Welcome to a window into our world.
We have been fortunate enought to have lived in various places around the world and have enjoyed and been challenged by the faith, education, wildlife, work, culture and people we have encountered. These experiences have also moulded us in our thinking and contemplation. Some insights we have shared below.

Wednesday

December 08 Prayer update:

Thank you very much for all those who gallantly sent Linsey a happy birthday congratulatory email. She was blown away by the response and it was a very encouraging time for her and I cannot thank you enough. Linsey is merrily working her way through each one, and hopefully you will get a response in a little while, if you have not already received one.

Over Thanksgiving Linsey was also able to have an excellent break from various stresses that had built up and is now fully recharged for the upcoming fray. We appreciate your prayers.

Please carry on praying for Joe & Kathy Hart as they journey along the path of their cancer therapy. They are currently tracking through an alternative diet therapy and will make a decision on the surgery later. Pray for IFM as it continues to wade through some significant financial challenges and as God leads, directs and provides for the organisation.
We would also ask you to continue praying for our friends and IFM board members , whose son is continually being impacted by severely intense pain. This is a high level of physical pain that, as we mentioned before, has been with him for several years.

We ask you to continue praying for the folks in Ciudad Juarez and Mexico; also Mumbai and India. We were relieved to know that the various friends of ours in the city of Mumbai are OK but very sad to see the carnage that ensued. Like all of these horrific incidents there is a huge need for ongoing prayer as the ripples from this violence can have many consequences, long after it has fallen from the news headlines. So please pray for the Oasis India team (http://www.oasisindia.org/) and for the churches in the city, especially the gateway network of churches (http://www.gminet.org/) who have churches right across Mumbai and in amongst the area of the terrorist attack. Pray that God would put a hedge around and extinguish any further violent sectarianism that would look to raise its head, and that God would give the government, national leaders and security forces wisdom, discernment and favour.

We are very aware of the violent groups as they try to intimidate and rip apart a city; Ciudad Juarez at times seems like it is about to implode as the local and national Mexico authorities look to meet the huge violent challenges before them.

Joshua and Charys were recently at the House of Cornelius, the IFM base on the border, and in Juarez with Misiones Familiars de Mexico. Josh worked with a short term team and Charys spent some time with her friends whilst on a thanksgiving break from school. In the areas of the city IFM was working there was no violence throughout the whole week they were there. However, during that week in other areas of the city 50+ people were murdered and 28 were killed in one attack on the Friday night.

This is an extremely sad situation and we would also ask you to please pray for a decrease and curtailment of the violence. Extortions are on the rise and it has been reported that school teachers and church leaders are the latest group of the city that are being harassed for protection money.

Pray for the IFM folks on the border and in Juarez. During the week Joshua and Charys were there the IFM team fed and helped over 1200 people through its ongoing Juarez network. The team on the border have just completed an intense season and need to recharge for the coming year. Please pray for strength and provision as the Americans and Mexicans link together to help the poor along the border.

Also please remember all those various communities who are involved with the poor - the educators and church leaders, the city and national authorities, and the security services of both Mexico and the USA as they seek to stem the tide of violence. There is an old African proverb that I like and have probably stated before but it says; “that when the elephants fight it’s the grass that gets trampled”. Today it’s the children, the ordinary people of this wonderful country of Mexico that are being trampled and hit hard.

The Bible puts it another way “A man shall eat well by the fruit of [his] mouth, But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.” Elsewhere it says “Evil people are restless unless they're making trouble; they can't get a good night's sleep unless they've made life miserable for somebody. Perversity is their food and drink, violence their drug of choice.” Please join us and pray against this evil.

A very good in-depth report on the current situation in Mexico can be seen at http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/its-a-war

As a family we are praying through the next phase of our journey and looking to God to counsel us as we look to the future. We are currently in some discussions with CGi (our sending organisation), and with Oasis USA to ascertain how best we can further develop the kingdom of God amongst the hurting, poor and marginalized communities that we are or have been connected with. We appreciate your prayers.


God bless you & loads of love.
Kevin, Linsey, Ben, Josh & Charys
November Herald

Kevin, Linsey, Ben, Josh & Charys Potter. Fall/Winter 2008

Thank you; Thank you; Thank you......

To say that the last four months since our previous newsletter has been eventful is a bit of an understatement. During this time period:-
· The director of IFM has been diagnosed with bile duct cancer and has been in and out of hospital on numerous occasions.
· The declining economic scenario has significantly affected us and the business of IFM/Grace which is currently going through some very serious cash flow problems.
· The problems in Juarez have intensified with some horrendous murders and kidnappings. Currently the murder rate in the city for this year has topped the 1200 mark.

We would ask you to pray for each of these scenarios. Joe Hart, the director, and his wife are in the process of deciding what their next step is to be, whether they will undertake the whipple operation or embark on an alternative course of therapy. Joe has already had two bouts of septicemia which the doctors caught in time and he slowly gaining strength They would appreciate your prayers.

Grace Coach Lines, which helps to raise funds to offset the costs of IFM’s outreach teams has had a good business year, with business at both the Democratic and Republican Conventions. However, as the economic downturn has hit the country, linked with other factors that are specific to Grace, a significant cash flow problem has arisen which puts Grace Coach Lines in financial difficulty. Please pray for all involved in trying to rectify this state of affairs, especially the board of IFM as they grapple with the current situation and seek to develop a pathway through the turbulent economic crisis.

In Ciudad Juarez we have seen a continuation of the violence that has been impacting the city. The various gangs are still warring against each other, more people have been killed and the ordinary populous are being impacted by these crimes and the rise of petty crimes within the city. Please pray for the people of Juarez and those folks working within the city trying to combat the people of violence.


In this scenario the IFM team on the border is deepening its relationships with various organizations in the city and looking at additional networking and/or partnering opportunities. The team runs a weekly dispensa that gives food parcels to over 100 families. As well as the food it offers much more in the way of personal and family relational support and care. Please pray for this venture as the large freezer that is an intricate part of the dispensa has recently broken down.
The team is also a resource centre for the various practical needs of the border community, and meets many needs. A simple example is getting doors and wood paneling for people’s homes. Please pray that opportunities would open up for the team to obtain more food and additional practical resources so that they can continue to share with the people of the border. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 96 billion pounds of food is thrown away in the US and in the UK, The Guardian newspaper, reported that approximately 1/3 of all the food is thrown away. Pray that large superstores and other smaller retailers would be willing to donate their excess products to the team as this would have a huge impact on the frail, poor and hard pressed families on the border.
In Juarez the team, and the folks who work with them, are seeing a desperate need amongst the people of the city and many folks are committing their lives to God and asking Jesus to be their champion in these uncertain times. Prayer is a key characteristic in the city and the people that Misiones Familiars de Mexico is currently working with.





A few of the organisations we network and/or partner with are shown below. Please pray for them as they are integrally involved with meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the poor in the city: They and others are heavily involved with those at risk.

Vino, Trigo & Aciete ( Wine, Wheat & Oil): This organization runs teen rehab centres, orphanages, churches, vocational training programs, etc..

Father Zuniga & Margali: Father Zuniga is an Anglican vicar who (with his wife) has developed 12 churches that are heavily involved in their local communities. These centers have a focus on education and meeting the practical resources of their communities.

Brother Rays Feeding Center: Jenny Tapia and her team run a holistic church center that cares for the whole person and is a important support for the people.

Agua Viva: Agua viva helps men overcome their addictions. They also run children’s homes in and around Juarez.





The Family


We want to thank you all for your prayers over these last several months.
For a period of time the prayer emails flew out very frequently and it was heartening to receive the encouragements that came through.

As you can gather from the emails life has been eventful. Linsey was working very closely with Kathy Hart and the two of them were doing jobs that really required at least 3 if not 4 people. With Kathy now looking after Joe, Linsey has taken the full load of their responsibilities and for the last several months has been quite pressured. Fortunately, Ronda, a very gifted person, has recently come on board and will help her part-time. This will be a Godsend although IFM will still need to employ several other people in the early part of next year so as to enable a good transition. Linsey will be stepping out of her responsibilities in April 09 as we look towards our move in the summer of 2009. Please pray for Linsey as she carries the weight of this load and supports folks around her.
Ben is steaming through his final year of high school and is currently heavily involved in various music events. He drums for an assortment of youth groups, a school jazz band and is involved with friends in a rock band. This year is a heavy one for him with all the work and study that he needs to put in but he feels it’s better than the pressure of last year.

Joshua is progressing well and is very focused on his studies. Recently we went to an awards ceremony celebrating those students with high academic achievement; and as very aware parents, we did not even know he had attained this grade until the invitation came. Josh loves sport, is conscientious regarding his weight training and has an eye for the girls, which is where his parents do step in. He and Charys will shortly be going down to Juarez, Mexico to work with a short term team down there. Charys will mainly spend her time with friends on the IFM base on the border. Joshua will be part of a junior staff training program that IFM runs for teenagers 14 and above. Please pray for their time on the border and that it will be safe, enriching and full of fun for them and others.

Charys for the most part has had a good transition into her new schools Some difficult situations did arise but she handled them in a very mature and grown up way. The kids are great and keep us on our toes definitely for Linsey as Charys is growing fast and Linsey will soon be the shortest in the family.




In this unusual period Kevin has spent more time looking after the kids and we think they may be getting sick of having meatballs for dinner on so many occasion. However, Kevin has developed various ingenious recipes but they do seem to have meatballs as their core base ingredient.
He would appreciate your prayers for the USA board, during this time of uncertainty, and for the development of the work in Mexico. The folks in Mexico desperately need to cement in place processes that would enable them to develop and raise funds in their country. Please pray for Mark Pryor and Jose Luis and their families as these guys work together mentoring and helping implement the Mexican initiatives.
We realize that there are many needs around the globe and sometimes North America can be overlooked as it is seen as a wealthy place. I would highlight that Mexico and the countries below the US, which are also part of North America, are not as wealthy as the US. The violence and turmoil that is hitting Mexico at the moment is extreme. Mexico has the dubious reputation of currently having more kidnappings than anywhere else on the globe and that includes Iraq. Individuals are being trafficked across the border and in many cases used as transport to carry drugs into the US. The Mexican/US border is a key place for human trafficking routes and a place of trafficking exploitation. The following link is a short video that the Salvation Army put out in 2007 to highlight the issues and they have not improved during 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmb9iUvFa-o.com/watch?v=Vmb9iUvFa-o Add to this the intense violence that is going on, the 1200 murders committed in Juarez in 11 months, more than Mexico City which has 10 times the population, and significantly more than any of the major cities in the US or the UK. That is a city that is in need of prayer and