Clearing Out

Clearing Out

Clearing Out

By Craig Cunningham

18 days remaining in Santa Cruz and things are hectic! One minute you’re trying to write your last sermon; the next someone has turned up to pick up their Facebook Marketplace purchase; the next you’re in a lawyer’s office dealing with some final paperwork (because it would be inappropriate to leave Bolivia without the paperwork).  But we have had lots of encouraging answers to prayer in the month or so since we last wrote, so I thought I’d take advantage of some quieter moments to share them here, as well as our preparations for our next ministry chapter in Canada.

I have my passport! You may remember that this was up for renewal, at the very same time that we have been applying for my Canadian permanent residency. The passport application went all the way to Durham and back in just 13 days, and so as far as travel on June 10th is concerned, we’re ‘good to go’.

We have sold our car! The New Tribes seminary here has made the purchase and will kindly wait until we travel to take delivery. We are naturally delighted to be able to sell it to partners in the gospel. Moreover, they were able to pay us directly from the US to our Canadian account (at a time when our local currency is collapsing against the dollar). This has been a huge answer to prayer. We have sold a load of other stuff! Most of the items we put on pre-sale (furniture etc) have been claimed. Last weekend we attended the garage sale at Sam’s school and shifted a couple of car-load’s worth of things. This coming Saturday we will host a smaller sale at our house.

We are thankful for these blessings and also for the opportunity to start bringing the curtain down on things here in a small way. A couple of weeks ago, we spent the weekend as a family up in the hills at a favourite spot of ours. We have also been able to start handing things over in ministry. My monthly preaching escuelita had a farewell barbecue for me a few weeks ago. But even more importantly, they have met for the first time with their new leader. Our church duties—from preaching, to youth ministry, to pastoral care, to children’s ministry—are now in others’ hands; this coming Sunday will be my last as pastor.

At the same time, though there is so much still to wrap up here, we are obviously keeping one eye on the future too; after all, while our location is about to change, our service for the Lord does not. In preparation for her new role as LAM Canada member care worker, Amanda has spent the last month receiving training in debriefing through an intensive online course provided by See Beyond.

Meanwhile, we continue to prayerfully investigate opportunities for pastoral work for myself, and some promising avenues have opened up. It’s likely that we will not have a final answer on a church position until we are in Canada. Nonetheless, as we have from the start, we remain completely at peace about the whole thing. That’s a peace which, for a natural worrier like me, can only have an eternal source.

Keep praying for that and pray for the energy we need to get through these final two-and-a-half weeks. Above all, pray for opportunities to give thanks and enjoy some sweet final moments with friends amidst the upheaval.

We’ll be in touch again in a couple of weeks’ time (provided we still have a modem!). God bless!