are very low. We trust in God's providence, and pray that the sales, registrations, and events will increase and that our finances will improve. We pray for God's direction and also for strength to follow Him in this and all things.
I once again thank you for your interest and faithful service to Ambassadors of Reconciliation. The community of believers gathered around God's Word are a wonder and comfort. May He bless you as you walk with Him.