Argentina: celebrations and farewells

Argentina: celebrations and farewells

Christians in Argentina gathered to celebrate mission partners Catherine Le Tissier and Nick Drayson

Photo: leaders from the Diocese of Northern Argentina gather to wish Catherine and Nick a very fond farewell.

After decades of loving service in northern Argentina, mission partners Catherine Le Tissier and Nick Drayson shared poignant farewells at recent celebration events.

On 7 May a farewell service was held at Cristo el Señor church in Salta, northern Argentina, to thank and celebrate Nick Drayson, retiring from his role as Bishop of Northern Argentina and as Primate of the Anglican Church of South America, and his wife Catherine Le Tissier, who has led the AMARE women’s movement in the diocese and wider province.

Friends and colleagues gathered from across the Chaco region, including people from all the indigenous people groups with whom Catherine and Nick have lived and worked.

As well as marking the 14 years that Nick has served as diocesan bishop, the celebration looked further back across the more than 50 years since Nick first responded to God’s call to serve in Latin America. Among the people groups represented were the Chorote, among whom Nick worked as a linguist back in 1976 (playing a key role in the publication of the New Testament in Chorote in 1997).

Nick’s sermon on “Glory, Gratitude and Service” from 2 Corinthians 4 was greatly appreciated. And after singing together old songs and hymns, the event was rounded off by singing “Happy Birthday” to Nick (who was also turning 70) in the different languages represented, as well as presenting him with a cake.

Those present prayed for Catherine and Nick, as well as sharing food, fond memories and farewells.

Catherine commented: “It was a marvellous occasion – love and gifts and kind words just showered on us! We felt very humbled and so blessed.”

Birthday cake for Nick’s 70th
Nick shares warm greeting with Chaco colleague
The depth of love shared between Nick, Catherine and Argentinian believers is obvious
Nick speaking with Catherine next to him
Valedictory words from “the last English bishop
A packed venue worshipping in song
Many gathered to enjoy worship together…
Local believers enjoy celebratory food together
…and food, of course.
Young Wichi woman prays for Bishop Nick
Prayed for by CMS local partner Mirna Paulo
Bishops and others gather round to pray
…and prayers from other local partners and colleagues including fellow bishops Crisanto Rojas and Mateo Alto
Catherine managed to make a last trip into the Chaco
Women arm in arm form a circle
Catherine spent time at a last training session for local believers…
Indigenous woman makes notes at seminar
…including many women from AMARE, the movement she helped to found.
Indigenous bishop puts his arm round Catherine's shoulder
A last goodbye from Bishop Crisanto
You will be missed: leaders from the Diocese of Northern Argentina gather to wish Catherine and Nick a very fond farewell.

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