Aaron and I have been in gleaning a lot over the last 2 weeks+ with our fellow missionaries in training here in Portland. What can I say about this dedicated, diverse and faith-filled group? And the staff? The volunteers at Bethlehem House of Bread? The Double Tree Tigard? Sharing our stories, our resources and our enjoying the beautiful walk from the hotel to the retreat center every day, has been a blessing even as we are challenged to take in a lot of new information. Our fellow trainees are “from everywhere”and going “to everywhere,” specifically: Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, United States of America, Palestine, Egypt, the Philippines, Estonia, Britain, Vietnam, Angola, Peru, Mexico, Macedonia, Mozambique, S.E. Asia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Russia and Sierra Leone. Through our discussions, presentations, fellowship and trips to Fred Meyer, we find common ground and a great spectrum of theologies, traditions and experiences, but we are becoming a community, and in such a community, love can grow.
Today we were led in devotions and in a session about Global Ministries by Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of the agency. Exciting to hear about the changes – into new places, Atlanta, Buenos Aires and Seoul and all the new and growing relationships we will be a part of. Thankful to be reminded that we are a “Discipleship movement shaped for mission” (Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Britain.)
We hope you will join us LIVE at the Commissioning Service on May 19th at 8:00 a.m. PDT. Just follow this link! http://www.umc.org/live