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From CCCSA Operations

Rick and Mary Lynn Atherton have dedicated decades of service to CCCSA. Currently, Rick serves as the Operations Director, while Mary Lynn is a valued member of the Finance Team. They are presently on furlough in the USA. In this Movers, we’ve included snippets from their newsletters to honour their commitment and celebrate their many years of dedicated and faithful service to CCCSA.

A noteworthy and special milestone for the Atherton’s!

Forty years ago, on October 8th, Mary Lynn and I “tied the knot” at First Baptist Atlanta where we had met during college.  In November, we visited First Baptist again, to speak at the Adventures in Missions lunch after the morning service.  We took a few minutes to pop into the McClain Chapel where we were married.

Well, truth be told, it was not the original chapel on Peachtree Street. But they did transplant the pews and the stained glass window over the baptistry. So it felt like the real thing to us.

Click on image to enlarge

Operations Leaders meet in Albania

The Operations Leaders meeting in Tirana, Albania was such an inspiring time. There were about 130 operations leaders representing over 80 countries. Most of these folks were nationals from their own countries.

As you may recall, Albania boasted of being the world’s first totally atheistic country during the Soviet Communist era.

Campus Crusade for Christ was there when the Iron Curtain fell. Now, the country is open to the gospel, and there is a thriving ministry. There are about 130 Albanian full-time staff members, with a couple of dozen sent as missionaries to other countries. To God, there are no man-made barriers that can keep the Gospel out.

Overstay Appeal Prayer Request

On October 7th as we departed for Albania, Mary Lynn and I encountered a problem at the airport. As the immigration official looked over our passports, we heard him say “Uh-oh!“. Our residence visa had expired on 6 October.

We knew this and had applied for a new visa back in mid-July, but it had not been finalized yet. In the past, this would not have been a problem. Having proof of the application would have qualified us to leave without any issue. But unknown to us, the laws had changed back in March. The fact that we had applied for renewal in July no longer made a difference. We had, in fact, overstayed our visa by one day. Unfortunately, the penalty for overstaying, even for one day, is that we are not allowed to re-enter South Africa for 12 months.

Yes, we were shocked. But thankfully, there is an appeal process. We submitted an appeal promptly through the proper channels at Home Affairs. Please pray with us for a timely, positive response. Our original schedule is to fly back to South Africa on 15 January.

We have learned that there are some words that are not in God’s vocabulary. Words like “Uh-oh!“, “Oops!“, or “Didn’t see that one coming!” God was not surprised. So we trust that He has a reason for allowing this. It’s part of His plan. Pray for peace in our hearts and guidance as we trust our Master to reveal His will.

(Please join us in prayer for Rick and Mary Lynn, that the Lord’s perfect timing and provision will open the door for their return home).

Picture of Rick & Mary Lynn Atherton

Rick & Mary Lynn Atherton

CCCSA Operations

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