Warm Spring Greetings from Oxford!
Last Sunday marked our fifth Easter living in England. That makes five times we have taken part in an outdoor, public Good Friday service held in the center of our local community. A number of churches from North Oxford join together to organize and participate in the service and, as the representative from Oxford Center for Mission Studies, Bill has carried the cross each year. The service is a reminder to a predominately secular city of God’s sacrifice in Jesus Christ and, in the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ We celebrated the resurrection with “alleluias” on Easter Sunday morning at the local parish church.
Spring has arrived after a long, damp, and traditionally English winter. The arrival of daffodils around the city is a sign of new life and hope for things to come. Toward that idea of new life and hope, we continue to work with the Assemblies of God Europe and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.
Happenings over recent months
We made a trip to the USA in late January through early February. Bill was invited to meet with the dean of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and to present a graduate lecture on theology and children at risk. We had a chance to see several friends and visit a few supporting churches (the photo below was made at North Hills Church in Brea). Primary to Ky’s purposes and as an answer to prayer, she and her brother were able to move their mother into an assisted living facility. With Mom happy and continuing to receive good hospice care, the whole family is relieved and grateful.
In March Bill and Ky both travelled to Budapest, Hungary to help lead a new training venture commissioned by theEurope Regional Office of AGWM. Working with the gospel in Europe brings unique challenges, among them: confronting secularism, dealing with the marginalization of ‘at risk’ communities such as the Roma people, tackling human trafficking, stemming apathy to spiritual truth, and increasing awareness of the needs of people migrating to and from Europe. To address these issues, a team with AGWM Europe is developing specific and practical training for our missionaries that can be completed during their terms of service on the field. With almost 30 years of missionary service under our belts, it was a privilege to speak into the lives of these colleagues and encourage them in developing the skills needed for long-term effectiveness in missionary service.
Our work with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) continues to be rewarding and bring new opportunities for serving the Global Church. In the last few months, Bill has developed a working partnership between OCMS and Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. Students who enroll in the MA in International Community Development at Northwest come to Oxford twice during their Masters Degree. Northwest is currently enrolling students for the coming academic year from a number of countries. Also, Dr. Mike Beals, the president at Vanguard University in Southern California, was with us at OCMS a couple of weeks ago. We are exploring renewing a working partnership with Vanguard and OCMS that will enrich both institutions, especially in our shared vision to train men and women who will serve their local churches and address the needs of wider society with a Christian worldview.
The month of April is dedicated to the Research Induction School at OCMS. Last week Bill did a number of tutorials and meetings with some of our new doctoral students in the photo. They represent the following countries: Nagaland in North India, Korea, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, South Sudan, USA, and the Philippines. We are finding a wonderful synergy in our work with OCMS and AGWM. Our ministry continues to challenge and inspire us to press forward in the work of the Kingdom.
Financial Fuel for the Fire
In closing, we would ask for your prayers concerning shoring up the financial base for our ministry. We serve OCMS as full-time supported missionaries (not getting a salary from the institution as some assume.) AGWM believes in the work of OCMS and gives us their covering to serve in Oxford and elsewhere around the world, but due to the nature of our work here we have not been able to take the traditional one year ‘itineration cycle’ in the USA.
Bill anticipates returning to the USA for three months this autumn, but meanwhile we are facing financial challenges over the coming months. If you are able to support our ministry with a one-time gift or as a monthly supporter, we welcome you with open arms!
Please visit our AGWM page and then click this link for online giving. For those of you who have stood with us over the years with faithfulness and generosity, may God bless you and continue to turn your support into lives transformed.
Bill and Ky Prevette