After the worldwide testing period, known as the global CoVid pandemic, it is time to provide an update. Personally, I was able to weather this period without any health issues. I never tested positive for CoVid, of course, I never actually tested 😉 CoVid never really affected us other than the travel restrictions and the ability to attend public worship services.
Although, our decision to step away from serving our Lord, Jesus the Christ, through YWAM Kona Crossroads DTS included some health issues, BPH and its subsequent surgery, for me. That is another story and I should write a seperate post about it.
It has taken a few years to get back in the groove. Oh, yes, it is true that every day we wake up we are on the mission, the mission to help Jesus bring in the harvest, to reconcile the world to God by making disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thinking back over the time since my “An Unexpected Sign” post, a lot has happened. After Kona we spent time with YWAM Turner Valley here in Alberta, while Glenda studied in the SBS classes, I staffed with the Essential Services Team, looking after the facilities and I taught in a couple of DTS classes. Another change that really resulted from our experiences with YWAM has lead us to change churches, we now worship with Experience Church (EC) – Calgary. In the fall of 2019 Glenda and I particpated in an excellent month-long International Leaders training with The Keystone Project in South Dakota. This training introduced us to many missional leaders from around the world. Africa, Asia, Central and South America as well as Canada and USA.
Early in 2020 I joined the team at Mission Thrift Store Okotoks volunteering in the Electronics Department and serving on the Board of Directors. Mission Thrift Stores exist to support the work of Bible League Canada. Net proceeds from all sales are invested in transformational Bible-based programs including adult ministry, children’s ministry, starting new churches, and persecuted church ministries in over 40 countries around the world. After 3 years I now find myself chairing the Board as we help lead this important work, sending CAD600,000 in to BLC last year, and supporting many local missions with needed products.
As you know international missions has been an important part of my ministry since being part of the Blessings to Chile church build trip in November 2002. For many years, I used most of my vacation time to help grow the kingdom of God in Belize and Chile. Then in 2014, Glenda and I took early retirement went to Youth With A Mission where we served in USA, Vietnam and Canada. Then CoVid slowed us down, but I have remained involved with supporting God’s mission by working with Mission Thrift Store Okotoks, raising funds for Bible League Canada which supports spreading the gospel in more than 40 countries. I have also been able to participate in mission to a first nations community in Fort Chipewyan, AB. Along with helping disciple others into a fully committed relationship with Jesus and his church.
A new door has opened for me. This August I will be traveling to India as part of a team of volunteers from Experience Church Calgary and Samaritan’s Purse Canada. The focus of the first two weeks will be working with women and children who have been rescued from exploitation and trafficking. Both ministries are focussed not just on rescue and rehabilitaion but are teaching and training within families and communities to help prevent women, children and men from being exploited.
As a Team member, in preparation for the trip, I am participating in an 8-session program in Canada on the topic of ‘Protection For the Vulnerable’, exploring global and local issues close to the heart of God. The team members will then travel to spend time in rural areas of India, around Madurai, to participate in trafficking awareness and livelihood development projects, as well as helping those in need.
The team will head back to Canada on September 2nd. I am planning to remain in India for a further week to connect with some pastors I met while at the Keystone Project in South Dakota in the fall of 2019. I have maintained an online relationship with them and will be engaging in some ministry with the local church in northern Tamil-Nadu province. I never cease to be amazed how God is working in and through people.
Today, I am inviting you to partner with me in prayer as I prepare for this trip, and for Glenda who will remain at home in Canada. It has been my practice, over the years we have spent in missions, that we fund our personal expenses out of the provision that God has blessed us with over the years. However, should you feel called to provide financial support you can do so at this website and Samaritans Purse will provide a tax receipt to Canadian residents. Donate to Likewise India Experience Church Team August 2023 – ARead (samaritanspurse.ca) or via PayPal at Donate | Andy and Glenda Read (andysread.com)
Any support received will free up more of our resources to invest in building His kingdom through spreading the message of Jesus to the nations, during this time in India.
I anticipate posting updates during the trip on this blog site
Be blessed and be a blessing,