“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
Luke 1:78-79, from Zechariah’s song
This year marks Jude’s 20th Christmas here in the Westlake/Pico Union neighborhood of LA. For John, it has been 15 years. Each December, during advent, we have pondered what it means to wait in hope and expectation for the in-breaking of our Lord into human history, into our lives, into this neighborhood. Each Christmas we remember that the light has dawned, and will break through the darkness. What a joy it has been and continues to be to remember anew that the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood – our neighborhood and yours too.
This 20th year marks a transition for the LA team and also for Jude’s role in InnerChange. Jude has (finally!) been released from the role of leading the team. She will be moving into a new role in staff formation within InnerChange. She is hopeful that her new role will allow her more room to breathe and pursue the things that matter most to her in this season of her life. John continues to lead the team, but alongside Alastair, who came through a stem cell transplant for lymphoma this past year and is now doing well.
Meanwhile, John continues to enjoy his role encouraging young people in micro-enterprise and artistic endeavors. We both truly enjoy mentoring young people, investing in the next generation of leaders.
Recently I (Jude) had lunch with a young mother who was in kindergarten when our team first moved into the Cambria apartments. She shared that she had been wanting to see me and found me on facebook. She wanted to say thanks to our team for being there for her when she was growing up. She is working and doing well in raising her son. She thanked us for showing her a different way to live than the chaos she knew in her own home. She also asked if I knew of a church where she could continue to grow. What good news that New City Church will be a good place for her to be and belong.
One other major life transition this year was the death of John’s dad in July. We are still processing how this loss impacts us, and his family.
- • For Chris Albisurez as he travels to Urbana mission conference, to lead a workshop with John Hayes on using art in ministry with the poor. Pray for safety, protection and blessing for Chris, and that many lives would be impacted.
- • For the network of young adults who are struggling to move forward with their life goals due to economic realities in our city, and struggles within their own families.
- • Pray for our team’s vision as we pioneer a new neighborhood and seek to continue a legacy of effective ministry in our context, as well as preparing missionaries to serve throughout the world.
Thank you to all of you who have journeyed with us, supported us, and believed in us for all or part of these years. We would love to hear from you.
Peace and Joy,
John and Jude Tiersma Watson
Box 17367 Los Angeles, CA 90017
John’s Blog: www.jawpoetry.blogspot.com
(For donations, http://www.crmleaders.org/support/support-staff
Or call (800)777-6658)
To find John on Facebook: use his yahoo email: firstname.lastname@example.org (I check this email less than 2 times a month).