Welcome to a window into our world.We have been fortunate enought to have enjoyed and been challenged by the faith, education, wildlife, work, culture and people we have encountered in the various places around the world that we have lived in. These experiences have moulded our thinking and lifestyle.
This is one song from that excellent evening and in the sadness of the song you have the delight and freedom of the children. Knowing, however, that there are other children who are not free to dance but who trapped and trafficked.
Thank you for your prayers.
Cuidad Juarez has had another month were the murder rate has been low but things are hotting up a little. However, on the positive side there has been no outbreak of the swine fever in the city. The attached link gives a good insight for prayers for Juarez http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1888111,00.html.
This virus does seem to be starting to level off in México and life is slowly returning to normal! The US currently has over 2200 cases and folks are concerned that the virus will return in a more virulent fashion in the fall. We would appreciate your prayers against this occurring.
We have also had some personal encouragement; a little while ago we asked you to join us in prayer regarding the factors impacting our future plans.
Recently all Linsey's transcripts reached Fuller Seminary, after a lot of confusion, and last week we were offered accommodation, from Sept, in an apartment complex in Pasadena at a cheaper rent than we are paying here in Colorado. On top of that friends in the UK have facilitated a place that we can stay during our time on deputation, Praise God.
For us these are significant answers to prayer as we move forward in linking with Oasis. Several other areas of prayer still being worked on are; obtaining a vehicle during our stay in the UK, developing the final additional funding required for our placement with Oasis US and Fuller Seminary and for the children as they go through this transition period. Especially Ben who leaves school and is hoping to undertake a GAP year 6 months of it in Mumbai with Oasis.
One way the funding part could be attained is if we could get the equivalent of 50 people, churches, groups of individuals or any other permutation you could think of to each take up approximately $30 or £20 units of support per month. If any one would like to know the details of the financials and what is required, see the links on the blog below titles Oasis & Fuller; what to do?
Please pray for the IFM team in the three centers, Colorado, Texas & Mexico as they look to develop into this year. The violence, economic turmoil and the virus epidemic is significantly affecting IFM's role and wisdom is needed as the ministry looks to the future. Please pray specifically for Kathy Hart who Linsey has closely worked with during our spell in Colorado and who will be facilitating the outreach department without Linsey. Praise God that Joe Hart has been given a good measure of health this year.
We are also involved in an event highlighting issues of trafficking & slavery on sat, "songs for our babies". Paul Romig Leavitt, has written some brilliant songs, please pray for its impact.
As a family will be taking part in a 10K run on the Monday. This is significant as only a few years ago Kevin was 12 hours away from being paralyzed and has taken a couple of years to be able to regain his running ability so this run is quite a statement as we look to move on.
We appreciate your prayers and believe they are significant to the development of the kingdom in the areas we are living and working. Its also interesting to note that we have even seen a slight increase in the exchange rate and every little bit helps us.
God bless you.
Kevin, Linsey, Ben, Josh & Charys
To move into this next venture we will need to raise additional funding on top of what we have already developed.
As you may imagine raising support is not our most favorite past time and we can actually find it uncomfortable. However, if we can get this increased level of support it will enable us to link with Oasis US and Fuller Seminary and get intricately involved with impacting the horrendous situation of women and children at risk and those caught in slavery. We will be able to assist organizations and churches to live out their Kingdom mandate, locally and globally, and work together to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable in society.
So what do we do?
We put aside our discomfort, as it is nothing compared to the suffering that we are called to impact, and look for ways to raise the support costs. One avenue is to ask folks, you, to join our support team and contribute on a regular basis so that we can help meet the needs of the folks mentioned above.
Join us and support us through this next journey. You can do this through your local church, through CGi in the UK, through Oasis US in Pasadena or on an individual basis.
To reach the appropriate level so that Fuller Seminary can issue us documents that will enable us to apply for a visa is comparable with the equivalent of 50 people, churches, groups of people or any other permutation you could think of each taking at least one support unit of $30 or £20 per month. If you want to join in and take responsibility for one or more of these units:
If you are in the US:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Paul Hong-Lang at Oasis US, P.O. Box 2583, Pasadena, CA 91102-2583; web: http://www.oasisusa.org/
Email: email@example.com; Tel: 626.447. 0400 .
If you are in the UK:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Richard Fox at Christian Growth International, 4 Hanbury Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 3AE
Telephone: 01245 255775
Oasis USA, alongside Oasis Global (http://www.oasisglobal.org/), is inspired by Christian Faith to work for a just and inclusive world through advocacy and community development. Currently Oasis domestic projects include work to end human trafficking as well as work to strengthen the environments where urban children live. We are inclusive in our approach and seek to come alongside individuals and communities in a way that draws out and builds upon the existing resources.
Stop the Traffik is a global campaign with over 1000 member organizations. Oasis USA spearheads the campaign on the West Coast of America. Oasis works to end human trafficking through education, advocacy and intervention.
Human trafficking, commonly referred to as modern day slavery is a global problem effecting both urban and rural areas. The U.S. State Department estimates between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across an international border each year. It is also estimated that up to 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the U.S. for prostitution or forced labor each year. This does not include the thousands of individuals who are trafficked within the U.S. There are approximately 300,000 youth who live on the streets of America each night. Most of these will be approached by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home. Once under pimp control they are forced into sexual slavery.
Oasis aims to create “traffik free” communities through an integrated approach including advocacy on behalf of victims, education of the public, law enforcement and service providers about how to address the issue and intervention that empowers trafficked people to experience freedom.
In 2009 we Oasis will continue the strategy with an emphasis on reaching the Chinese community and expanding outreach to day labor sites and the Latino community. We continue to call the church to actively respond to the issue of human trafficking.
Oasis Blast Off is a community empowerment program that increases the capacity to develop children in urban neighborhoods. In Pasadena it currently takes the form of an afterschool program serving approximately 25 children. In 2009 Oasis seeks to expand the program to work with children in three environments: afterschool, in school and in the home. This holistic approach will approach will focus on empowering local churches to take an active role in the community to build up parents and the support children and teachers in the classroom.
One fifth of residents of Northwest Pasadena live in poverty. As elsewhere poverty takes so many forms, including poverty of opportunity. The neighborhood where Oasis works has been known for gang violence, which worries families as they seek to do the best they can for their Children. Only 37% of Hispanic Students achieve appropriate English Language Proficiency levels and only 30 % of their parents have graduated from High School.
Therefore, we as family will be looking to depart Colorado on the 7th July and relocate to Los Angeles, via the UK, at the beginning of fall 2009, to study and partner with Oasis US.
Oasis US helps equip the church with a focus on local and global issues of justice for children at risk, people caught in trafficking and slavery, community development and church planting. Oasis US is a local expression of a global network of Christians (http://www.oasisglobal.org/) and in the 90’s we worked with Oasis India in Mumbai where we developed an AIDS care community for women and children from the slums and red light area of the city.
Currently Oasis US work amongst multiracial and diverse communities. Each of these communities are intricately tied back to their original countries of origin and in the Hispanic communities that means into the injustice and abuse that is currently going on with the drug wars and border violence.
We are writing to give you details of our leaving date and to invite you to join with us as we seek to implement this opportunity. There are a number of ways in which you can join in and support us.
- Firstly, we would appreciate your prayers as we leave IFM & Colorado and move into a new setting, change is always unsettling and stressful.
- Secondly, we invite you to join us in financial support. This has two thrusts to it.
§ The first is joining our long term financial team
§ The second is in short term immediate support and helping us raise specific one off funding, similar to the support needed for a mission trip, which will assist us in moving into this new venture.
Over our time we have been involved in various global grassroots mission and church developments. Each of these ventures has had a lasting kingdom impact. To contact us leave a comment or email at email@example.com
“Being a missionary’s daughter is tough. First, you move a lot and never been able to have friends for life. Second, you see and hear some really depressing stories from the places you visit and live. Third, when you move a lot all the places you live usually feel like home so you don’t know what to call home. Although being part of a missionary family is tough I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world’….. Charys
“Um! What do I think about moving? Its gonna be interesting. Its gonna be really fun and exciting but its gonna be scary. I really like this place and its gonna be hard to change and leave behind what I have here. My friends and everything I have grown to enjoy and like about Colorado. So yeah! Its gonna be different but you know its part of life and I would rather this than staying only in one spot. Its so much more rewarding and I would encourage people who haven’t been away from home to go. Its worth it. Its hard and its challenging but what is life without a few obstacles to overcome and a few ways to grow. So here it is my biggest , toughest move yet. I would appreciate it if you guys would help by praying. I know gods gonna help me through it I really do. I only have one thing left to say… Bring it on life”….Joshua
“What with college coming round the corner, and the loom of the future in my face, I’d say I’m pretty stressed at the moment. But as to how I feel about being here in the US I’d say I’m pretty chill. Although being a mish-kid has its negatives, the positives definitely come out on top. We get a lot of experiences and get well brought up in order to lead a healthy future out on our own. That’s my say”…..Ben
“This last year has been complex, emotional, challenging and fun. It’s been a mixed bag; our family road trip, Ben reaching 18 and soon to be graduating, Charys, Josh & Ben developing further into the awesome people they are, the violence on the border and God’s intervention in peoples’ lives, thinking about relocating, Joe Hart’s cancer, Linsey’s huge stress-filled IFM responsibilities and our little alternative community called The Refuge organically developing in lovely ways. I have also been able to run at last! As you may recall almost 3 years ago I was 12 hours away from ending up in a wheel chair and being paralyzed due to an old rugby injury. Well, after months of exercise I was able to enter a 5k run and complete it. I took the dog and had to drag her around for the last part which also gave me an excuse to walk a bit. However, my back is good, my right leg has strengthened and even though the calf muscle is weak other muscles have taken over. The body is an awesome thing.
A significant personal tough challenge living here has been not being part of my family’s hands-on-care for my mother, although it’s not been as tough as my Dad has experienced. He is superb. He has loved in such an unconditional manner, he doesn’t just talk of love - he actually lives it. All the immediate family in Wales are so caring and doing wonderfully, but sometimes I think that I have let them down by not being there. Then there is the tension that develops when looking at leaving the needs of the poor and disadvantaged we are connected with. What to do!
Peace and patience in what you are asked to do; I suppose.
Believe it or not, I personally do not like packing up but have done it a few times now! We have lived in this current home for nearly 5 years, the longest one out of them all, and there is quite a bit to pack up and get rid of. This time in North America has also been an influential time for the children so for them it’s quite intense. I would personally like to thank you for your prayers and support during this period. There have been so many wonderful, miraculous interventions into our lives and those we worked with that it can be hard to know where to start. We will have to get a coffee (or green tea), when we are in your area and chat. Better still perhaps I should actually write in our blog!!!! That would be novel”….Kevin
“A lot of what Kevin has expressed applies to us all. 5 years is a long time in a family of pre-teens and teenagers. Not to mention (which he didn’t) that Kevin turned 50 while we were here! It has been a time of real growth for us as a family in experience and maturity. We have made some amazing friendships and have loved being so close to the family for the first time in our married lives.
But it does feel right to be moving on. It will be with a lot of sadness, but with an absolute sureness that it is the right time. As Kevin said – for the children it is probably the hardest move that they will have done. For Ben it is hard to know that he is moving into really different ground but at the same time not knowing where his family is going to be. The kids have made some very close friends here (of different genders!) and it is going to be hard to move on from those geographically. We will be expecting lots of visitors!”….Linsey
The time has come to make them and so In these uncertain times we will be relocating from Colorado in the summer and leaving IFM and boy! - are we resting on God!
We along with others and with the help of your prayers have been seeking God’s heart for what the next step may be for us. As you may know, last summer we had been thinking that we would be relocating back to the UK. However, since then various factors have come together to lead us to the conclusion that this might not be the case and that God is leading us elsewhere. Then over the last several months we gained a sense that we need to press in and look to move deeper into the issues of love and justice for the poor outside of the UK. Working with IFM in Juarez, and seeing the extreme violence which is now impacting the city and the Mexican people, has confirmed the need for local, national and global partnerships with regards to the issues that face children at risk, oppressed families and the poor. Working along the border has only reinforced the insight we have gained from our time in India and the UK - that the love of Jesus and the practical grassroots application of the message of the kingdom is a significant answer for the hurting, abused and disadvantaged of our society, and we feel we need to further pursue this thrust. We also sense that there is an opportunity, in this next phase of our lives, to see the various strands of the kingdom that we have been involved with come together in an integrated manner.
So to this end the Potter family is looking at linking up, once again, with the global Oasis family (http://www.oasisglobal.com/) and specifically Oasis USA (http://www.oasisusa.org/). The current plan is that we will go back to the UK in the summer for some deputation, and then hopefully relocate to Los Angeles at the end of summer/beginning of fall 2009. There we will partner with Oasis USA, undertake further study and Josh & Charys will complete their IB education. Ben is hoping to do a GAP year, half of which will be spent in India working with Oasis. After that he hopes to take a BA in Music at the Musicians Institute in LA. This all depends on three major hurdles that the Lord has to get us over; one is being accepted for a course of further study, another is visas and lastly funding.
Oasis USA outworks the kingdom of God amongst the multiracial and diverse communities of the city and is currently assisting the Hispanic, African American and Chinese communities in LA. Each of these communities are intricately tied back to their original countries of origin and in the Hispanic communities that means they are tied into the injustice and abuse that is currently going on with the drug wars and border violence.
Oasis USA is a local expression of a global network of Christians who are partnering with others in endeavoring to meet the needs of the urban poor in an integrated kingdom manner. You may recall that we used to work with Oasis India in Mumbai setting up an AIDS care community for women and children. The organization’s heart is to equip the local and national church, city and national governments, plus to assist the wider community to focus on issues of kingdom justice for children at risk, people caught in trafficking and slavery and in integrated community development. Amongst these thrusts their hope is to develop different expressions of community/church to meet the needs of the people they are involved with and ultimately the wider communities. To hone this thrust Linsey will initially spend a significant portion of her first couple of years in LA taking a course of further study at Fuller Seminary
(sharpening our effectiveness) and Kevin will partner with Oasis on this latter development.
With all the ipod; iphone; itouch; etc.. going around Kevin thought we should try to have one for ourselves, so how does ‘iPrayer’ sound? It would stand for impacting prayer. Initially this was a bit of fun, but the more he thought about this little joke we were reminded that thanks to the prayers and support of all of you we have had the pleasure and challenge to be part of some amazing moves of God. These brush strokes of God have made incalculable differences in the practical and spiritual lives of various individuals and impacted communities all around the world and on their behalf we thank you.
In this regard we would appreciate your prayers for:
- The children as they relocate and finish in school. Especially Ben who takes his final exams and graduates this year. For us as a family as we move into this next phase of life.
- The folks & church in Ciudad Juarez – 3000 additional troops were sent to the city at the beginning of March due to the ongoing crisis and it is martial law in all but name.
- IFM – Wisdom and financial provision as the organization moves forward and that God would raise up others to help them as we relocate. Also for sensitivity and wisdom in the diverse opportunities and challenges that face IFM within the complex scenario in Mexico.
- The Refuge – This community is journeying well with dynamic relationships that are impacting people and communities. Please pray especially for the venue@thegrange which are a series of concerts with the proceeds going to local needs.
- Cherish Uganda – The folks in the village have had a tempestuous start to the year. Please pray for a grant proposal that is currently being considered. If accepted this would have a significant impact on the area and region that they are working in.
- Ardent Faith – As it develops Alpha and various initiatives in a trailer park in Huntersville, North Carolina.
- Our families – In the UK and the US, for health and peace.
- We would also appreciate your prayers as we leave Colorado and move into a new setting. Change is always unsettling especially when it is so all encompassing. Pray for the visas and funding but also for the desperate need. Trafficking is the 3rd largest global criminal activity and interlinked into the illegal drug industry. These initiatives are fundamentally present in the communities that we all live in and especially with whom Oasis USA works and along the Mexican border. A major way of impacting these and other evils and helping the people is through local grassroots intervention, of which the church can be a major contributor.
- When we go to the UK in the summer we will need to locate ourselves somewhere for a couple of months (early July – early Sept). If you know of someone who wants a house sitter for a couple of months or you know of a cheap house to rent, or if you are happy for a family of five to invade your home please let us know. It would be great if we could be based in one spot and travel around from that location.
- For long term and immediate funding. Also that there would be an increase in the exchange rate of the UK pound as it is significantly impacting folks and projects here and in Africa, India and Bangladesh.
With our different lifestyle we understand something of the various difficulties of these times and realize the challenges that some people face. We have also had folks ask us to keep them informed of how they can partner with us in impacting families and communities with the practical love of Jesus’ Kingdom. Therefore, the following are a few current ways that folks can partner with us and join in this opportunity of directly impacting the people we have talked about above:
- You could join with us in prayer.
- You could financially support this endeavor. The financial support has two thrusts to it, long term and immediate:
- The long term aspect is joining the financial team and committing to support this thrust in whatever way that looks like for you.
- Short term you could help us raise specific one off immediate funding for what we have called a ‘Genesis fund’. This is to be used to assist in the relocation from Colorado to the UK and then onto the work in LA. The Genesis fund will be developed from our existing support, individual gifts or grants and from the sale of our possessions in the US.
- Or we can keep you up to date with the various initiatives we are or have been networked with and you can be an advocate or can get practically involved with them. Over our time God has opened up for us as a family to have direct hands-on involvement, with others, in: rural and urban mission; developing an Aids care community in India; a Christian community development foundation impacting the poor and local government in the UK; local and alternative church development in India, the UK and the US as well as training and equipping the church in Mexico and the US. See Present N Past on the side bar below. There may be some initiative that could be helpful to you or someone you know.
We do hope that in this next phase we will see a convergence of the various strands, and hope and believe that it will result in the love of Jesus impacting at the grassroots level of the abused, poor and marginalized.