What a joy it was recently to gather as South American Covenant Mission teams from Colombia and Ecuador. As well, we were joined by Bob Auger, from Member Care, Byron Amundsen (who led a security and safety workshop), Baxter and Margie Swenson (personnel directors), and Eugenio and Pia Restrepo (Latin America Regional coordinators). Being able to spend time together, interact with one another, listen to each other, pray for one another, laugh and eat together made our four days in Ecuador special.

We also were able to celebrate with recently retired Executive Minister of Serve Globally, Curt Peterson, and his years of ministering to us and with us. As a couple we have a long history with Curt since Gary served his seminary internship in 1981-1982 at the Montecito Covenant Church where Curt was pastor. Gary has put into practice and used in Colombia many of the lessons, advice and insight for ministry that he received during that internship year. And the relationship and friendship that began then has been such a blessing for both of us. Curt’s words to us to “live flourishing lives—choosing holiness, staying in the Scriptures, and guarding our lives through trusting in God” were a continuation and a reflection of Curt’s very encouraging style of leadership for us as missionaries and for what he has done for the ECC. We all flourished under his leadership.

Being able to welcome our new Executive Minister, Al Tizon, to South America was a special highlight. And being led by Al in a dialog and teaching on our global partnership postures, contextualized koinonia, and extending Christ’s radical community by going and being together in holistic and integrated ministry was certainly powerful, humbling and inspiring.DSC_2427

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