“Now the star, which the wise men had seen in the East, went in front of them as they travelled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the baby Jesus lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy.” (Matthew 2: 9-10)
The pilgrimage of the wise men represents the journey to which God calls every follower of Jesus Christ: a long, sometimes arduous journey by faith into unknown territory to the indescribable joy of worshipping the Lord. The carol that describes their pilgrimage states, “star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light”. Our 2017 journey has included an abundance of God’s wonder, beauty, & guidance.
DAI ministry trips have dominated our calendars throughout 2017. Facilitation of the Culture, Ethnicity & Diversity (CED) course included cohorts in Uganda, Nepal, & Bangladesh. Speaking and representing DAI at conferences included ministry in Thailand, Australia, & the Cayman Islands. Teaching DAI related subjects opened doors to Moldova & Haiti. Other travel included encouraging & challenging leaders in Ottawa & Toronto, South Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Connecticut, Arizona, Colorado, & Massachusetts.
Perhaps the most unique experience for Paul in 2017 was speaking at a conference being called the “Chinese Urbana” – where over 1200 young Christians from across China came together to be challenged concerning going into all the world as cross-cultural missionaries. If you subscribe to Christianity Today, you can read the story here.
JOURNEY OF WONDER
We love the people from such a wide diversity of our Christian family that we get to meet, learn from, & encourage. It’s an amazing joy to visit former students ministering in countries like Moldova, Nepal, & Uganda & to teach in Bangladesh alongside Dr. Joel Gray, a former Gordon College student. The Haiti trip will result in a new partnership relationship for DAI. The Moldova journey continued the beautiful 27-year partnership of Grace Chapel, our home church, with Jesus Savior Church in Chisinau, Moldova. And as stated above, the year’s greatest highlight was the opportunity to challenge 1200 young Christian leaders from China concerning global missions.
Beyond our ministry experiences, we have found our spirits refreshed & renewed this year with the wonder of God we experienced through His creation in: tiny iridescent hummingbirds, majestic mountain ranges, the many turquoise hues in Caribbean waters, the vast canopy of stars, the fluty song of the robin at dawn, & the affection of our cats, Sofia & Zephyr.
JOURNEY OF GUIDANCE
Christie decided to close her counseling practice & concentrate on her role as a spiritual director. She added hours at her work in microbiology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to help reduce our medical insurance costs. She continues in her part-time role in DAI.
JOURNEY OF LOSS
This past May Christie’s sister, Terry, died. Terry lived here in Lexington in a group home because of her intellectual & physical disabilities. Christie was Terry’s guardian for the past 18 years. Terry’s health gave out this spring, & we sadly released her to the Lord’s healing care. At the memorial service for Terry, we met one of Terry’s night caregivers, Lydia, who was from Uganda. We learned that Lydia was discipled in Uganda by her pastor & his wife, our DAI colleagues Nicholas & Elizabeth Wafula. We were comforted knowing that God had been taking care of Terry through our global Christian family.
CHALLENGES IN THE JOURNEY
The biggest professional challenges at the close of 2017 are financial – somewhat for us but more so for DAI. Our personal support has diminished as our support team ages or refocuses their giving priorities. For DAI in general, increased opportunities & some unexpected emergencies have left us behind budget as an organization. Many of you will receive requests for possible extra end-of-year gifts to try to help us enter 2018 in a fiscally strong position. Thank you for anything you can give.
THE JOURNEY AHEAD
We anticipate the 2018 journey to include our mutual ongoing work with DAI as well as Christie’s work at BIDMC & as a spiritual director, Paul, along with Grace Chapel Lexington Campus Pastor, Dave Ripper, will release his first ever co-written book: Fellowship of the Suffering: How Hardship Equips Us for Ministry & Mission.
Note to existing donors and hint to new donors: donors will get a complimentary copy after its release in Spring 2018!!
Perhaps the most exciting ministry venture on the horizon is the filming in January & release in the spring of the on-line video version of the Culture, Ethnicity & Diversity (CED) course & the presentation of this non-formal course in India in April & Myanmar in September. In addition, Paul will facilitate the formal version of the CED course with cohorts in Uganda in March & India in July. If all goes well, our DAI all-staff conference will be in the Philippines in November. Other potential teaching/speaking journeys in discussion for 2018 include Grenada, Haiti, China, & more.
Thank you for joining us by journeying & partnering with us by your prayers, encouragement, & financial support. We pray that the message of this Christmas season strengthens you in your 2018 journey.
Joyfully on the journey & grateful for you,
Christie & Paul
We deeply value your prayers & consistently need your financial support. This is a year where we are praying that end of year gifts help us & DAI overall make budget so that we can start 2018 strong. We welcome your participation. If you’d like to join us in financial partnership you can give:
• Online: www.daintl.org Hit donate & under designation hit staff, Borthwicks, & complete the other information.
• By mail: Tax-deductible contributions designated “Borthwick Support” can be made payable & sent to:
Development Associates International
13710 Struthers Road, Suite 120
Colorado Springs, CO 80921