Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Old Friends Going New Places

We drove to College Station on Wednesday morning to visit our friends the Fergusons.  They have been missionaries in Peru for the last two years and are back in TX for a year before moving to Calgary (read more about their ministry below).  We hadn't seen them since Lindsay's wedding right before they moved to Peru so we were excited to spend some time with them and introduce them to Steven in person.  Anyway, we go waaay back.  John was our RUF minister in college and Charlton and I were his first wedding he performed; Heather was one of my bridesmaids and Kevin, their middle son, was our ring bearer.  I didn't realize at the time we asked them both to be in the wedding that there was nothing they could really do if Kevin decided weddings weren't really his thing.  Despite a little belly sliding along the side of the stage, he did great.  That's why people really go to weddings anyway, right- cute kids and the food.
Heather took some great pictures with her camera.  I don't think there's anything more exciting for a mom of a two-year old than someone offering to take pictures of her child because they just want to.  Thanks, Heather!  
He actually stopped and and looked at the camera when she asked him to and they are amazing pictures.  I guess Steven already loves the Fergies as much as we do!  They live on 4 acres bordering a neighbor with miniature ponies.  

What could be better for Steven than five big kids ready to play with him and lots of space to run around.  
It was a great day for all of us!

John and Heather (along with their kids) are making the change from being missionaries doing campus ministry in Peru to being missionaries doing church planting in Calgary.  I copied this description from John's old blog explaining their new ministry and below it have posted how you support them in their work for God's Kingdom if feel so led:

A brief summary: As we've thought about where we should invest ourselves in this next stage of life, we came up with 4 criteria: We wanted to be (1) in an important urban center; (2) near a major university; (3) in a post-modern / post-Christian context; (4) where the PCA (our church) is thin or non-existent. As we thought about the ways in which God has been shaping us and forming our thoughts along these criteria, I have accepted a call to be a part of a multi-site / multi-congregational church planting movement in Calgary, Alberta (we received a recommendation from Mission to North America’s Church Planting Assessment Center in June). 

We looked at a handful of other options—including in our beloved home country of Texas—but none matched up with our desires like Calgary did. Calgary is (1) a beautiful city of over a million people with ~20,000 moving there every year; (2) home of the Univ. of Calgary—36,000 students; (3) post-modern and as several Canadian pastors have told me—very post-post-post Christian; (4) has only two PCA churches with about 200 people attending. In some major cities of Canada, over 40% of the people are atheist. Further, the fastest growing religious categories by rate of increase between 1991 and 2001 are Paganism (+281%), Native Spirituality (+175%) and Islam (+129%). Calgary needs the Gospel: only around 10-12% of the city attends a Christian church of any kind, and that number is shrinking rapidly.

We are excited and scared at the same time, feeling that this will be the biggest thing we've attempted to do for Christ's Kingdom to date. We have grown a lot, learned a ton, and we really feel like we are more prepared to do this now in ways that we wouldn't have been able to do several years ago. So we ask for your continued prayers.

Some of our supporters have asked us about continued support & partnership. The short answer: Yes! August will be our last month employed with Peru Mission, and then we will be in full-time fundraising mode for Calgary. There will be a few months gap until our mission board / paperwork, etc., are all in place to process gifts & receipts. We will keep you posted. 

Thanks for being a part of our lives and the work of Christ’s kingdom. It is a privilege to be in this together with you. 

Grace & Peace, 
John & Heather Ferguson

Donations can be made to the New City Church Planting Movement in Calgary, including making donations by mail, online by credit card, via electronic funds transfer, or by stock donation. 
If you choose to send in support with a check, mail the check to: 

Mission to North America
1700 N. Brown Road Suite 101
Lawrenceville, GA 30043-8143

Office: (678) 825-1200
Fax: (678) 825-1001

1. Make your check out to “MNA.”
2. In the memo line, write “John Ferguson.” MNA prefers to list the church planter on the check rather than the account number.
3. 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project! There are no fees charged by MNA for these services.


Anonymous said...

John and Heather have a beautiful family! Great picture. The pictures of Steven are amazing!! Remember me when you are passing them out.


~the eight of us~ said...

The pictures of Steven are really good!! He just looks so mature.

Leif said...

Our senior pastor used to be senior pastor of an LCMS church in the Calgary area. Let me know if the Fergusons would like his contact information so they can bounce ideas off of him.

Hooked on Fishing said...

Sounds like you all had a good time... hope to see you this Saturday.

EvB said...

Steven is looking so grown up these days!