April 2013 Update
Craig & Elaine Kennedy (1971)
Dear Prayer Partners,
Furlough Ministry – Our whirlwind reporting continues, and an April 4-7 conference will provide numerous opportunities for sharing missions with adults, youth and children.
Pray as we minister to our final supporting churches. Our furlough officially ends at the end of April 2013. We are saddened that we have not been able to share Good Soil evangelism and discipleship in Sunday schools these past few months, but we are thankful for the deep chats and opportunities to give words of wisdom and to mentor leaders in Asia via social media and by personally hosting people. Rhoda Gabilo, former student, friend, and missionary to Cambodia visited us. Another Filipino missionary to Vietnam is considering visiting us next September. A Facebook friend wrote, "Thanks for the thoughts... Continue to be a blessing! Praying for you and Sir Craig!" We Praise the LORD for opportunities to encourage others.
Apr 4-7-Conference, Scipio BapCh, Scipio, NY (south of Auburn, NY)
Apr 14—Crescentville BapCh, North Philadelphia, PA
Apr 28—Second BapCh, Auburn, NY
May 4—Banquet Celebration by Memphis Church of our 35 years in Philippines, 40 years in ministry
…Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Good Soil scheduling…
Forlough Project –Still looking for refrigerator…Will wait for sales…'O&P Appliances for Kennedy' but seeing the light on through the gasket is getting a little disconcerting as we kick the door shut.
Twin Brook Camillus Farm— http://ejkenned.wix.com/twinbrookcamillus —When sapping slowed down, we started seed in our kitchen-greenhouse, then ran out of firewood on April 1st—no foolin'! Continue to Pray regarding the development of a Third World Farming Project that has been slowed up at the lawyer's office for far too long. We can't and won't say more until this develops.
Philippines—Ariel Abadano of PARTNERS International with ABWE facilitators Gil Thomas and Dale Marshfield will be launching Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship for Bible school faculty for 30 different Bible schools while hosting Regional Summit in three major areas of the Philippines. Pray regarding the following schedule: Mindanao April 9-11, Luzon April 16-18, Visayas April 23-25. Three intense days of training will give faculty members certificates to teach Good Soil in their schools.
Retirement---If 'missions' is an endurance race, we are heading toward the finish line. We count it a privilege to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that service will not cease. We thank you for passing us the torch and cheering us along the way and binding up our blisters. Without your prayers and a great cloud of witnesses, we could not have done it! God was and is our source of strength, a very present help in time of trouble, our hiding place and shield and stronghold. To God be the glory!
Thanks for entrusting us to the work in the Philippines.
April 30 Update
Dear Prayer Partners,
Chapters in our life: Chapter 1 was childhood through college. Chapter 2 was marriage and missions and children. Chapter 3 was church-planting and TEE and Home-schooling. Chapter 4 was Bible school teaching, assisting with TEE and volunteering at Faith Academy, and writing. Chapter 5 was developing Filipino missionaries and teaching and Bible studies and grand-parenting. Chapter 6 was mentoring, affecting, and impacting future leadership and Bible studies and writing. We look forward to chapter 7 in our lives—farming and Bible studies…and it will probably be more than that.
We've been asked why we will not return to Philippines,as other people retirement age have sometimes stayed on. Others sometimes return to preach, because that is what they like to do. We are not patrons of a Filipino hacienda desiring continuous worship at our feet, which was what we were asked to be when we first stepped our big toe in Puerto Princesa City in 1977, but which we refused to do.
We are not in the modernity worldview that serves out of self-fulfillment, which is why we re-tooled three different times. If we stayed for self-fulfillment—well, let's just put it mildly, we would have left in the 90's. We will return for visits only if we can contribute to some needy aspect of ministry.
We never sat in one spot for 30+ years to command others…or because we felt that others could not do the job right. We trained BBSI students to teach, then let them teach, turned over TEE for Pastor Gabilo to do it. We set trained Filipino missionaries free—most succeeded, a few failed. After training, it's good to get out of the way. At the end, we chose priority things, not to try to do it all. Filipino leadership was and still is a priority. Because we'd seen some bad leadership, we worked to change that.
We now come to the end. We could stay. We are healthy (though tire more easily in a humid climate). We are experienced (we arrived rather naïve). We've been replaced, and that's what 'missions' is all about. We could go to a new field and start all over again; some have done that, and we admire them.
A biblical worldview is to be seen in all areas of life. God delegated man as His co-ruler in work on the earth, so we will farm God's way and will mingle with Asians at the cafes and restaurants at Syracuse University and continue to pray for and mentor leaders from a distance, for communication is not as it was when we first went to the field when it took two weeks for a letter to get through the mail. Through our farming, we hope to impact neighbors and acquaintances and fellow farmers, as well as local business men. Thanks for your continued prayers. We will write you again—occasionally…that is, when the next thunderbolt strikes.
Thanks for entrusting us to the work in the Philippines. To God be the glory! God bless!
Craig and Elaine Kennedy
Retiring from ABWE
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