First United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande

Judy's Journey December 2008

It is hard to believe that we are already into the season of advent. Seems like this year’s journey has just come and gone with great speed. This is a special season of the year as we prepare again to celebrate the birth of Christ and how His light has transformed the world. This makes me wonder how well we have been a part of this transformation.

If we pay attention to our senses, we might get a clue about how we are doing. The smells of the season are becoming more evident. There are family favorites/traditions which are being prepared for sharing. I bet you can almost smell them just thinking about them....I can. I can also smell the evergreens...even though many of us don’t continue to bring the live ones into our homes anymore. However the evergreen reminds us of the eternity of our lives as believers and the lights are the ways we go forth transforming the world.

As I hear and share the stories of our United Methodist Missionaries from all over the world, I feel a part of the connectional church transforming the world for Christ.

Kathy Burton-Lewis is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving in the Tokyo District, Tokyo, Japan. She teaches Oral English at Meiji Gakuin High School, a Christian school with over 100 years of educational history in Tokyo. Ms. Burton-Lewis is an associate member of the Ginza United Church of Christ in Japan. She serves as an advisor to the church’s English School Committee, and teaches an advanced English class in the school. She also facilitates discussion groups for Japanese women. Kathy’s home is used regularly for various gatherings, discussions and committee meetings representing the different groups with which she is associated. She leads a women's Bible class in her home with a group that have been meeting for over 40 years. The oldest in the group is 91.

Shirley and Joe Edgerton are long term Volunteers in Mission on La Gonave Haiti. Shirley writes: The question constantly before us; with more than 1600 primary students in our 9 Methodist primary schools and many with no tuition paid for this year, what is the priority? In Sousafilip, 13 in 6th grade will not take the national exam and have to repeat next year. Less than $100.00 would let all of them take the exam, yet most would fail as they have no books and poor teachers. Teachers recite the lesson to students who stare at them and can’t do homework without books. (Haiti Mission)

I hope that as you celebrate with family and friends that you are one of the lights on the evergreen which helps to transform the world for Christ. If you would support me as a missionary you may do so by using my advance #982927. Send me an email or note if you have a question.

Share your light with love, joy and peace.

Grace and Peace,
Judy Atwood
South Central Jurisdiction Mission Interpreter in Residence
1514 Jarvis
Manhattan, KS 66502
(785) 539-5422 or 785-341-5910 (cell)

Thank you for being in covenant with me as a United Methodist Missionary. You help facilitate my ability to continue to journey with you and other missionaries as we share the story of the transformation of the world for Christ. Judy
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Judy Atwood and Phoebe