LAUNCHING NEW WORKERS!
The highlight of our ministry year is sending out new workers! Our Pioneers Central Europe office is the bridge through which Central and Eastern Europeans are sent to join Pioneers teams throughout the world. In late April, our team held a Candidate Orientation Program (COP) in Budapest for two Central European families whom God has raised up to serve Him! This was a great time of training and preparation as well as developing relationships with one another.
Our son Andrew will be graduating from the International Christian School of Budapest on June 9. Starting in the fall (2012), he will be studying mechanical engineering through the honors college at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
Please pray for Andrew as he finishes high school in Hungary and goes through the transitions of saying goodbye to what has been his home/friends/life here for the last 8 years and begins a new life in the US. Pray that as parents we will have wisdom to know how to come alongside him, celebrate life here, say good “goodbyes” and anticipate with him the good things God has for him in the future.
Pioneers Europe is the mobilization base that sends out European workers to serve on Pioneers teams worldwide. Pioneers Europe is composed of five offices–France, Holland, two offices in the UK, and our Central Europe office, which covers all other countries of Europe! The office Directors and board chairmen of these five offices met for a board meeting March 9-10 in Worthing, England. It is good to fellowship and partner together for the sake of the Kingdom!
One way that Tom has the opportunity to invest in young people is by coaching sports at the International Christian School of Budapest, where our children attend. Tom served as head coach of the 2011 varsity volleyball team, on which our daughter Jessica was a player. The highlight of the season was winning our athletic league (Danube Valley Athletic Conference) championship!
Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage!
Sharon’s parents, Clive and Nancy Buttemere, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 9, 2011! Their three children (Sharon, Lynn, and Clay) and their families gathered together August 15-19 in Austria to honor them and celebrate this momentous milestone! Clive and Nancy, who live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, are currently visiting their adult children, all three of whom live and serve in Europe. Lynn and Clay’s families live and serve in Skopje, Macedonia. This was a rare and special opportunity to have all of Sharon’s side of the family together on one continent, in one country, in the same place!
Tom continues on a steep learning curve as he has increasingly invested time this year in a ministry of sending out European workers to other least-reached parts of the world. He is developing a new Pioneers Central Europe Mobilization Office in Budapest and has been working with several Eastern European families over the past few months who are in various stages of field service. Tom helped de-brief with a Hungarian family who had been serving in Mongolia, helped orient another family as they recently began their field service in Bosnia, and worked with a Bulgarian family facing difficult challenges on home assignment from their country of service in Asia. In addition, Tom has worked to develop the financial structure of this sending branch of Pioneers this summer and also worked with our newest team member, Jason, who created a new, updated web site for our office. Please pray for much wisdom and discernment as Tom works with several families from various European countries who face many challenges in the process of moving to or returning to their fields of service in some of the least-reached parts of the world.
2011 is an important year for wedding anniversary milestones in our families! Tom & Sharon celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on June 29, and Sharon’s parents celebrated their “golden” 50th wedding anniversary on June 9! Sharon’s sister and husband, Philip & Lynn Jackson (Skopje, Macedonia), celebrated their 20th anniversary on June 8, while Tom’s sister and her husband, Dan & Tammy Johnson (Mount Joy, Pennsylvania), celebrate their “silver” 25th anniversary August 9! We are thankful for many wonderful years together so far and look forward to many more!