Happy New Year from Ghana!
It is hard to believe that this is the last time we expect to add 'from Ghana' to that statement. Ghana has been home to our family for almost 19 years.
We have just returned, from what we expect was our last trip to northern Ghana to see places and friends that have been part of our lives. It is hard to think about moving on and yet we are at complete peace because we have had it repeatedly confirmed that this is the right time. The following are a few pictures of friends that have been part of our lives for many years...
The latter part of 2018 saw Phil in Guinea for some time to do a strategic review with the SIM team there and then the day after he returned we left for Greece to participate in the next Leader Development 'Flight'. We have enjoyed our 2 years working with Mike & Jacky and we continue to connect. Our focus now, however, is to mentor Dan & Christie Reich who are leading the SIM Paraguay team. Below is a picture of the 4 of us at the Temple of Poseidon. Just before the Leader Development event, we spent a weekend in Athens with our niece who is working as an au pair in Rome.
Following the Leader Development event, we went to the Middle East for a week. It was great for Andrea to be able to connect with the 8 new team members that had arrived in country since her last visit a year ago, and to also spend a weekend retreat with the team.
After returning from the Middle East, we were both involved with preparations for the semi-annual Ghana leadership meetings. Andrea was a key part of those meetings but Phil no longer participated. Instead, Phil was in Kenya for the first meeting of the restructured SIM International Leadership team. This team meets online every two weeks but the Kenya meeting was the first face-to-face meeting of the team (see below).
"Where will you move to after you leave Ghana?" This is a very common question and our response is, "We don't know yet and we are OK with that!" We expect to leave Ghana in early June and spend the rest of 2019 working from Canada while connecting with family, friends and supporters. We are waiting for God's direction as to where we will be based after 2019 and what Andrea's role will be in the future. At present our focus is for Andrea to complete her Ghana role (though she will continue the Middle East one for now), for Phil to continue to grow in his role, and for us to do our best to 'leave well'. Once we know where we see God leading us in 2020, we will be sure to let you know!
We have been given the privilege to participate in an Integrated Mission Leadership course run by the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) that will take place as four, one-week modules over a year. We believe that this comes at an opportune time as we seek God's leading on what might be next for us.
Whats on the horizon?
Over the next few months we expect:
Both of us to spend a few days with our boys in Canada, then travel on to Bolivia and Paraguay.
Phil to be in Ethiopia, North East India, Thailand and Singapore.
Andrea to help one of our colleagues as she expects to deliver her 2nd child here in Accra in March.
To participate in Module 1 of the Integrated Mission Leadership course.
Andrea to participate in a Middle East Team conference.
So, yes, it will be a busy few months. And some time in there we need to pack up!
That each of our kids are doing well - Kieran in his final semester, Liam on his co-op placement and Cara in her final semester.
For a good strategic review with the SIM Guinea team.
For the opportunity to mentor Dan and Christie.
For a good visit with one of the Middle East teams and the opportunity to participate in their team retreat.
For good SIM Ghana leadership team meetings as well as Phil's time with the International Leadership team.
For a good Christmas together with Cara - including a last trip to the beach.
For a great last trip to northern Ghana - and the gift of a few nights stay at Mole Park at the end.
Items for Prayer
For Kieran and Cara in their final semesters.
Cara has applied to three universities for their Kinesiology programs. Pray that she will be accepted to the university of God's choice.
That the people interested in both the Ghana Personnel Coordinator and Business Manager roles will have a clear sense of God's leading.
For a good couple of days with the boys in February.
For wisdom and safe travel for our various travels and meetings.
That things will work well for Andrea while Phil travels!
That God will provide the funds necessary for our Integrated Mission Leadership Course.