Dr. Marthe Curry, the diocesan director of development for world mission, delivered a brief report on the status of world mission. Recalling the work of 2012, Curry said 275 people were sent on 40 short-term mission trips in 15 countries, where they drilled wells, treated sick animals, held eye glass and medical/dental clinics, built buildings, and facilitated micro enterprises.
Short-term missioners typically leave on 1- to 3-week mission trips, participate in their activities, and return home until their next trip. However, Curry said, the diocese also has some long-term missionaries. One family among those is George and Ginny Olson and their two children who live in the Philippines. George grew up at Christ Church, San Antonio, where “there is great support and mission work in the DNA,” said Curry.
Curry said long-term missionaries spend years learning the language and the culture of the country in which they wish to serve and then spend another few years becoming a part of the community and living out the Gospel, before they start preaching the Gospel. She then introduced a video that the Olson family produced this past December about their journey and adventures in the Philippines. Curry said, “The Olsons exemplify our theme this year – kindness, mercy, justice, humility. George and Ginny are the real deal.”
George and Ginny expressed their gratefulness for the opportunity to serve in the Philippines throughout the video. Many pictures of every day life over there were presented, and the Olsons narrated the cultural adventures they have experienced.
When the video was over, Curry called up Rosine Carter, the coordinator of Southeast Mexico missions. Curry and Carter recently returned from a trip to SE Mexico, and they presented the bishops with two beautiful, handmade and embroidered stoles, crafted by some of the women in that part of the world. Standing before the bishops, she then asked the Council floor to stand if they have been on a mission trip, invested in a mission trip, or have prayed for a missioner or trip. “Rt. Rev. Sirs, I present the people of the Diocese of West Texas – we are a missions diocese,” said Curry.