Hello again, dear friends. I pray that your week has been blessed and that you have been able to bask in God's grace.
This week has been flying by. Ted is in Australia and has spoken at the South Australia/Northern Territory District Synod Convention. The topic was Free: Forgiven and Forgiving. On August 24th, he began a training event at Australian Lutheran College. They expected 40-50 students and others from around the church to participate. Ted has been teaching personal peacemaking and coaching for the three-day training practicum. We pray for all those who took part in the event, that they will be able to implement the things they learned, and that God's name will be glorified.
This weekend, Ted will have an opportunity to meet with a person whose story he has told for years. He became aware of her during his time in India. Graham Staines, Gladys and family were missionaries in India. Graham and their two young sons were burned to death in their car one night in 1999 by a group of about 50 Hindu zealots. After the conviction of the leader of the mob, Gladys was interviewed by an Indian newspaper. She said,
"I have forgiven the killers and have no bitterness because forgiveness brings healing and our land needs healing from hatred and violence. Forgiveness and the consequences of the crime should not be mixed up," and "God in Christ has forgiven me and expects His followers to do the same. The Bible says: 'To whomsoever you forgive their sins will be forgiven'. Therefore, in the light of eternity we all need forgiveness of our sins to enter heaven,''. She also said, "I have no comments regarding the law taking its own course in crime and punishment. We are called to be under subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. We need to honour both God and man respectively."
Gladys returned to her native Australia in 2004 and has agreed to meet Ted on the 30th. Ted is looking forward to meeting this woman whom he has spoken about many times. We pray that the connections all go well, and that their meeting will be the beginning of a friendship and that God will be glorified through it.
On September 3rd, Ted will begin a series of training opportunities in Queensland with PeaceWise. He has worked with them on each of his Australian visits. He will begin his journey home of September 11. We pray for his continued good health, and for his teaching to be well received.
Bruce and Kathy continue to work on all the details of moving to Australia and back into congregational life. They do not know when that move will happen. We pray for God to work out the timing and for patience as the Zagels embark on this new chapter. Bruce remarked the other day that during the packing up, he has realized how much they are leaving behind. They are not able to move much beyond clothing. Since freight would take so long to get there, even his books will be packed away and left in Billings. We pray that God will help them deal with all these attendant circumstances and the emotions that they go through.
As Ed has returned to a more full schedule, he has many situations to address. We pray for those with whom he counsels, that they will have open hearts and minds to the Gospel and the counsel that Ed brings. We continue to pray for Ed as he heals. In September he will begin the therapy on his shoulder. The doctor tells him it will likely be ten months of therapy, so we pray for a good result and continued patience for Ed.
Things are picking up a bit here in the office. Churches are preparing for fall Bible classes and scheduling for the coming year. We pray for the Lord to bless our ministry and provide for our needs as we serve His people. Next week, I will not be able to post the current prayer requests. My husband and I leave on Friday for a week to New York City to visit our son. We look forward to the time away and some days to enjoy the Big Apple. I'm not sure how the city got that nickname, but maybe I'll know by the time I return. In the meantime, I pray for God's blessing for you.