Ky and Bill Prevette

Stitches from the Trenches – August 2014

Here in the UK and throughout the continent of Europe, August marks the time for long family holidays and time away from normal routines. If one needs to make appointments or schedule meetings – this is not the best month for it! As for our American friends, August signals the return to a more structured life including school, university and the beginning of busy fall calendars.For Ky and I, August has been a bit ‘unsettled’ as the title of this newsletter indicates. I went in for my second knee replacement surgery (the left knee this time) on July 28th. I had forgotten since last year’s surgery how much it hurts to have one’s knee replaced with titanium! This time around has been a more difficult recovery as I developed a post-operative infection in the surgical wound and it has taken longer to heal.  We have posted a number of notes on Facebook (photos, too, for those of you who dig scars) and appreciate the prayers and concerns of our social media followers.

We last communicated with you in April this year. The pundits of missionary communication tell us we should be posting something every month, so forgive us for being stragglers in this category. However, if you are anything like us, you already have too much to read!  We do want to keep the lines of communication open and there’s always more to share as things don’t seem to slow down as we continue in our work and ministry. This year we mark our 26th year as AGWM missionaries–maybe that has something to do with my worn out knee joints? Here are some highlights of the last few months and areas where we certainly need your prayers:

During May, both Ky and I were in the USA. Ky’s mother continues to receive ‘in home hospice care’ in California. Ky and her brother have been splitting the family care required to supplement hospice since this began in January 2014.  I was in meetings with churches and partners in Dallas, TX, the Denver area and California. Late in the month, Ky and I presented workshops and seminars at the ICAP global conference on human trafficking in Greenlake, Wisconsin. We were also able to participate in the Southern California Network Council, ‘The Call’. It was great to be able to reconnect with many supporting pastors and friends in our home area. We had not been to this annual event since 2010. Thanks, friends, for the brief welcome ‘home’.  I also made a quick trip to Northwest University in Seattle, WA helping to finalize a new Masters Degree program that will be offered online with short-term residencies in Oxford, UK called MAICD –  International Community Development. I will be serving this program and future MA cohorts as their Oxford based Director of Studies.

Ky remained in the USA with her mother for most of June and I returned to Oxford to conduct one-on-one tutorials with a number of our doctoral candidates who come to the UK for their annual summer residencies.  It is always encouraging to engage with these leaders from around the world who are pioneering both in their research and mission practice.  I had good tutorials with several exceptional women advising their research projects: Jennifer Singh is working with NGOs, churches and the challenge of large-scale prostitution in Ethiopia. Jane Crane is developing a skills training initiative with widows who are at risk in Burundi. Siobhan Miles works with women who have been trafficked in Cambodia and are moving through faith-based aftercare programs. These and other students at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies demonstrate perseverance and tenacity as they work with their heads, hearts and hands to advance holistic transformation in their mission practice. In the photo are recently inducted PhD scholars and OCMS faculty.

In July I was in two important meetings held in London that impact our work with OCMS and our wider international ministry. As a member on the board of trustees for the Child Theology Movement, we coordinate and host consultations around the world bringing together theologians, scholars and practitioners. I have been asked with other members ofCTM to attend the Lausanne Global Forum on Children at Risk in Quito, Ecuador in November later this year.  I also presented a paper on human trafficking at the annual meeting of theTheological Action Research Network (TARN) affiliated with Heythrop College of the University of London. This network brings together academics working in practical theology and those involved in field-based ‘practitioner and action research’.  OCMS has recently asked me to oversee the present and future development of practitioner research, so these wider connections are vital to that role.

In closing we would also appreciate your prayers and consideration of our financial situation. Some assume that our role with OCMS and other UK ministries includes a salary—it does not!  We work with these partners as fully appointed AGWM missionaries, offering them our time and energy as an expression of our call to God’s Kingdom.  We have based in the UK since 2010 and the nature of our work does not afford us the luxury of a ‘one year itineration’. We have seen a slow but steady decline in our monthly support over the last four years. The exchange of the US Dollar to the British Pound is $1 to £ 0.6 ($100=£60). We are struggling to keep our budget afloat and are weighing options for future involvement. Would you consider supporting us on a monthly or one time basis? If so, you can go directly to our AGWM page and make your donation.

We remain indebted to our friends, family and supporters who continue to stand with us in the work God has guided our hands and heads to attempt. We’re still at it!  Thanks for reading…

Together with you in God’s Grace,

Bill and Ky Prevette