This was originally written for the Peace River Presbytery's newsletter earlier in December. It is fitting as a "post Advent" message as well. The gifts brought into this season are being carried into the new year as well...
The traditonal “gifts” of the advent season can be found in so many of the mission’s activities over the past few months.
The outpouring of love and support that we received after Hurricane Irma was overwhelming! From donations of needed commodities to financial help for hurricane relief efforts to countless volunteers to help organize and distribute the needed items into the community; you restored our hope for being able to meet so many immediate needs of our beloved farmworker community! We are truly grateful and blessed!
We are hopeful that we will be able to resume worship, study and fellowship gatherings in January, with better space, new chairs, tables and updated equipment and materials.
We carry hope into 2018 and beyond for the ongoing work of exploring affordable, safe and sustainable housing options for farworkers. We have begun meeting with our Presbyterian Disaster Assistance leadership and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to discern how best to meet those ongoing needs. The hope is growing!
We carry hope into 2018 for developing a community garden in the mission’s backyard. We hope to break ground by February!
We find daily reassurance and peace that in the midst of turmoil, God is working a good thing through the mission; through the churches and volunteers that come to serve and through the farmworkers who share their resilient faith with all of us.
Peniel means “the face of God”. Seeing and sharing this “face of God” continues to bring such joy through the kind of partnership in mission that allows us to serve one another in Christ’s name. The dedication of time, heartfelt interest and commpassion shown by volunteers, the presbytery and its churches is the cause of great joy with appreciation! Partnership in mission is a joy-filled, beautiful thing!
God’s love for the vulnerable and marginalized leads the work and witness of Misión Peniel. It´s a love that is contagious for anyone who spends time with the farmworkers and their children. It´s the kind of love that says “welcome, biendvenido, bienveni… you are a child of God and we care about you with the love of Christ!”
I want to add one more gift of this advent season; the gift of EXCITEMENT!
We are excited about the following ways we are ending this year and beginning 2018…
— Dec. 28th “Holiday Day Camp” for children and youth, led by the Moorings and Covenant Presbyterian Church Youth Groups;
— New communication process for all of the churches: you’ll be receiving a brief monthly mission update on the 15th of each month, suitable for bulletin or newsletter publishing;
— Our OPEN HOUSE for churches and friends on Sunday, February 11th, 2-4 p.m., offering a “taste” of Misión Peniel, featuring cultural food, music, interactive activites for all ages, and additional information about our vision for 2018 and beyond!
COME AND SHARE IN WHAT GOD IS DOING THROUGH MISIÓN PENIEL!
FELIZ NAVIDAD and PROSPERO AÑO NUEVO from
—Pastor Miguel Estrada and Ruth DeYoe