The weather is warming and flowers are blooming in Oxford. The days are getting longer and we have just marked our second anniversary living in the UK: we moved to Oxford on April 1, 2010. The last four months have been busy and at times unsettling. Here are some of the highlights of our lives since last we communicated with you in December.
Ky celebrated her 60th birthday on February 1st. We asked our friend and OCMS colleague, Malkhaz Songulashvili, the Baptist Archbishop of the Republic of Georgia, to lead a ‘life liturgy’ to celebrate Ky’s special day. If you wonder about a ‘Baptist Archbishop’ then you probably didn’t know, like us, that the Baptist churches of Georgia have retained much of the liturgy and cultural traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
After her birthday, Ky had a short visit with her family and Bill spoke in a few of our supporting churches in California and Colorado. He also met with the director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies – University of Denver to explore collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in confronting this growing global pandemic.
Later in the month, we hosted a D. Min cohort from the Northwest Network and Dr. Byron Klaus, president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. While the group was in Oxford, Bill’s book, Child, Church and Compassion: Toward Child Theology in Romania arrived from the publishers. If you are interested in the book see http://www.ocms.ac.uk/regnum/detail.php?book_id=83.
In March, Bill was invited once again to Lusaka, Zambia where he led a National Youth Congress with his friend and fellow Pentecostal leader, Joshua H.K. Banda. Joshua leads a dynamic church in Lusaka and also serves as the Board Chairman of the National AIDS Council of Zambia. His research with OCMS concerns the role of the monogamous Christian Zambian family in prevention of HIV-AIDS.
We recently completed our Spring Research Induction School at OCMS; these induction cohorts are invited to Oxford twice a year. This cohort was an exceptional group of new scholars including a Palestinian attorney who lives in Israel, a Nigerian pastor who lives in London, an American nurse who lives in Cambodia, a Korean teacher who lives in China, and a Finnish church planter who lives in Simi Valley, California. OCMS continues to draw together leaders who personify the mission of the church in the 21st century as a globalized and internationalized work of the Holy Spirit. We continue to thank God for our engagement and work with these leaders.
Our Easter weekend was marked with a number of special services. Ky helped lead a service at OMCS on Maundy Thursday and on Good Friday Bill carried a cross for an outdoor service in North Oxford.
• Like many, we are experiencing a drop in our monthly income as the financial recession has impacted our budget. Several supporting churches have mistakenly assumed that we receive a salary from OCMS — we do NOT. We fully rely on giving from friends, family and churches and we are grateful for the faithfulness that allows us to be based in the UK.
• On March 21st, we spent the day in London at the UK Border Agency in order to renew our ‘Tier 2 Minister of Religion’ visas. The visa application and interview process cost $2000; at the end of the day we were told that we would be issued Biometric Residence Permits. Bill’s permit was delivered two days later but Ky’s permit never arrived and is now lost in the bureaucracy of the UK BA. Please pray that her visa will find its way out of the labyrinth of immigration services and to our home in the coming weeks.
• Bill has been dealing with an outbreak of shingles for the last few weeks. Pray that this will pass and that the virus will not reemerge in his body at a future date. We both have experienced some unsettling medical ailments in recent months. We appreciate your prayers for our health and safety in local and international travel.
We are regularly reminded of your friendship and support.
Bill and Ky Prevette