International Ministries

Transitions and New Beginnings

July 30, 2010 Journal
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Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues,

 preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,

 because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Matthew 9.35-38

 

Transitions and New Beginnings

 

As I write this newsletter I am pondering about the last month of my life. There were many transitions marked by end of the school year events, Joshua was named ‘Student of the Year” for his class, there were also other events where awards and certificates were handed out. Richie found out that he had made it to Varsity Swimming and did extremely well in his SAT’s and his SAT-Subject tests. Aida finished her first year at the University of Virginia and traveled home feeling like an adult.

 

Rick and I had a few pizza parties with our students at seminary and basically said our good-byes to our partners in Mexicali as we prepared for our year of Home Assignment. I left for New England for 18 days to speak at churches and groups. Rick stayed home to take care of our family, attend graduation ceremonies at the seminary and a wedding for two of our students. Everything was changing and moving a bit too fast. We were celebrating the endings but at least I was not ready to plan for the new beginnings.  

 

As I traveled through Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, I was asked many times what were my biggest dreams and needs for our ministry. The truth was that I was struggling just to finish my ‘to do’ lists and collapsing every night to a fitful sleep. I called Rick and we took a breather to think about our dreams and our needs.

 

What did we want to accomplish? We made a list of 32 things, some were needs and others were dreams, yet I still felt like the list lacked cohesion. I had been sharing this text with our supporters in New England, and it continues to speak to my heart. Jesus was a man on a mission. He was out in the community networking, making friends and enemies, and he was dealing with human need. He was moved (he felt a passionate need to respond) by the crowds in such a way that he actually sounds overwhelmed. I can relate to Jesus here. There is so much need and not enough people, resources, and time to fill the need. It is easy to feel overwhelmed yet Jesus shares the burden with his disciples. ‘Ask God to send out more workers because the harvest is ready.’

 

My friends, Jesus did not go crazy trying to heal everyone and minister to everyone. He shared the task. The job is ours. We as the church are charged with reaching out to those who are hurting, to equip those who are called and to work together as the body of Christ to fulfill the mission. I will share our lists with all of you but right now I just want to invite you to partner with us to do what God has called us to do. Remember, the Harvest is ready, are you?

 

Family Update

 

As I shared above, we are on our year of home assignment which ironically means that we will be spending less time at home and more time visiting churches. We have to intentionally plan time to be together so here’s what we’ve been up to.

 

I, Mercy just returned from 2 ½ weeks in New England doing mission promotion. I spent ten days with Rick before he went on a cross country trip with Richie visiting universities and also doing some deputation in Illinois and Kansas.

 

Richie and Rick both enjoyed their visit of the University of Chicago. Richie was very impressed and is thinking about his options for the future. Please pray for him as he starts his Senior Year of High School in late August.

 

Aida is home for the summer and is working at the local community college with the Upward Bound Program.

 

Joshua is enjoying his summer playing on the computer and dreaming about Disneyland and amusement parks.

 

 

Where in the World are Rick and Mercy

As stated above I had a wonderful trip to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island meeting with many of our local churches. I ate lots of delicious food and made many new friends. I highly recommend the Seafood Pizza, Yum! Rick had a wonderful time at Oak Park Avenue Baptist Church in Berwyn, Illinois and with Westside Baptist Church,  Wichita, Kansas and a meeting of several churches at Meridian Avenue Baptist Church in Wichita.

 

Mercy will be in Puerto Rico from Sept 4-20 visiting churches and her family. If you would like to schedule a visit while she is in Puerto Rico, please contact her at mercyrickmx@hotmail.com.

 

Mercy will also be in New York State from Oct. 1-10 for a series of ABW events. And in Nebraska from Oct 23- Nov 1st.

 

There are many other trips in the works and we will let you know when they are set in stone. As you can see, I (Mercy) will be doing much of the long distance traveling. Rick will be doing more of the deputation that is within driving distance (Arizona and California). If you would like a visit to learn more about our ministry, please feel free to be in touch with us or with our MPT. Our convener is Pastor Michelle Madsen-Bibeau michlmb@aol.com

 

Meet our MPT

This is a new segment of our newsletter in which we introduce you to the members of our MPT (Missionary Partnership Team). Our MPT is a wonderful group of people who partner with us in mission in many ways. While I was in CT this past June, they housed and fed me as well as transported me to many churches. Both Rick and I are so thankful for this talented group of people.

They are:

                1. Michelle Madsen-Bibeau Convener

                2. Ellen Jones- Missionary Kid Care and Concern

                3. Rev. Cal Lord- Short term mission team coordinator

                4. Rev. Bruce Sandy- Pastoral Care

                5. Rev. Greg Thomas- Finances and Wonderful Cook

 

This month we would like to highlight Michelle. I had met Michelle when I worked with ABCCONN (American Baptist Churches of Connecticut) but I truly got to know her when she came to Mexicali to participate in a short term mission experience from Norwich, CT. Michelle is married to John Madsen-Bibeau and has two beautiful daughters, Claire and Iris. Michelle is an interim minister at First Baptist Church Stafford and has done this immensely important ministry for many years. She is also an educator and volunteers in many groups. She gives herself 150% to whatever she is doing.

 

I would like to thank her with all my heart for all the time she has given to support our ministry and especially for the coordination of my most recent trip to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. So the old adage is true, if you want to get something done, ask someone who is busy to do it.

 

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If you wish to get a list of our dreams and needs please get in touch with us. We want to thank you all in advance for the prayers and financial support you give to all International Ministries Missionaries. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we celebrate the World Mission Offering. 

Rick and I will be on Home assignment from June 2010 til June 2011. Please get in touch with us if you would like us to come visit your church. September and October are committed to Puerto Rico, New York State and Nebraska but the rest of the year is still open. God bless you all.  Mercy and Rick