Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 A Year in Review

December 2013

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. Christmas is upon us and all of the possibilities of a New Year are just around the corner. We are excited for all that God is doing in our lives and in our partnership in ministry with all of you. We want to recap our year of ministry for you.  As we reflect back on 2013 we see it has been a year of triumphs and challenges, joys and sorrows, but we have sensed God with us each step of the way. And we know the prayers and support of our Champions in this work have made all the difference. We are so thankful for each one of you. We know you have been a part in all that God has helped us to accomplish. We invite you to give thanks with us for God’s faithfulness on this journey.

In January of this year we were privileged to travel to Phoenix, Arizona where we lead a retreat for World Gospel Mission missionaries serving the Native American people in Arizona and New Mexico. Southwest Indian Ministries is reaching out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through medical work, church planting, youth camp ministries and education.

We ministered in a church and a nursing home on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in Sells, AZ and spent time watching missionary teachers and nurses in action as well as sharing in times of prayer and fellowship with our missionaries during retreat time. It was a tremendous blessing to invest in the lives of these great servants. We returned to WGM Headquarters in Marion, IN for a Renewal retreat with our missionaries coming off of the field on to their home ministry assignment. It is an opportunity to encourage and speak into their lives as they make the transition from ministry abroad to ministry in the USA. Later that month we traveled to Paraguay where we once again were able to lead a retreat and spend one on one time with our amazing missionaries. From the ministry in Asuncion’ to the far reaches of the indigenous people of that country, our WGM missionaries are carrying the Gospel through church planting, language acquisition, education and art.
Ned had an opportunity to preach at one of our churches and we enjoyed learning the scope of outreach happening in that part of the world. It was wonderful to reconnect with missionaries we already knew and it was a joy to get to know others. God is doing some amazing work in Paraguay and we were privileged to encourage and minister to this wonderful team.  We tacked on a visit to Bolivia our neighboring field and that stretched our time there into February. This was our second visit to Bolivia and it is always wonderful to see the mature work of the WGM Bolivia Field. Ministries there are flourishing under through a variety of live changing ministries taking place throughout that country. The national church is mature and growing and the missionaries are responding to the next steps they feel that God has for them as they continue to reach that country for Christ. We held a mini staff retreat for the missionaries there as they embraced their vision to reach out to the younger generation that so desperately needs the hope of Christ for their future.

March brought our family a sad time when Marlene's 61 year old brother, Roger, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Florida. Marlene was able to attend his funeral and spent Easter in Florida with her family as they mourned their great loss. Roger was the first of 8 children to pass away leaving behind his mom and dad, 4 brothers and 3 sisters. April was spent with work and ministry at the home office and speaking about missions in various churches.

In May we headed to the Texas/Mexican border where we were joined with former co-workers Rev. Greg and Teresa Leeth. We were able to reconnect with former students from the 80's in Laredo, Texas where we began our missionary work as newlyweds. We connected with alumni from our school and visited one of the churches Ned used to pastor. It was wonderful to see that many of the students we had worked with are now serving the Lord and practicing their Christian faith. We were so grateful to see them.

It was exciting to connect with our team of WGM Missionaries that are currently on the border as well as the team that is working in Mexico. Again we saw the best missionaries doing all that they can through education, church planting and sports ministry to reach the people. We visited Taylor Christian School and Community Center in McAllen, Texas. We followed that with a retreat on South Padre Island where we gathered together with all of the missionaries from the Border and Mexico for a precious time of worship, sessions and fellowship. June filled up fast with our Field Directors Retreat as we worked together to plan and strategize for ministry through World Gospel Mission over the next couple of years. God met with us in a marvelous way as we sensed His leading for reaching our world with the Good News. July gave us the opportunity to have another Renewal retreat for our missionaries coming home for ministry in the states as well as a chance for our son Jordan to join us for a ministry visit to El Salvador and Honduras. For more than a half of a century, WGM has been investing in the lives of people in that area of the world. The Great Commission in
Matthew’s Gospel is truly being lived out not only changing the lives of people for eternity but in the here and now.

 We have a complete report posted on August 17 entry of this blog spot and we invite you to read about all the amazing ministries that are impacting lives. We were again joined by Rev. Greg and Teresa Leeth now serving as volunteer pastors to the Honduras field, as we visited each mission station. We concluded our ministry there with a retreat with our missionaries in Tela, Honduras. What an amazing trip this was. August was a full month of ministry and a conference for us to refresh and renew ourselves for this ministry that God has called us to. We know that we must stay tuned in to His heart so that we may help others more effectively. We held another Renewal for our missionaries and appreciated the help of Steve and Shirley Larson, two of our champion supporters that provided wonderful meals for that time.
In September our family enjoyed a week at Lake Michigan where we were excited to witness the engagement of our daughter, Jessica to Zac Hiser on September 19th. We are looking forward to their wedding in March. We had a chance to catch up with our oldest son, Joshua who is working for Walters Buildings as a district sales and construction manager with a territory covering most of central Ohio. (GO BUCKEYES!) Jordan lives with us and continues with his studies in his junior year at Indiana Wesleyan University where he is majoring in Business and Marketing with a minor in Spanish. In our spare time Marlene teaches a Pastoral Counseling Practicum at IWU and counseling students preparing for ministry per University requirements.

 On October 4th, we received word that Marlene's dad had passed away. She was thankful for the week she was able to spend with her parents just the month before and we were all moved by the beautiful services honoring his life, including a military graveside service. He was a great man who loved his Lord and his family and will be sorely missed.

In addition to our ministry travels, numerous retreats and opportunities to share Christ love we are once again reminded that we do not do this work alone. Emanuel, God is with us and Christmas is the time of the year where we can be reminded that Jesus has come as the hope for this world. As we travel from church to church from Kansas to Florida from Michigan, Ohio or Indiana; to the utter most parts of the world we are reminded that this is the message we have to share.

So, as you can see, we are never bored. Life can be interesting for us, but we love the journey we are on. And we are ever mindful of your part in what we do. Every life we touch is because of your love and support. And if you think of the thousands of lives our missionaries touch, your part is far reaching. So thank you!

As you gather together with your loved ones over this holiday season, remember to be Thankful for all God has done and provided for you and yours and remember that He truly is the Reason for the Season!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Ned and Marlene McGrady
Pastors to Missionaries, Directors of Member Health
World Gospel Mission
Box 948
Marion, IN 46952
To support our ministry with a secure on-line donation go to www.wgm.org/mcgrady

 We thank you for your support.

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