Today is April 27th, it is a lovely Saturday afternoon in Oxford, England. This is one of the first weekends of the year that it has been warm enough to do some outdoor work in our back garden (or back yard if you live in the USA). We were beginning to wonder if winter was going to end this year; the BBC reported that freezing temperatures in March made it the UK’s coldest since records began more than 100 years ago. The warmer weather and longer days have been a welcome change and we trust that this update finds you appreciating the glory of God in His creation.
April 1st marked our third year anniversary in Oxford. We continue to be engaged with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. We also travel in international ministry and work with the North Oxford Community.
Highlights in our ministry February – April 2013:
Bill took part in three PhD examinations in February. The PhD in the British system culminates in a Viva Voce (verbal defense). It is a daunting experience for the doctoral candidate who submits a written thesis of 100,000 words, the result of several years of hard work, and then sits for the two-hour verbal examination. In each of these cases, the examination outcome was favorable and congratulations were in order for the new doctors representing the global impact of OCMS.
In early March, Bill was invited to lead a youth congress in Lusaka, Zambia for the third consecutive year. The host church for the event is Northmead AG, led by Bishop Joshua Banda. Bill invited Dana Bates, the founder of New Horizons Romania to join in the congress. We worked together to lay the groundwork for launching IMPACT Clubs with the youth of Lusaka. The IMPACT Program (acronym of Involvement, Motivation, Participation, Action, Community) consists of a network of Community Initiative Clubs for Youth. IMPACT is a powerful vehicle of social change in situations where youth are at risk from poverty or neglect. You can view a short video from the congress at this link on YouTube: Zambia-Impact-Exploratory Trip.
Later in the month, Bill presented a paper and practitioner case study concerning ‘at risk youth’ at the ‘Evangelical Mission in Orthodox Context’ conference in Chisinau, Moldova. The conference was organized by leaders from Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries to explore and encourage better cooperation between Evangelical and Orthodox Churches.
The photo on the left was made after the conference while visiting with several Orthodox leaders in Iasi, Romania. Bill was also asked to speak in this Orthodox Church about his experiences working with youth and children at risk.
We celebrated Easter in Oxford. Ky helped to organize an outdoor Good Friday procession and service with the churches of North Oxford. Scholars and faculty from OCMS led this year’s service, which is held annually in front of the shops in the community of Summertown. Representatives from ten local churches gather for an outdoor remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Pictured are the members of the OCMS community who took part in the service. Bishop Malkhaz Songulashhvili from the Republic of Georgia (PhD OCMS – 2013) brought a message of reconciliation and forgiveness in light of the recent events in his homeland, Nigeria, Syria, and the Middle East. A photo record of the day can be viewed by clicking here.
In mid April, Ky and I were asked to speak at the Breaking Free International Anti-Trafficking Conference in Brussels Belgium. This conference organized by AGWM missionaries, Jerry and April Foster, brought together 140 people from across Europe. The theme was ‘Prevention to Reintegration’ and topics included trauma counseling, aftercare homes, economic strategies, holistic mission and engaging families in the fight against Human Trafficking. Please pray for the many ministries and individuals that are engaged in what is described as a fight against ‘modern day slavery’. At the conclusion of the conference, Bill enjoyed leading a three-day men’s retreat for Brussels International Christian Center.
Our travel schedule should slow down a bit in June, as Bill will be working with an editorial team on a new book, Mission, Theology and Children – Responding to the Next Generation. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We will continue to make the occasional post on Facebook and we appreciate hearing from you through social media.
We pray for you as our supporters, family and friends. Your ongoing faithfulness is deeply appreciated.
May God’s grace be abundant in your lives,
Bill and Ky Prevette
Oxford, April 2013