It is already two weeks since I returned from an encouraging time in the USA. It was such a joy to be with Chuck and Vi Pals and other friends in Chicago, whom we helped in establishing Living Word fellowship in the early eighties. The church is a vibrant community who have established two new growing congregations in the past few years. It is so encouraging to see the progress and the steady growth with every visit.
During my time there I stayed at the home of David and Sharon van Dyke who have been a great support to the work of Diakonia. Dave and Tim Pals (son of Chuck and Vi) a few years ago rose to the challenge as successful businessmen of travelling to Novosibirsk, Siberia, to teach and encourage an emerging group of entrepreneurs. During my time there I also was able to have a lot of fun riding one of their buggies.
From there I went to the north of Chicago to spend a few days with Jacek and Wendy Wheadon and the Polish Fellowship they lead. Although they have now been given their all-important Green Card, they are experiencing difficult times. They seem to have been affected by the economic downturn, more so than the established American families around them
After a 7 hour drive I arrived in Spooner, Wisconsin where I stayed with my friends Tom and Chris Clements, who together with Michael and Rebecca Macone have become the focal point of a growing group that has gathered around them. It was refreshing to be in a gathering where everyone participated in making valuable contributions.