Langley family June 2012 update letter

June 2012

Langley family update

 

Dear Friends,

 

We have shared with many of you the possibility of our family soon entering into a time of Sabbatical renewal.  Many congregations and communities understandably term sabbatical a “creative absence,” and as our own sabbatical unfolds we want to open our process and experience of sabbatical with you with the hope that we can my mutually blessed, challenged, and open to God’s presence in our lives.  To start, we want to share with you our own reluctance to receive sabbatical.  Our mission sending agency, Word Made Flesh, has a policy of allowing a Sabbatical renewal every 7th year of ministry.  From the WMF Sabbatical Planning Guide:

Sabbatical honors a sacred rhythm found in Holy Scripture, a time for the land to rest from its labor and thus the worker too (Exo 23: 10-11, Exo 31: 12-13). Sabbatical is our collective affirmation that we are vulnerable and weak and prone to independence. Affirming our vulnerability we recognize our need for renewal. Affirming our weakness we recognize that our strength comes through union with God. And affirming our independent nature, we recognize our need for creative absences that reinforce our interdependence.

As of October we will have completed 12 years of service in Lima; however, it has been difficult for us to accept a time of Sabbatical renewal until recently.  Our justifications were many: we haven’t felt it was the right time; we have worried if the community could survive without us; we have felt the tension of knowing that most working people, although every bit committed to their work as we are, will never be offered the gift of Sabbatical renewal.  Is it OK for us to receive this gift when others aren’t offered the same opportunity?  Do we believe that God will sustain His ministry in our absence?  Do we believe this is God’s will and time for us to step away from ministry and focus on rest, renewal and future plans?

In the last year we have been encouraged to receive the gift of Sabbatical (and even pushed) by our supervisors, our home church pastors and most impactful for us, our local community.  And slowly we have sensed a freedom to accept this gift even with our uncertainties and maybe even because of them.

We have been approved for a time of Sabbatical renewal and creative absence that will begin in July 2012 and end in March 2013. We are keenly aware of the preciousness of the gift we are being offered and as we begin to receive this gift we ask that you pray fervently that God use this time according to His will and desire for us and the community where we serve.  Join us also in praying, as we have for many years, that God would use our creative absence in the ministry of “La Palabra Hecha Hombre” so that our Peruvian leadership will stay encouraged and begin to envision the next season of ministry for WMF Peru in an increasingly contextualized way.

Your community needs you, but maybe not as a constant presence. Your community might need you as a presence that offers courage and spiritual food for the journey, a presence that creates the safe ground in which others can grow and develop, a presence that belongs to the matrix of the community. But your community also needs your creative absence. (Inner Voice of Love, Henri Nouwen)

We are excited about how God will use our absence to catalyze WMF Peru’s growth.  We firmly believe this is a good time for our creative absence.  We will spend most of our Sabbatical in Lima due to our upcoming adoption, the girl’s school year and for financial reasons.   Pray that we will be able to establish healthy boundaries and that we will submit to God our desires for WMF Peru.

Everything in our world pushes us to produce and perform, and we’ve struggled to step out of activity to intentionally seek a season of renewal. We are being reminded that our identity does not come from what we do, but rather to Whom we belong.   We invite your prayers as we enter into this time of renewal.  We know this time is a gift, not because we deserve it, but because it has been offered to us.  We humbly receive this profound gift and pray that God use it for His purposes and according to His perfect will.   We plan on using these letters, and other formats, for staying in touch and continuing to offer our experience of sabbatical to all of you.

 

Specific prayer requests for sabbatical

  • That our sabbatical would serve God’s purposes and desires for us, and the community of WMF Peru.
  • That our creative absence would facilitate a further growth and contextualization of leadership in WMF Peru.
  • That we would have discipline in establishing healthy boundaries during our sabbatical so that we might receive everything God is ready to offer.

 

Specific financial needs for sabbatical

  • Ongoing financial support from our supporters.
  • Help with plane tickets (either through giving or transfer of miles) so that we can make a visit to the US during sabbatical.  We would love to be able to travel with our newly adopted child, who could be a newborn or up to 3 years old.  So, we might need up to $6000 to cover the costs of 5 plane tickets.   If God is putting this on your hearts to help us with this need please let us know soon, as it will help us to plan.

 

 

With love and thankfulness,

The Langleys

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One thought on “Langley family June 2012 update letter

  1. mindy jamison says:

    my husband and I serve the urban poor in Des Moines Iowa. We have been here for 13 years and just tonight we were discussing sabbatical. It is not in our tradition to take or be offered one- we are missionaries with the southern baptist… we too could benefit greatly! We will be praying for you and pray God will use this time to draw you in closer and to to empower those you serve with!
    Since we can not go on our own sabbatical we would love to help get you guys back to the states so that you can see family. How can we donate money to directly to you? If you would like a total so you can plan we were hoping to give you $150. We know this is a drop in the bucket- and if you are not able to raise enough to come home- use it for something fun and refreshing!!
    We appreciate the opportunity to give and share in your rest! Email us the best way to get this to you!
    Blessings,
    Jon and Mindy Jamison

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