The Jerdan Journal
November 17, 2012
Whew! Has this past month ever been a full and busy one!
First of all, thank you for your prayers for Diane in her various ministries during October. There was good communication and response with the group that gathered in Williamsburg for the Spiritual Enrichment Conference the first week in October.
Then, the mission conference in Italy was marvelous. The sharing and planning done by 37 partner churches from 24 different countries was very encouraging. The majority of these churches are in developing countries, and they are taking some interesting and creative initiatives in building the church and meeting the needs of the surrounding society. Their courageous outreach is a real encouragement to us!
The meetings were held in the beautiful Waldensian valleys of Italy, on the eastern side of the Alps. The Waldensians began in 1174 with the conversion of Pierre Valdo. This movement has existed for over 800 years, in spite of repeated attempts to eliminate them. They suffered severely during the Inquisition and, after adhering to the Reformation, from the counter-Reform. Their history, told during a two-hour visit to the Waldensian museum in Torre Pellice, Italy, was a moving lesson in the grace of God! The synod hall where we met is dominated by a symbolic painting of a tree that has all its original supporting branches cut off – but, there is new, fresh growth between the branches. The scroll in the center says: “be faithful unto death”. This is a fitting symbol for the Waldensians! (see photo in attached document)
Thank you for praying for Diane’s health. This is particularly important for a ministry which involves talking all day (simultaneous interpretation). Due probably to fatigue and an over-crowded return flight, she did suffer from respiratory problems for the two weeks after her return. The Lord’s protection of her health during the trip was really appreciated.
Now we very much covet your prayers for our teaching session in West Africa the first two weeks of December. We will leave exactly one week after Thanksgiving, at the end of November. Again we ask for prayers for us – our health and safety, our capacity to communicate clearly in French (for many of the pastors, French is their second language), our awareness of the needs we will be seeing – but we especially ask your prayers for the students. These are all active pastors, most with families, and many travel from some distance to attend. They do this several times a year in order to improve their capacities for service. We find them inspiring!
We send you our warmest greetings and best wishes for a joyous and grateful Thanksgiving celebration.
Diane & Bill Jerdan