Dear Friends, December 2013
Advent greetings. This year marks Jude’s 25th, and John 20th year in ministry in Los Angeles. We certainly never expected to be here this long, but this city has become home, a place we have come to love, the context where we share our lives and God’s grace.
A snapshot from the neighborhood:
The LA IC Book Collective has continued to serve our neighborhood through providing books in various locations, mostly in quiet ways. One place where they give books is at the Day Laborer Center, operated by CARECEN, a local non-profit. A few weeks ago, CARECEN invited John to their anniversary dinner.
Andy and Chris, two members of the LA IC Book Collective, came with John and Jude to the dinner. We were among the honored guests because we have shared hundreds, if not thousands, of books with them, including basic dictionaries, magazines, how-to books on everything from landscaping to house construction. It is amazing how much gratitude can flow from simply, wisely sharing what we have in abundance. To know that some people credit you with helping them either learn English a little better, or helping them secure a job that made a difference in their lives, simply by giving books that other people were discarding – is an example of the simple and amazing power of stewardship and gift-giving.
We would like to thank you all for your support, prayers, and gifts of books. It is an honor to be honored, but it is a gift to be able to be a witness to the love of the child Christ that came some two thousand years ago, that still inspires us to find what gifts we can bring that can somehow honor his love and presence in our world.
A few other moments of gratitude for 2013 (there are many more):
*John’s mom, Nancy, was able to visit us in July.
*Jude’s mom continues in Sierra Village Assisted Living. She is taking medicine that has helped her significantly for which we are grateful.
*Jude’s brother Peter, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2012, has been gifted with more months than we expected. We had Thanksgiving at their home. He reminds us to be grateful for each day-we don’t know how many days we will be given.
*We continue to love our multi-ethnic church. Jude is co-captain for New City Church’s Team World Vision, walking/running the LA (half) Marathon to raise money for clean water for east Africa. (Jude is walking:-0)
*We continue to be surprised by joy in sharing our lives with others here in Los Angeles.
Ways to stay in touch with us:
Find us on Facebook, including the LA IC book collective. “Friend” them to learn more about John’s work and the collective.
Send Jude an email if you would like this letter in email, including photos, or if you would like more updates (email@example.com).
John’s blog – www.jawpoetry.blogspot.com.
We would appreciate your prayers for us in the New Year, as we wrestle with how to most wisely invest our time, our energy, and our resources to advance the Kingdom of God. May peace and grace flow through your lives in 2014.
John and Jude Tiersma Watson
InnerChange Los Angeles
Donations Welcome: 1-800-777-6658 or www.crmleaders.org/support. Our personal fund number is 5101. We also need help with our mentoring initiative fund 9712.