International Ministries

Big Transition!

July 12, 2012 Journal
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Big Transition with a capital "B" and "T"...That is what we're experiencing as a family!

1) Jim has accepted the call to serve as Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of New York State effective August 16th. We rejoice at this opportunity for Jim to serve American Baptists in this new role, using all he has learned in his years as a pastor and as a cross-cultural missionary with International Ministries to serve the churches of New York State.

2) Stay tuned to find out in what form Debbie will continue to serve with International Ministries, partnering with Italian Baptists and the European Baptist Federation for the ongoing work against trafficking of women into prostitution. Your ongoing support of her ministry is vital! Debbie will fulfill as many of our upcoming speaking commitments as possible, traveling from NY State instead of from Ohio.

We rejoice in the great work of a 4-women mission team from Ohio and Pennsylvania immediately before our departure from Italy! The group did an outreach to women in the streets of one city, and, the next night, two women from a local church accompanied Jim and me to do another outreach. This was a crucial step for this church, not going out to preach to the women, but going out to invite them and to give them a gift. We are thankful that one of the church's women was able to signal to us a street where about 10 Nigerians were waiting for customers--a street that was not on the list of places covered by a local association's routine outreach program. Now that association, as well as the church's women, can reach out to these exploited women.

The mission team also led a women's retreat on Saturday, and one of the women they met in the street came. She talked for a long time in private with the church's pastor.

Please pray for:

-the woman who came to the seminar to have the courage to leave the street.-those 10 Nigerians we saw in the new street.

-our preparations for Jim's job change and our travels to see family and friends this summer.

If you have questions about any of these transitions, write to us at

Your missionaries,

Debbie (serving along with Jim until Aug. 16, Luke and Ben) Kelsey