As 2016 ended, Abby and I were not entirely sure how 2017 was going to play out. We knew that we'd be in South Africa and Zambia during the summer, but apart from that things were a bit, shall we say, fluid.
One thing we knew we'd have to face in 2017 is that Abby needed a total right knee replacement. This has been scheduled for March 29. Of course, this threw a wrench in our plans to travel to Rwanda and Ethiopia in April. But, Abby has no choice. Her knee limitations are simply too great.
So, at this point, what does 2017 hold for us?
February 4-14 (Long Island, Bahamas): Gabe and Jan Swing of the Caribbean Youth Network have asked us to come have a look-see. Their vision is to offer training to pastors who have never been trained and have no access to training. We'll be getting to know their mission to kids on Long Island and meet the pastors with whom they work. If things look good, we hope to return in the fall to do some intensive training. Exciting!
2/16-24 (Phoenix, Arizona): We'll be joining many of our GTN colleagues for our annual retreat. This is always a great time for strengthening our discipleship and connecting with other like-minded missionaries. This year, the retreat has been extended to include a two-day time of guided inner reflection with an emphasis on our own spiritual health. We're looking forward to this opportunity!
March 3 - New grandson, Luke Stephen, is due to be born to Jen and James!!!
March 29 - Abby will have a total right knee replacement.
April/May/June (Huntersville, NC): We'll be teaching at Lake Forest Church. Details TBA.
May 7 (Burlinton, NC): Doug will be preaching at Westminster Presbyterian Church, one of our mission partners. Westminster is pastored by our good friend, the Rev. Powell Sykes.
May 21 (Burlington, NC): We will be giving a mission update to Westminster Presbyterian Church.
June 23-July 4 (Pretoria, South Africa): Abby and I have been invited to teach at the Rise Mission Conference. We'll meet our dear friend, Percy Muleba, and join hundreds of evangelists and church planters from five Southern Africa countries (Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa). We will gather under the motto: "We are no longer a mission field; we are a mission force!"
July 5-August 15 (Zambia): We have a three week intensive training scheduled for Senanga, plus additional training in Livingstone, Mongu and Mwandi, with other possibilities, as well. As always, we'll be workjing with Percy Muleba of the Inyambo Mission Center.
Fall - Possibilities for the Bahamas, Rwand and Ethiopia are in the mix.
Please pray for us as we seek to serve the Lord both at home and abroad!