It is a lovely Spring day in England! Today is Palm Sunday and we have just returned from a service at our local village church where we celebrated the historic entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The contrast of beauty and pain struck us again as we turned on the BBC and learned about the bombing of two Coptic churches in Egypt. Current events are troubling though not necessarily new. Even the beauty of Jesus was masked by the pains of this world. The book of Isaiah tells us that the ‘servant of Israel’ – the Messiah:
Our thoughts this Holy Week of 2017 are turned to those who are experiencing sorrow and loss. As well, our gratitude is with those of you who continue to support us in prayer and through finances. May beauty find you in surprising and healing ways.
As an update, these are a few of the activities we have undertaken in the first quarter of 2017:
In February, Ky travelled to California to see her father, brother and our son, Daniel (as well as the much loved wives and girlfriends of these men!) The many years and multiple international homes of our mission career have done little to dull her joy of “being home”. While Ky was with family, Bill was invited to participate in the ministry of Adventure Plus, a UK based ministry. He was the speaker at a youth ski camp held in the Swiss Alps giving him the chance to spend several days ministering to young people and their families as well as seeing if he could ski on his ‘twice replaced’ left knee! Many of you prayed for Bill when the initial knee replacement became infected and had to be replaced a second time in 2015. He is happy to report that after a year of recovery and rehab the new knee has enabled him to still carry on in his favourite winter sport.
In early March, we hosted the Project Rescue International Advisory Board here in Oxford. Project Rescue is an international ministry which exists to ‘rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ.’ We will be participating with another Project Rescue conference in France this coming week.
Also in March, Bill organized and led a series of academic lectures from his book, Child Theology and Mission: Global Perspectives. Several well-known scholars, Professor Haddon Willmer, Dr. Keith White and Dr. Glenn Miles, joined us to talk about Child Theology, research with children and advocacy for child protection. We shared our common commitment to thinking Biblically and acting holistically in responding to the needs of children and how our work can make a tangible and meaningful difference in the lives of the vulnerable.
Our work with doctoral students at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies continues to be at the core of our ministry in the UK. In late 2016, OCMS welcomed a new Executive Director, Dr. Paul Bendor-Samuel. Paul and his wife, Liz, were the global directors of Interserve before coming to OCMS. We share a number of connections and he has asked Bill to continue build up the practice-based research we do through OCMS. In the last 3 months, OCMS staff and faculty have conducted an internal assessment of the ongoing mission of OCMS in order to improve our work with churches and organizations. This process has identified several key trends impacting our work as a center for global mission research; here are a few of those:
The first weekend of April, Bill travelled to Rome where he led a men’s retreat at the International Christian Fellowship of Rome. This dynamic church serves a congregation made up of people from over 60 nations. Rome is not only the capital city of Italy and steeped in history, but continues to gain influence as an international crossroads as people from North Africa and the Middle East immigrate to Europe. Please pray for this church and its work–the missionary pastors of the church are reaching out to diplomats, UN employees, refugees and local Italians.
We hope you, your families and churches will have a joy filled ‘holy week’ and a wonderful Easter weekend. We will continue to keep you in our prayers. Thanks for remembering us in yours.
Bill and Ky Prevette
Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017