Autumn arrived a few days ago; we trust your fall season will be one of spiritual, emotional and physical vigour and welcome new ventures. May the cooler weather and changing patterns of sunlight remind us of God’s grace in the seasons that shape our lives, families and vocations.
Itineration: strengthening connections and building networks
Itinerate – ‘To travel from place to place – or on a circuit’
We completed our one year commitment as the ‘Missionaries-in- Residence’ at Southeastern University in May 2009. Working with several hundred bright and eager students preparing for a life of service overseas as missionaries, educators, social workers provided us with a wonderful opportunity to invest in the lives of emerging leaders.
In preparation for our next overseas assignment in Oxford, UK and working with children at risk internationally, Bill began the work of ‘missionary itineration’. Here is a bit of elaboration on the process…
Bill spent May traveling from Florida to Boston and back again on a four week road trip. This trip set a pattern for what is promising to be a unique itineration. He decided to make an effort to visit all our supporters and churches for a meal or face-to-face meeting. This means more appointments and more time on the road as itineration requires attention to building and strengthening relationships. After meeting with 44 people on the East coast, itineration then led to the Rocky Mountain area to visit churches in Colorado and Utah. This was followed by three weeks in Southern California with 36 meetings.
Bill is speaking in churches and conducting workshops for church boards; he has created a seminar entitled ‘Mission as Social Transformation’. Itineration has become something of a qualitative research study as well. We are learning that the recession in America has affected the giving patterns of many churches and there is a cultural shift in how the average church understands and supports long-term international missionaries. By treating this itineration as a learning opportunity, we are building collaborative networks with churches, business people, professors, medical professionals and others that share our vision to work with ministries that focus on marginalized children and families in the Global South.
A personal tribute from Bill to Ky and Daniel
I want to acknowledge in this update the contribution that Ky and Daniel make to our ministry. Itineration means weeks away from home for me and this, of course, alters our life together. Ky continues to work at the registrar’s office at Southeastern University while I am traveling. She makes it possible for me to be involved in ministry and available to others while keeping our home life intact. Daniel is now a junior at SEU; he chose to live at home this semester to help conserve family finances. He is working on campus, has academic and acting scholarships and carries a full load of classes. I am blessed with a family that creates the space and support for missionary itineration. It is easy to overlook the contribution that a family makes to ministry; I ask you to continue to pray not just for our itineration and fund raising activities but for the health and strength of our family.
This newsletter coincides with a complete revision of our PrevetteResearch.net web site. We will be distributing this newsletter in both print and electronic format – the latter via our new blog. If you prefer to receive this newsletter in one format or another – you can let us know via our website contact page. Have a great fall season.