Mission Central Moves to the Land of Saints and Pirates!
I know you might not know where England is, so let me describe it simply––it’s that little place just to the east of Wales. But no, I am not moving to England. I am planning on moving to the glorious land of castles, and Arthurian legends, and ancient saints and bards: Wales. Okay, I am being a bit cheeky here, but my Welsh friends know quite well how it feels for people to say, “Wales? Is that in England?” And the answer is, “NO!” It is next door, but it is its own country.
For the last 20 years, ministry has been in, around, and based out of Salem, Massachusetts. This year, that all changes (Lord willing, and the Creek and the COVID don’t rise). The plan is to pick up stakes and make my new base of operation Caernarfon, North Wales.
If things go as planned, I should be in Wales by this spring. The sponsoring organization for my visa is the Baptist Union of Wales. Anyone who has followed my ministry work over the years, knows you can’t fit what we’ve been doing at The Gathering into typical Christian ministry boxes, so not everyone understands what, how, and why we do what we do, but we have found kindred spirits with our friends in Caernarfon (Caersalem, the Caernarfon Baptist Church).
There are two primary pieces to this move. These two things are not in order of importance, because they are equally valuable to this dream. The first is to focus on festival work in the UK, and to train teams of people to do the same gracious God-imbued work of ministering to people in the wild festival settings. This part of my life has grown significantly over the last 10+ years, and the work in the UK has had the greatest growth. The second piece is to live among and work with the Welsh speaking community of Wales. In the second year living in Wales, I am hoping that the COVID restrictions will be completely lifted, and I am planning on spending a year walking from village to village across Wales speaking no language but Cymraeg (Welsh) for a year and a day. I am planning on making each daily walk a type of Emmaus Road experience (Luke 24:13-35), where I walk, and talk with others––all in Welsh––about life, and politics, and spirituality, the goodness of God, and philosophy, and well––just about everything.
As you might know, I have been cared for my mother in Long Beach, California starting just before the Coronavirus struck, and cared for her for over a year-and-a-half. It eventually became more work than one person could handle, and since mid-May 2021, mom has been moved to a full time care facility. She is a mile from my brother’s house, and my sister is able to visit often as well.
With this transition, I am now back on course to prepare for my move to Wales. Of course, such a move is not without its challenges and its considerable costs. As always, I cherish your prayers, the times you contact me with encouragement, and your financial support for this unique ministry in the festival world, and among the subculture groups in our Western societies. The link below allows for a tax-deductible donation, and funds will help defray the costs of the move to Wales and setting up ministry there.
The initial costs include the visa for the Tier 2 three-year ministerial visa and three years up front of National Health Service fees. Total for that at the current £ to $ conversion is between $5,000 and $6,000. Of course, there is more to the move than those initial costs and I am projecting that it will cost about $10,000.
I will be required to have a personal monthly income from the ministerial support of approximately £1,250 (around $1,750 at the current conversion), and I will need to raise this amount without a sponsor’s direct support.