Greetings from Oxford! We have celebrated a very meaningful Holy Week and Easter season in our adopted city and hope that your celebration was significant, too. This year we participated in a Maundy Thursday gathering (from the Latin –mandatum – "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you") at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. This international service featured readings, poetry, music and reflections from seven of our faculty and scholars, from seven different countries, highlighting the seven sayings of the cross. It was the global church in action!
On the morning of Good Friday we were part of a Churches Together North Oxford service, walking in silent procession as Bill carried a cross through our village community of Summertown. Ky led a reading of scripture during the public outdoor service in the community’s center. Ky later joined the “flower ladies” at the local parish church of St. Michaels and All Angels and decorated the high altar (a great honor and delight and one that makes practical use of her height!). Since arriving in Oxford during the Easter season four years ago, this time of year has truly become rich with a sense of “new and yet forever belonging” life.
The three months leading up to Easter have been a bit unsettled for our family. Ky’s mother began receiving ‘in-home’ hospice visits in late January. Although living alone until this time, Fran had been declining in health due to COPD. A fall from an apparent stroke quickly changed her situation. As a result, Ky spent most of February and March taking on the role of a full-time caregiver. She and her brother, Brad, are alternating care shifts and the hospice team has been tremendous supplemental support. As her mom’s condition stabilizes, longer-range care options appear necessary, so Ky will return to California in June and she and her brother will arrange that together.
While Ky was in the USA, Bill held down the fort in Oxford. This was the longest span of separation in over 31 years of marriage and 28 year of missionary life! Bill was quick to admit to anyone that would listen (and some that would rather not) that he was not a very good ‘single’ missionary. To avoid the empty house, he logged even more than the usual hours working at OCMS with doctoral students and writing and editing a new book that will be published in the early summer. In late March we welcomed a new cohort of doctoral students to OCMS from Sudan, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, USA and Burundi (photo below with some of our faculty).
To insure future international life, he applied to the UK Home Office for a new residency permit enabling him to remain in the United Kingdom for another five years. This application is different than those gone by because it is based on Ky’s recently documented Irish citizenship (thanks to her maternal grandmother’s nationality). Ky is enjoying the fact that Bill will be in the UK “under her covering”! Meanwhile, the application required surrendering his American passport for a period up to six months; with Ky away and no international travel possible, a painful combination was created–confinement is not Bill’s strong suit. We have asked the Home Office to process the application in due haste, even soliciting our local MP to help expedite the request.
As the years go by, we are ever more aware of and grateful for the prayers and support that keep us in place. At the first ever UK Missionary Retreat in Snowdonia (Wales) this February, Bill was the undisputed senior member amongst the missionary family. The younger generation shows such great promise and possibility and Bill was able to share stories of encouragement, wisdom and warning. Truly, our years are not just for our own learning but for the Body as a whole, and with age we become more awed by the privilege this reveals. Thank you for your part in keeping us here.
We are planning a short trip to Dallas and Denver to see supporters and family in May. We will also be in Wisconsin to participate and present workshops at a major Global Conference to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation (see www.icapglobal.org). Finally, we will attend the Southern California AG Network Conference in Anaheim; we are looking forward to reconnecting with many of you at this event!
Again, thanks for your prayers and faithfulness in the days that lie before us. Ky plans to remain with her mother during the month of June and Bill will return to Oxford. We know that many of you have already journeyed through this season of life with your parents and we thank you so much for your love and compassion as we travel it, too.
Bill and Ky
Oxford, April 2014
Bill and Ky Prevette
Bill@prevetteresearch.net | www.prevetteresearch.net | cell: +44 0787 011 0269 | Home: +44 (0)1865.425.918
Home address: 38 Islip Road, Oxford, OX2 7SW – UK
Missionaries with The Assemblies of God