18 May 2005

Moving On

May 2005

Have you ever felt as though you had no roots, that the closest thing to feeling at home was when you hopped into the car and started off down the road… again…?

For some reason we are beginning to feel a bit like that. Since the first of this year we have traveled from Oregon to Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Southern California and back home to Oregon. March began with a quick trip to Ohio to spend a few days with colleagues. Returning to Hillsboro, we packed again and left for Medford in southern Oregon where we spent four amazing weeks in the home of the Acords of Phoenix, helping out at The River Church (former 1st Baptist) of Medford. A week ago we returned to Hillsboro were we spent two nights before leaving for Idaho where we spent the last four days. Although this may seem like lot of traveling, we enjoy almost every bit of it. It has been a privilege seeing so many of you … most of you anywaysJ! We have been humbled by your generosity.

It has been exciting to meet with young people interested in giving their lives to the growth of the church both within and outside North America. As we come into this summer packed full of camps and retreats we ask for your prayers. We want to have significant stuff to share with young people. Many of you have heard our challenge concerning the “young girl from Israel” who is the reason that Naaman even had the idea to go to Elisha for healing (2 Kings 5). It is our hope that God would raise up a whole pile of “young kids from the Northwest” who would be ready to share the Good News at the right time to the right people with a right attitude and the love that this little girl from Israel demonstrated.

Our time in the US is coming to a close in September of this year. We have tickets to return to Côte d'Ivoire the end of this month (May) for a meeting of the minds concerning our future there. Our colleagues have asked us to return to discuss our possible involvement in the management of the former International Christian Academy campus in Bouaké face to face. There are some serious concerns that we all have with regard to that piece of real estate and its future usefulness for ministry. We will be there a total of 3 weeks before returning to the US for the summer. With our current lifestyle, a trip to Côte d'Ivoire at this time seemed like a fitting way to begin the summer!

As we consider this request we have to ask ourselves the question that we are asking them, which is; Just how is our involvement at the ICA campus going to help in reaching the Dioula of Côte d'Ivoire with the Gospel (Our reason for being in Côte d'Ivoire in the first place)? We have been able to share with many of you our vision and dream of seeing a strong ministry to the Dioula develop among the churches with whom we are associated in Côte d'Ivoire. Work among the Dioula has typically been difficult and slow because of their traditional attachment to Islam. One of the keys is that the national churches catch that vision and begin to reach out effectively to their Dioula friends and neighbors.

If we re-locate to Bouaké, where I (Rod) have worked in the past, we could work in partnership with one of the larger churches in that city, one of the few that has remained open during the past three years of civil unrest. This church also has a vision to reach the Dioula in their neighborhoods. This is an exciting possibility that may be a great fit for us as we return to Côte d'Ivoire in September. Of course this would mean leaving the region of Gbon, a prospect that we do not relish. That said, we realize that because of the war and the mass exodus of most Christian workers that the tables have changed and we find ourselves faced with challenges we have never asked for. We are convinced, more than ever, that God knows exactly what he is doing with us and with the people of Côte d'Ivoire!

Thanks for your continued interest … (the assumption here is that you are interested because you have read to this point!) and support for your ministry in Côte d'Ivoire. Thank you for allowing us to share from our hearts.

As we move into this summer it looks to be a wild one and we fully expect to see some of you! The plan is a definitive departure for Côte d'Ivoire in September this year all things being equal (which they never are but we might as well hope) in case you had not caught that yet! Hang in there and watch out for the wildlife this summer. We might show up in your neck of the woods!

Fall’in but saved,
Rod & Angelika

PS - If any of you would like to make a tandem skydive this summer, give us a yell and we will see what we can workout! Our cell is: (503) 313-2023, or residence: (503) 628-3828. If you call Skydive Oregon just ask for “The Parsons”!http://www.skydiveoregon.com/

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