From Jim and Judy Bangsund:
Dear family and friends,
Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you
on the way and to bring you to the place which I
have prepared. -Exodus 23:20
That verse was recently shared with us by some elderly retired missionary friends who just went through a stressful move -- but sensed God's leading and guiding throughout the process. They were brought to a place prepared for them.
We identify. We too have been "on the way" for the past few months, and now have good news to share! We have been called to St Timothy's Lutheran Church in San Jose, California, following a congregational vote on Sunday, March 25.
For those who have been praying with us, thank you. For others, this may indeed be new news -- although you probably knew that we had left Tanzania and Makumira University College at the end of last year. Soon after closing that chapter of ministry, we found ourselves in a conversation with St Timothy's which has now evolved into a double call (actually, a 1.5 position which we will share equally).
We are eagerly looking forward to working alongside Pastor Dan Selbo -- who is a great person with whom to share in ministry and is one of the main reasons we are so enthusiastic about this call. He and his wife, Mary, also have a wonderful family:
Tom, Andy, Dan;
Elizabeth, Mary, Rebecca
(The pictures above were copied from the church directory using a digital camera, and so are a bit on the rough side.)
We will be moving from St Paul to San Jose over the next few days, with Judy flying out on the 27th to look for housing and Jim following a few days later after boxes have been loaded on a moving van. Our start date is April 15.
Yes, San Jose is where we were when we left for Tanzania in 1985. We feel we are coming home.
In 1985, Jim was pastor at Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church near the airport and between Santa Clara and San Jose. St Timothy's is on the southern edge of the valley:
The congregation has around 1200 members, a good staff, and is growing. We are excited about ministering in this community of faith. The three of us (Dan, Judy, Jim) are already talking about how we can shape this shared ministry. There is still much to think about, but at present we will be sharing in preaching and then Jim will likely focus on teaching ministry and Judy on family ministry. But we all realize this will take time to develop and we will know a lot more six months from now.
At this writing, we have no mailing address other than that of the church:
St Timothy's Lutheran Church
We do have one cell phone with a San Jose number: Judy's: (408) 207-7952. We will be changing Jim's from its present St Paul number to San Jose soon after arriving.
5100 Camden Ave.
San Jose, California 95124
And our lycos email addresses will remain with us, although we will eventually also pick up St Timothy addresses:
Again, we give thanks to God -- as well as to those who have been praying along with us regarding the next step. That step has now arrived, and we eagerly move into it.
Still in One Peace,
Jim and Judy