Saturday, 7 January 2017

Happy New Year!

2017 is here!!!

 It has been great to be able to catch up with some of you since completing my course at All Nations but I do wish there were more hours in the day (or days in the month) so I could see you all!

College news: I realize that my last update spoke a lot about the social side of college and very little about the studying! I did study hard I promise! It's very difficult to sum up such a great experience but it really was a fantastic and fruitful time. One of the highlights was definitely being taught by such great tutors who have wisdom, knowledge, experience and really care for their students. They had years of experience of cross-cultural mission (one of the speakers was in his 80's) and yet spoke just as passionately now as they would have at the outset. It was great to take time to focus on preparing mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally for what lies ahead. We covered a huge variety of topics from theology to world religions, dealing with culture shock, discovering your love language, and writing a newsletter!

 All Nations is an amazing place and I would recommend anyone who is interested in or considering cross-cultural mission to consider taking a course there. (I've added their link to the blog page so you can easily check them out.)

 As well as amazing tutors there were also amazing fellow pupils at the college and one in particular! 😉 Andy is a great guy and has a heart for God and people. We have been together a couple of months now and are praying for God's guidance and blessing in all our future steps. Very exciting!!!


Family News: Granny has been making us proud again! On the 22nd December she received the Légion d'Honneur medal from the French Embassy for her work as a cipher decoding messages during WWII in France. We took part in a lovely ceremony and enjoyed a great cream tea afterwards. She even made it into the Hull Daily Mail! She's our hero!!


Argentina News: I am back home in Wales and will now be focusing my efforts on support raising to reach the target and be able to start the process for setting a leaving date. Amazingly I am already 2/3 of the way to raising the amount and just need to secure another £500/month to be fully funded. Looking back it's so encouraging to see how God is providing and I am so grateful to you my supporters for being part of the adventure. If you have not yet signed up and would like more information please don't hesitate to get in touch. My email is joanne_la13@hotmail.com

NEWSFLASH!!!

 On Sunday 15th January my church will be holding a Commissioning Service for me and I would love you to be there. (There will be tea and cake afterwards!!). It will be at 3.30pm at Blaenau Gwent Baptist Church, Abertillery. Representatives from Latin Link, All Nations, my supporter churches and my brilliant friends and family will be there. Let me know if you have any queries.

 A bit of an epic news update but that's all for now folks. Do get in touch and let me know your news too. Hugs to you all!!
Jo. x

For the pray-ers:
1. Thank God for a great and fruitful time at All Nations. Pray that I would put all I learned into practice.
2. Pray for myself and Andy that we'll continue to grow together and in getting to know one another and that God will guide our every steps.
3. Pray for Granny that God will keep her safe and well and for strength and wisdom for her family as they care for her.
4. Pray for the necessary funding for Argentina, wisdom for what to do in the interim and trust in God's perfect timing.
5. Pray for a great time at the Commissioning Service that it will be a celebration of God's goodness and faithfulness.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Swiss man, a Dutch lady, 2 Danes, 5 Brits and a Nepalese walk into a classroom....

     It sounds like the start of a joke but this is my En Route class at All Nations Christian College. We have now been together for 5 weeks and are having a great time!


     We started out first weekend with a trip out and walk around a beautiful lake.

     We study together as a class everyday until 1pm then spend the afternoons and evenings reading, doing chores, completing assignments or socialising! We have 3 great chefs at college and I'm definitely putting on weight! My chores this term have been on the washing up team. There are 120 students-it's quite a task! Thankfully there is a machine involved! :)

    We also get to choose a practical course to follow that will be helpful when we are out on the mission field. This means I got a free haircut last week as my coursemate Anneke needed a model for her hairdressing class (thankfully she was a fast and accurate learner and did a good job). On Saturday I will do a course on car maintenance-it's a bit too far to call Dad out to help when I'm in Argentina!


    We are encouraged to visit different churches during our course and on Sunday we went to a Nepali church in London. It was strange to be in a service and not understand a word but we met some really lovely people, were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed a cup of tasty Nepali tea! Our coursemate Ram is from Nepal and he taught us a song to share with the church. They were very gracious in their compliments (It's amazing how a little effort can build bridges). Here's a snippet of rehearsals;

 
     At the beginning of October we also celebrated a great event as a family as Granny reached her 95th Birthday! She had a brilliant time surrounded by her family including my cousin flying in as a surprise from Australia. It was great to be there with my family and to see Granny's smiles.


    On a sadder note my brother and sister in law suffered another horrible miscarriage last week. Thankfully we have a fantastic health service and Zoe got to hospital in time for them to save her life but it is nonetheless heartbreaking. Please pray for them that they will know comfort and healing and that they will soon have a successful pregnancy.

     Thanks for reading, praying, keeping in touch and supporting me-it really does make a difference. Please use all the above information to keep praying-also let me know your requests!

      If you would like further information about becoming a supporter of this adventure to Argentina or have any other questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. My email is; joanne_la13@hotmail.com

     Love Jo. xxx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hola!!!!

A new page for a new season!

I am sure you have heard by now but just in case........I am going back to Argentina!!!!! At the end of last year I completed the application process with Latin Link and got accepted to return on their Stay Programme. This is the long-term programme and I have signed up to go for at least 2 years.

To make sure I go back as well equipped as possible, I will first complete a 10 week missions course at All Nations Christian College in Ware, Hertfordshire starting on 21st September and then hope to make it out to Argentina in January 2017.

I will initially return to the city of Salta and get involved with some of the projects at Casa De Dios church whilst possibly also undertaking further theological and missions training.

Here's a little reminder of some of the issues faced by families in the suburbs of Salta, what the church is doing to help and why I am going back to get involved ...

Many women in the area are lone parents with large families to care for. Children are often left home alone as their mothers go out to work and go without meals as families cannot cover all the bills.

Casa de Dios church started working in this area 8 years ago by opening a nursery providing free day care for children aged 6 months to 4 years. Around 20 children attend. They are given 2 meals a day, a safe environment to play in and a lot of love.

From 2011-2013 I helped in the nursery-overcoming an initial shock at working with such little ones (and having to change nappies). Over the 2 years I developed a more stable routine for the nursery and worked on a curriculum providing monthly themes and daily activities for the children (one for the 0-2s class and one for the 3-4s class). This enables them to have the best start in education and hopefully will eventually have an effect on their engagement with and completion of primary and secondary education. (Currently 45% leave school with no qualifications!). As each child spends 2 years in each class I hope to work on completing another years worth of lessons to cover the whole time spent in the nursery.

































  To combat the hunger and malnutrition many children in the area face, the church also serves bread and milk or tea daily to 60-100 children. For some this is their only meal for the rest of the day following their lunch.





  I hope to put the skills and experiences I have to good use in serving these children and families providing practical help alongside sharing with them the great news that there is a God who loves them. I believe that the best way to do this will be to serve with Latin Link and work full-time in the projects. 

To be able to do all this I need some help in 3 areas......

1) Keeping in touch. Will you read my monthly blog and latest news and share in the adventure and also keep me up to date with how you're doing and all your adventures?

2) Praying. Once again I am going out of my depth and feeling a mixture of excitement and terror! Will you pray that God will continue to guide me, provide for every need and use me to make a difference? 

3) Giving. This is a self-funded venture and due to Argentina's current economic situation I need to raise £1,500 a month to cover accommodation, food, travel, insurance, health and daily costs. This seems a huge amount but already some wonderful churches and individuals have signed up to support me meaning that I have almost reached halfway and now need to raise £780 a month more. If you feel you would like to be part of my support team with a one off or regular gift and join in the adventure to Argentina please get in touch and I will send you more details or you can sign up through the Latin Link website using the link at the top of the post to the right--------->

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch...
My email address is; joanne_la13@hotmail.com

Thank you for reading and for the encouragement you have already been on this journey. I look forward to hearing from you.
God bless,
Love, Jo.