Journals
Posted on October 1, 2020 New Opportunities Amidst a Disorienting Time
[pie chart]82%Support Pledged

What a whirlwind 2020 has been for us so far. First, we were booked solid through June and saying goodbye to Costa Rica and hello to Mexico. Second, amidst the travel and transitions, the entire world was and still is interrupted by a pandemic. Third, we started adjusting our support raising efforts and are now needing nine new supporters at $100 a month to be funded and able to leave for Mexico City in January 2021. We praise God because before the pandemic struck, we needed nearly 30 new monthly supporters! Finally, Peter was completing his return to foreign service medical exam and multiple health issues were revealed that needed addressed. Especially since the migraines are under control. I think we join the chorus of people pleading “no more 2020!”

The need to have multiple medical issues addressed has put us back into disorientation as Peter first had parathyroid surgery to remove an over-producing parathyroid gland, and the recovery was more challenging than anticipated.  Then Peter’s left hip was deteriorating in the joint causing limited mobility and constant pain.  In early August, Peter had a metal on metal joint resurfacing procedure (Birmingham Method) and is recovering with little to no complications.  Peter has been cleared by the Orthopedic doctor to return to normal activities (slowly as his body permits) and for foreign service.

Recently, a friend emailed us letting us know that their church decided to put us in their budget at $100 a month.  This note was so encouraging to us because at this time we were in the midst of Peter’s hip surgery recovery. And still no speaking engagements scheduled, other than a few virtual engagements. It also made us realize how much God is putting the funding in place according to God’s perfect timing.  We still need your help. So many of you have already put us in your budgets and give regularly, for which we are very thankful.  However, some of your churches do not directly support us. Many churches are entering the budget season, and we would appreciate it if you would consider us. The following is a testimony of how God is still using us in missions, even as Peter is recovering from surgery.

Peter, along with some other colleagues from International Ministries, helps with the partnership with Palmer Seminary and Eastern University Master of Theological Studies for Latin America. Peter has three different roles.  First, Peter is the teacher of a second-year course in developing a deep personal relationship with God (spiritual formation). Second, he leads the second-year residency program that is a week-long, in the country of the cohort. For example, his last trip was to Mexicali, Mexico, to work with students there.  Finally, he is one of the advisors that helps the students through their final course which consists of writing an integration project on what they learned and an application to their local context.  It was within this last role the following testimony happened this past June/July.

Testimony

Peter was advising his student and had his parathyroid surgery during the middle of the advisement term. Usually, Peter has two or three students at a time completing their final course project. However, he only had one this time. We saw this as God’s provision and blessing due to the unexpected surgery that Peter needed.

Peter’s student, Valtencir, is a good student as well as a decent writer. Valtencir wanted to address a popular teaching of Brazil in light of what he learned in the Master’s program. However, his approach was initially to state here are the errors of the prosperity gospel and other erroneous teachings, and this is the correct view. His goal was to use this paper as a teaching guide for the denomination. Peter helped Valtencir realize that this “you’re wrong, and this is what is right” method would not change minds nor cause growth. Peter suggested that he use the method of “here is where you are in thinking about God, and here is God’s invitation to grow deeper in your understanding and faith.” Through this method, Valtencir was able to show the truths within the prosperity gospel and God’s invitation that deepens and strengthens the faith when you don’t get the responses you expected. This method radically changed the tone of his teaching and clarified an invitation to grow in Christ.

At the end of the course, while Peter was in Cleveland for hip surgery, Valtencir met with Peter via Zoom. Valtencir told Peter how much that method has been helping him communicate and teach with better results.  He applied it not just to the paper but to how he was leading the church and his preaching. The responses from his congregation are encouraging for him. People want to learn and change. The congregation’s mood has shifted from reluctance and politeness to desiring God and an excitement for personal growth in maturity. Join us in praising God for Valtencir’s teachable heart and his and the church’s acceptance of God’s invitation to grow in Christ.

We sincerely appreciate your support in prayers and finances. It looks like God has been preparing us to go in health both physically and financially throughout this disorientating time of a pandemic and health issues. Praise God with us for His answer to prayers. Join us on this journey, if you can, through personal support as well as through your local church. We are praying for God’s blessing and growth in maturity for all of us. And to those who already support us on a monthly or annual basis, would you invite others to join us in this journey by supporting us through prayer and monthly financial support?

Looking Ahead

We are very much looking forward to getting to Mexico City and begin settling our roots in our new home and begin working at the Baptist Theological Seminary this coming January. Currently, we are meeting virtually with the leadership of the seminary via ZOOM on a monthly basis. We begun meeting with the current students of the seminary to lead them in a monthly spiritual formation/direction session. And a few of the other professors have extended an invitation to us to guest lecture during this Fall semester. Essentially, we are beginning to lay the groundwork of building trust and relationships with the seminary students. We are thankful for this opportunity to begin the work that God is calling us to do even if it is in a virtual setting.

Peter leading a time of virtual spiritual direction with the students of Seminario Bautista de México via ZOOM.

NEW prayer cards will soon be available!

New Family Picture

Which will feature a new family picture. Our new prayer cards will also have an updated ministry job description. If your church would like some, you may contact International Ministries to request them. We will also be sending them out in our end of the year mailing as well.

Thank you!

We thank you for your prayers, support, and love for our family. These help us do the ministry to which God is calling us. We are so close to being funded to be able to leave for Mexico City this coming January, but we need your help to get there. By financially supporting our ministry you are helping make a profound impact on the lives of seminary students, pastors and pastoral families in Mexico and throughout Iberoamérica. Will you join us on this journey by giving a new or increased monthly financial gift? Or invite other mission minded friends to give?

Join us and make an impact on God’s Kingdom by journeying with us.

 

Gratefully,

Sarah & Peter McCurdy