Our thanks to everyone who has been praying for us so faithfully these last several weeks. Finally, it seems that things are getting a bit more back to ‘normal’!
As we communicated with you in early June, I (Bill) was hospitalized for nine days in Spain beginning May 15th for pancreatitis and we returned to the UK to recover. The last eight weeks have resulted in a roller coaster of health issues for me. Apparently, the pancreatic attack caused a great deal of gastrointestinal inflammation and I developed diverticulitis (our updates are starting to sound like medical journals). After an MRI, a specialist in the UK determined I should have my gall bladder removed and the surgery was performed on July 2. Thanks be to God, this was performed without complications and finally, after another week of recovery, the pain caused by the diverticulitis has started to subside.
This past week is the first since May that I have been relatively pain free. For any of you who have had long-term illnesses, we know you understand that when pain is a constant companion there are lessons to be learned about body, soul and spirit. One of the lessons I had to learn was that patience and rest were essential to recovery. The photo here was made just a few days ago and we are grateful for the many prayers and concerns you have shared with us over these last weeks. Ky has been a great partner and caregiver during this time; I don’t know if anyone gives out medals for wives that have to put up with cranky, ill husbands, but my wife deserves one.
News from Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
When we were preparing to move to Oxford, we visited many churches, friends and individuals as I sought to communicate a bit of what goes on at the Centre. OCMS has about 120 students currently working towards their PhDs in mission research. Ky and I have been able to make contacts with students and scholars from around the world in our first three months here. My role is to both mentor and tutor these candidates. OCMS was designed to be a place for men and women who are Christian leaders from the Global South (the Non-Western counties of the world). About one week ago a good friend of ours, Philippe Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso, successfully defended his PhD thesis. Here is his title:
A Comparative and Narrative Investigation into the Contribution of the Assemblies of God Church and Christian NGOs to Overcoming Obstacles to Female Education in Burkina Faso.
You might ask, why is this significant? What does this contribute to Christian mission in the world? Phillippe has been able to show with convincing research and evidence that the churches of Burkina Faso – one of the poorest countries in West Africa–are making a very significant contribution to the education of girls in his country. When I am asked in lectures or conferences, ‘what are the best ways to work to overcome poverty in the world’, I often talk about the importance of shaping the lives of children, but especially girls and young women.
If this sort of topic interests you, Phillippe has given me permission to post an abstract of his research on our website. You can find this on our site www.prevetteresearch.net under ‘Blog Posts’.
Thanks for praying and staying in touch with us.
Bill and Ky