Missionaries in Anglican Land - people walking across the boundaries of culture, ethnicity, nationality, etc - are all over the place and do all sorts of things. This week I have been particularly delighted to read of three:
(i) Two weeks ago the Executive Council met in Quito, Ecuador. Bishop Wilfrido Ramos and his staff made it possible for EC members to visit a variety of ministries in the diocese. I have commented on one in particular, the Church of Christ the Liberator in Quito, HERE.
Most of the arrangements were made by Chris Morck, a missionary of TEC along with his wife, Trish. I had met Chris once before but finally had a chance to meet the two of them at several of the gatherings that week. To say the least I was very much impressed, both by their commitment and their quiet and by their steady presence and faith.
They sent out a newsletter today with this news:
"We spent quite a lot of time in January and February with a family from Tennessee who own a fair trade store and were here looking for new relationships and products. In the beginning of February, Chris was driving to a church south of Quito with the husband of the family when they were hit by an SUV, which then fled the scene. After being hit, our truck hit the median and flipped over, landing on its roof. Much to the surprise of onlookers, they were both able to walk away from the accident, although the roof of the truck caved in and hit Chris on the head when it flipped over, causing muscular trauma in his neck and back. If it had not been for seatbelts they could have been killed, and we are extremely thankful that they were preserved. The final quote from the insurance company is being finalized, and there's a good chance the truck will be totaled. In any case, we are looking at paying out a substantial amount for the deductible, something that certainly was not planned for when we had made our budget."
I don't know if this happend prior to Executive Council going to Quito, but if it did Chris didn't mention it. Thanks be to God that he is safe and well.
Missionaires of The Episcopal Church are responsible in part for raising funds for their support, both for personal budget and sometimes for the work they do. Auto accidents happen everywhere, of course, and even when successful (and walk-a-ways are successful) they put a crimp in budgets and plans. For missionaries such events are very difficult since most missionary budgets are gaged to life in place (in this case Ecuador) and living with very modest expectations. So the Morck's simple comment, that this was "something that certainly was not planned for when we had made our budget" signals a real need.
If anyone wishes to help they might write the Morcks at Chris and Trish Morck at email@example.com More about them can be seen on their webpages, www.stjames-cambridge.org/morcks
(ii) The Episcopal Church continues, as always, to respond to requests for mission personnel from Provinces in the Anglican Communion. It is a wonderful thing to watch the start up of such responses and particularly so when it involves a friends. Judith Gregory, the Diocesan Business Manager in Delaware, is doing a missionary response to a need specifically for the skills she has as a CPA. She will be spending her sabattical in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan working with the Province as they manage the relief and development monies that come in from all over the world through their office. Judi went for a quick assessment and orientation visit last week and is preparing to go for the longer stint following Delaware's Diocesan Convention in April. If you want to see how she is progressing through the delights and fears that accompany the plunge into another culture, or how a seriously business manager type can find her way in a world that does its business in very different contexts, visit her blog, Source of the River, HERE.
(iii) Bishop Pierre Whalon, of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, has been visiting the Province of the Congo on behalf of the Francophone Network of the Anglican Communion, . He has blogged about it all on his site, BishopBlogging. About the Francophone Network, he says, "The four million francophone Anglicans need to gather resources for education and evangelism—we have virtually nothing in French other than the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible."
The missionary opportunities abound, not only for those who most obiviously are missinaries - the Morcks - but also for Judith Gregory the CPA off to do more CPA stuff, and Bishop Whalon working on behalf of a real Anglican Communion Network.
There are hundreds if not thousands of others in mission in Anglican Land, some official, some not, some under the auspices of the Episcopal Church, others outside the walls, some locally drivien by the vision of one or two people, some driven by the needs of whole churches.
Three of these efforts were part of my thinking this week, and many more are on the horizon. As the Anglican Communion moves into a Post Colonial and Post Modern period the outcroppings of new mission work will be everywhere and done in partnership by all sorts of people. It will be an exciting time to pray and give and work for mission.