September 8, 2008
I hope that each of you has had a great summer and that as the Fall start-ups come, you will have the sense of being carried along by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I want to thank you for your intercessions for me and the others with me during my travels to
It was a real pleasure (and stretching experience) to be involved in the work of the Mission District in
After the retreat, I had the privilege of traveling to a number of the churches and preaching in services. One of the churches that I visited has a ministry that focuses on people who work on the tea plantations picking tea. Their living conditions are very tough, and yet Jesus’ joy was evident in their lives. One of the believers I met is a single mother who supports both her aged parents and her teenage daughter by picking tea. It was a very moving experience to be in their home and to pray with them.
Other travel highlights in
From August 24-28, I was in
We also had an opportunity to minister to his family and to meet with the Board of Administration of the Rwandan General Conference.
During our visit, we also had extensive and positive conversations with directors in the office of the Executive Secretary of the National Services of the Gacaca Courts and in the office of the Ministry of Justice. We were able to convey the deep concerns of the worldwide Free Methodist family over Bishop Philemon’s imprisonment. Assurances have been given that Bishop Philemon’s case will come to trial soon and that efforts will be made to arrange for a tribunal of judges from outside of
We will continue to follow up with these government officials. In view of the gravity of the charges, funds need to be raised for Bishop Philemon’s legal defense. All of the General Conferences are being invited to prayerfully consider what support they can collect and send, and so I lay this before you as a matter of prayer. If you feel prompted to participate, please send your cheque payable to the FMCIC and designate it for the “FMWC-Bishop Philemon Defense Fund.”
While we are disappointed that there didn’t seem to be visible progress, we remain confident that God is at work. As Bishop Philemon talked with us, it was like being with Joseph in the Old Testament. He says that he can see God’s plan in what has been happening and that while others meant what has happened for evil, God is using it for good.
Please continue to pray for Bishop Philemon and his family (who are finding it very hard to stay encouraged). Pray that credible witnesses will overcome their fears of intimidation and be prepared to give evidence when his case comes to trial.
The Network Leaders and Network Leader Mentors are meeting this week in
We have some announcements this week. We offer our congratulations to the following who have recently been approved by the Board of Administration:
Garry Castle (Rustle,
Transfer into the denomination
Larry Hart – from the
Changes in appointment status: Floyd Babcock (Leave of Absence-Secular Employment) and John Foley (Leave of Absence-Personal Reasons)
Lynne Phipps has withdrawn from the conference and the denomination.
May you know Jesus’ deep joy as you serve in his name.