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Tearfund Updates

Ocotber 29, 2013
 
Dear First Pres,
 
Well, what can I say- It has been an eventful few months.
 
Many of you have probably heard by now that my husband Ben and I are in the process of relocating back to the US. The initiative that I work for, Inspired Individuals is in the process of setting up a US based office and I have been asked to manage this process. Personally it has been wonderful to be spending a bit more time closer to home. We are currently in Grand Rapids until the middle of November and then will be heading back to the UK until the middle of January to tie things up there.  We will then move more permanently back in Grand Rapids.
 
I would really value your prayer as I undertake this task of setting up the US side of things. Over the past few months I have been both overwhelmed by the amount of work but also completely excited about the potential of the Inspired individuals in the US. We are hoping to have a fully operational US office that has a wide base of US supporters and connections for our Inspired Individuals who are living all over the world.  So far God has really opened the doors for some amazing connections with people and organizations who really love what we are doing.  Please pray that God continues to put me in the right place and the right time.
 
The other thing that I have been working on recently is around supporting women in leadership as part of Inspired Individuals. We support some amazing women that God has called to transform their communities.  Many of them work on contexts where as women they are not valued for their leadership skills so they face additional barriers to change and I am trying to work on offering extra support for these women.
 
Specific Prayer points:
  •  Please pray for Ben and I as we look to settle back in the US. Especially Ben as he adjusts to being so far from his home and family and has to get used to a different culture and context. (He is doing very well so far :)
  •  Please pray for me as I am in the beginning stages of setting up the US entity. Please pray for wisdom, for the right connections and that I will really hear God's voice of direction in this process.
  •  Please pray for the amazing women that God is calling as leaders to bring peace, reconciliation and social change to their communities and for me as I look to support them.
Again, I don't know how to thank you enough for the prayers and the love and the support that I get from First Pres.  I know that you are all adjusting to Dr. Bob's retirement and a new school year and you are also in my prayers during this time.
Love,
Ari 

Hello First Presbyterian,
 

I hope that you are all enjoying the Northern Michigan fall- what I wouldn't do to get a glimpse of those trees!

It has been a busy few months for me and I just wanted to give you a quick update as to what I've been up to. 

Ben and I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland in May and are slowly beginning to settle in our new home. We are excited to be closer to Ben's family and to explore the new things that God is calling us to.  I had the amazing privilege of spending a couple months in the US this summer and was able to witness the birth of a new gorgeous nephew and to spend some much needed quality time with family.

 

This September I began a Masters in Counseling programming at the University of Edinburgh. My current role with Inspired Individuals involves me working with a number of men and women who have experienced incredibly traumatic situations and I am looking forward to developing the skills to better support them.

 

This brings me on to my ministry with Inspired Individuals:

 

As far as my work with the Inspired Individuals program it has been amazing summer.  My work has become a bit more focused recently - only working with Individuals who are working on issues of HIV and/or issues relating to Gender Based Violence.  As in most countries around the world, the developing world has serious problems with domestic violence, violence against women and sexual violence. In the past few years we have really seen the church rise up against this issue and start change things in local communities world wide. I am absolutely thrilled to be supporting many men and women in Central American, South America and Sub- Saharan Africa who are mobilizing churches around these themes. Here is a link to a video of one of the women who is part of our Inspired Individuals program so you can see the amazing work that she is doing. (Please note this video tells very real stories of sexual assault so is not suitable for younger viewershttp://youtu.be/GM5Lf3dCP_s

 

Looking Forward:

The next few months will be very busy as we are preparing for a big meeting in with the United Nations in March called the UN Commission on the Status of Women where we will be talking about the role of the local church in addressing issues of Gender Based Violence. We are praying the governments and the UN bodies will recognize what the church is doing and commit to working along side faith based initiatives. So please keep us in your prayers!

 

And finally, i just want to say Thank you! 

Your love and prayers as my church family mean so much to me. The past few months have felt as if God is truly leading me into the next stage of what he calling me to do and your support along this journey has been constant and something that I cannot do without. Thank you.
 

Love,

Ari 
 

Here is a photo of me with some of the amazing women who I am working with: