Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner 2009

Grace and Peace be yours in abundance to you who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours…

First we’ll share a few ways that Grace and Peace have abounded in our lives:
Sharon had the follow-up visit with the surgeon on Nov. 11th but had to wait an additional week for the complete pathology report. She has DCIS (ductile cancer in situ) which is not invasive and the tumor was small, 7mm. This is all good news as far as cancer goes. She is still doing therapy stretching exercises with her right arm to combat the effects of the surgery. The next step is an appointment with an oncologist on Dec. 22 to determine what further treatment will be recommended.

Thanksgiving gave us a week to be with Melissa and some time with Sharon’s side of the family near Charlottesville, Va. This is final exam week for our daughter, Melissa who finishes her 1st semester at James Madison University and has adjusted nicely. Heather is in Hopewell, Va. with grandparents, working as part time church secretary for West End Presbyterian Church while preparing to leave in February to teach English as a second language in Seoul, Korea.

Getting better acquainted with brothers and sisters in Christ at both Occoquan Bible Church and Capitol Hill Baptist Church has been a priority. Besides having people in our home, we participated in a 7:00 am Tuesday morning class on counseling entitled, “How People Change”. We attend a home group which has been reviewing the book, Respectable Sins. The Sunday School class is studying I and II Peter. Besides this, we listen to lectures from a course called Islam Through Christian and Muslim Eyes. Sharon read the book by Orson Wells, Homage to Catalonia in which the author makes the observation back in 1936 that Spain seemed to be the most atheistic European country. We both helped out at the 2 evangelistic Christmas Teas offered at CHBC. Together with the Muhas we have been developing brochures and info packets to distribute to our supporters. Peter and Scott are also contacting new churches to see if they would be interested in pursuing church planting in Madrid. We are so grateful for the input of everyone who gives us ideas and helps to push our info technology ability to higher levels! We are trying to blog and twitter to help the younger generations keep track of us.

The hand of God is evident as events take place to prepare for the Muhas and McMillans to begin working in Spain. 5.84 million people live in the greater metropolitan area of Madrid, the 3rd largest city in Europe. Las Tablas is a new housing development on the northern side of Madrid comprised of various nationalities. Already a Friday evening get together has been established by a few local believers who gather with interested guests for a study through the book of Mark.
About 100 people attended the recently held marriage seminar. We communicate back and forth on issues relating to doctrine and practice as well as personal matters, to begin the process of team building since we have not worked together before.
The following is an excerpt from a church planter already working in a different area of Madrid:
“There were about 75 present (at the Thanksgiving dinner), a little less than half non-Christian, including multiple nationalities. At one table of 8, there were 6 different ones! That´s indicative of the reality of immigration in Europe that is changing the cultural landscape, and the way ‘church’ is done in Spain.”

As we prepare to serve the Lord in a new church plant in Spain one of the challenges we face is the need for additional financial support. Our monthly financial need for Spain is $8090 a month. That amount includes; salary, insurances, transportation, ministry expenses, retirement, and other services. We do not have a guaranteed salary with TEAM, just the amount that comes in through those who partner with us. Our present monthly income is an average of $4075, which means that we are at 50% of the level we need to leave for Spain in June of 2010. Please be in prayer with us as we contact those churches and families who will want to invest in the church plant in Madrid, Spain. With the additional medical expenses we have been stretched more than usual. When we move to South Carolina in January we will look for part-time jobs to offset recent expenses. We anticipate grace and peace to abound in our hearts as we follow and trust the Lord.

Another move is approaching: #19. We love everywhere we go, but it hurts to leave from wherever we are at present!
New address as of January 5th: 137 Haywain Drive Chapin, SC 29036

One last thing before we close:
Do you get excited when you hear amazing stories about what God is doing at the four corners of the earth? Here is an opportunity to lock arms with others, join in His work and really make a difference: For the first 100 days of 2010, TEAM is challenging everyone to join in a campaign called Everyone One Hundred. From January through early April, you’ll get weekly emails with great information and important prayer requests from around the world. Your prayers are vital! Plus, you can join in the effort even further by giving financially, if God puts that on your heart. There is no obligation, and it’s easy to sign up at A 100 day challenge…we are going to do it – come join us! By the way, if you don’t use the Internet, you can also sign up by calling TEAM at 800-343-3144.

Joyfully in Christ,
Peter & Sharon McMillan

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Madrid, Spain. We are encouraged that after much consideration, prayer and discussion with fellow missionaries in Spain we see the Lord leading us to be part of a church planting team to Madrid, Spain. Our target area with be in the Northern part of Madrid in a section called Las Tablas. We will be joined by our fellow TEAM missionaries, Scott and Lorna Muha, who were church planters working in Caracas, Venezuela. Almost 2 years ago the Tablante family, members of the IBM church in Lecheria, Venezuela, moved from Venezuela to a brand new subdivision in Madrid. Aurora lives there with their 3 girls while Joel works in Saudi Arabia. With there being no Bible church in the vicinity, she would drive almost an hour on Sundays. She asked us to come and help start a church near her. In March we visited her, walked around just her section of 30,000 people, and she pointed across the highway to where 2 more identical sections have been built, all within the last 6 years.

None of us were aware at the time that a small group had begun to meet on Friday nights. Uh- oh, that could mean trouble; we had 2 choices: forget about it and direct our energies elsewhere or approach them with the possibility of joining forces. Instantly they were excited at the possibility! They are two enthusiastic couples from Argentina, trained in Word of Life who have a vision for starting a church in the area. After several extended conference calls and consultations with TEAM, the believers in Las Tablas, the TEAM Spain leaders, and we see this as a win-win situation. It dovetails with the advice that we not jump in cold to start something on our own. Please be in prayer as we begin to work on our vision statement, strategy, and team building. The Muhas would like to leave sometime after January and we would follow Lord willing in May. We need to raise additional support as well.

Las Tablas February, 2003

Las Tablas May, 2004

Las Tablas March 2009

A week ago Monday, Sharon had a biopsy done on a suspicious spot on her breast which turned out to be cancerous and would require surgery. Today the surgeon ordered an MRI to see if the cancer has spread to other areas. Should the MRI reveal other spots they will need to be biopsied before the operation as well. We trust that all the additional tests will be completed soon and we are looking at a surgery date sometime after the 26th of October. The post-operative reports will indicate if Sharon will need to undergo any radiation treatment. We will keep you informed and do appreciate your prayers that the tests will be accurate and any malignant tumors can be removed.

This past weekend we did a short presentation on missions during Occoquan Bible Church’s Fall Festival. We also did a missions awareness activity with the Awana children on Sunday evening.

Tomorrow we are planning to head down to South Carolina where Sharon will be attending a women’s retreat with the ladies from our home church. We hope to visit with Melissa on the way back. Next week we will travel to Schenectady, New York for a week of several speaking engagements with adults and children during the missions conference at First Presbyterian Church. We would appreciate your prayers that we would be instruments used to inform, motivate, and encourage the body of believers there.

A short family camping trip in Appalachian National Park is also planned.

We rest in the assurance that the Lord is in control of all these details.

Peter and Sharon

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9401 Cleat Court
Burke, Virginia 22015
(804) 920-9739

September 10, 2009

Dear fellow partner in ministry:

You may be wondering what has been happening with the McMillans as you have not heard from us in awhile. We are still very much alive and in good health, as indicated in the results from the comprehensive medical work that we completed in July.

We drove up to Wheaton, IL for the annual TEAM conference (REAP) for missionaries on home assignment. While there we talked with several home staff and fellow missionaries concerning our next placement. We met with the TEAM Mexico field. The Mexico Field is considering a church plant in 3 different cities a half day’s drive east of Guadalajara, Mexico. A vision trip is scheduled for February. However at this point we are not strongly considering that opportunity.

Here are a number of developments that we have heard about in the Madrid area.
1. In Las Tablas, a new suburb in northern Madrid, where Aurora, one of our church members from IBM in Venezuela lives, we found out that there is a Bible study with @ 20 in attendance. Mark Johnson, a TEAM missionary in Madrid, visited with them as well as Aurora Tablante, the lady from IBM. Two Argentinian families started the group comprised of Latins and Spaniards. Peter has conversed with one of the men, Samuel, who is excited for us to work with them. The other man, Oscar has expressed his eagerness for us to join their venture. They are from the Brethren background. Around 200,000 people live within a 10 minute drive in either direction.

2. The other opportunity is in downtown Madrid working in a multicultural community. The area is called Lavapies. We visited this area with Micah and Kimberly Yaun when we were in Madrid. I have talked with a number of missionaries from Madrid about this area. They recommend that it would be best to work together with other missionary organizations (possibly setting up a cultural center/coffee shop) where we could make contacts, teach English, do Bible studies. As contacts and interest grow we would start the church plant.

3. As far as Tenerife goes, TEAM Spain is checking on some issues with another mission organization. There is a possibility to work in a section of Santa Cruz, the capitol city, but we don’t have many leads. The TEAM missionaries already working in Santa Ursula would like to see us work in the city of Icod (pop. @20,000) situated about 1½ hours west on the northern coast. A group of about 8 already exists at a 20 year old church. The building has water damage, is not in a strategic location, and TEAM would like to get a commitment from the leadership that they would be willing to sell the building and move to a more strategic location. The ideal would be to work together and not separately.

August for Sharon has been extremely busy taking a one month intensive course on Teaching English as a Second Language. Sometimes she had to go for several nights on just 4-5 hours of sleep. It was a month of reflection and studying for me, Peter, as well as an opportunity to improve my cooking skills. Heather has been with us as she also took the course. Sharon and Heather also have 2 weeks of reading and paper work to do before they can be awarded their certificates.

Sharon at TEFL class

On the 19th we took a day to drop Melissa of at James Madison University to start her freshman year.
On September 1st we met with Scott and Lorna Muha to discuss and evaluate, and share updates on our next church plant. The Muhas are workers from Venezuela who accompanied us for part of our trip to Spain back in March. We are planning to partner with them in our next church plant. We trust that very soon we can make a final decision as to specifically where we will be headed. Please pray that together with the Muhas, TEAM, and our home churches we will be able to discern God’s clear leading.

We are participating in two of our supporting churches in the DC area. Capitol Hill Baptist Church and Occoquan Bible Church. We are getting to know church members by attending home groups, a Bible study, and Sunday morning and evening worship services. Peter preaches this Sunday at Occoquan.

Over Labor Day weekend we got together with Ben, Hannah, Heather and Melissa along with the rest of Sharon’s family. We enjoyed fishing on Lake Monticello and have been sore from water-skiing. And guess who caught the biggest fish?

Sharon with her nieces and nephew
We will travel to New York, stopping in PA, MA and NJ the latter half of September, visiting with supporting churches and partners in ministry. In October we will go to Columbia, SC 9-11 for a church retreat, and the week of 18-25 we will participate in the missions conference at First Presbyterian in Schenectady.

Trust we will be visiting with many of you soon.

Peter and Sharon

Saturday, August 1, 2009

JULY 18: THE WEDDING- WOW! Everything went wonderfully! What a blessing for us to see the excitement, joy and anticipation on Ben’s face as Hannah approached him at the front of the church. We count it a privilege to have such a sweet, godly daughter-in-law and be related to a God-honoring family such as the Drennons. Both Heather and Melissa were bridesmaids along with Hannah’s sister, Jennifer. Almost all of the McMillans came so we were able, at least for a brief time, to reconnect with them.

So, what have we been doing since last we wrote? A good portion of the time we have spent undergoing medical examinations and procedures to meet the TEAM requirements for redeployment. We made a trip to DC to look for an apartment and thanks to the help of Dixie Wright we were able to lease a one bedroom basement apartment from a nice family in the Burke area in the southwest suburbs. It would not be available until after July 15th, but the landlord let Peter take a load of household goods and books up. Monday, the 20th, we moved out of Sharon’s parents’ home near Richmond, Va. and settled in the apartment where we will stay for the rest of the year. We are learning the whereabouts of every thrift store in the SW quadrant! There are still a few furniture items lacking, but we hope to be able to borrow some from church friends.

Melissa works Sunday through Friday as an assistant camp counselor at Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center. She had a 2 week vacation and went up with Heather to New York to the grandparents’ cabin. Her freshman move in date for James Madison University is either August 18th or 19th.

Starting this Monday both Sharon and Heather will take a one month intensive course to get certified as TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) instructors. This is a widely used method among missionaries to reach into a community and form relationships.

Sharon is writing this as we make our way back home to DC from Wheaton, Illinois. We attended REAP (Re-entry, Evaluation, And Preparation). About 100 TEAM missionaries and staff gathered together for a week of meetings and exchange. It was a great time of interaction, lots of ideas, interchange of experiences, and training on how to maximize our connection between resources and kingdom opportunities. We met several times with the missionary couple, Scott and Lorna Muha, who are considering teaming up with us in the next assignment. We interviewed many missionaries from various fields, including Mexico, to not leave any stone unturned as the saying goes. Every day we are involved in correspondence to various parties, research, prayer, and waiting on answers. We are hoping for a final decision in August so as to be able to direct energies and prayers to that end. We are excited anticipating this next venture with you!

Peter and Sharon McMillan
Cell phone number: 804-920-9739
Email address:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trip to Spain and Tenerife

Dear prayer supporters:
This letter will cover the highlights, and only the highlights (out of consideration for your time)
of our investigative trip to Spain.
On the 1st day as soon as we dropped our luggage off at Mark and Kay Johnson’s home we picked up Tony Vasquez who is Tony Vasquez with Spanish/Arabic New Testamentfrom El Salvador with Youth with a Mission. He is developing a vision for sending Latino missionaries to the 10/40 window. He led us on a fast paced tour of Lavapies in downtown Madrid where 100 different nationalities live within an area of 4 blocks.

Near Plaza del Sol we ate our first “Menu”. Afterwards, we met with John Blake, who has worked with Billy Graham and Navigators in Spain for 44 years and has keen insights into the work in Spain. We will mention here only a few of the important facts that he impressed on us: 377 cities in Spain have no evangelical witness; less than 1% of the population is evangelical. Also, cities of over 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, and even 10 cities with populations of over 20,000 exist with no church. He encouraged us to consider working in one of those pockets where there is no witness. According to John, the key to reaching the Spaniard is to respond to the question, “Why am I here?” which manifests itself in drug addiction and domestic violence. The formerly tight family unit is no longer a commonality.

The 2nd day a group of us met with Ron Anderson, director of European Christian Mission (MK from Latin America and working in Spain for 20+ years. We gained insight as Ron encouraged us to not parachute in and start from scratch but to be a part of a team and connect with Spaniards if possible who have a vision for the same area. He told us of some social action efforts that meet real needs, such as drug rehabilitation, by which Christians have gained credibility as well as opened doors for opportunities for evangelism.

We visited with Aurora Tablante who is a former IBM church member. She now lives in northern Madrid (Los Tablas) an area of more than 50,000 with no evangelical church. Her community connects by trolley to two other communities with no church. She presently drives 45 minutes to attend church. She is pleading with us to help start a work in her neighborhood.

A small section of Las Tablas

On Monday, Micah and Kimberly and we took a 4-5 hour road trip to Granada in a lemon lime Citroen. We ooed and aahed at the fascinating countryside and were fortunate to arrive in time to visit Alhambra for a few hours. We stayed with Danny Johnson, a professor at IIBET, a training center for Latinos who plan to or are working in the 10/40 window. He took us to a teashop in the heart of the Arab section and helped us see the opportunity to work in the Granada area where there are thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries. The following day we priviledged to attend a meeting at the IIBET headquarters. We were humbled to be in the presence of dedicated, high caliber workers, especially Daniel Sanchez, currently on staff at Dallas Seminary. He explained several methodologies for reaching the muslims. We had lunch with a couple from Venezuela who have recently begun to start a church among the Muslim population in Granada. “Open heart closed Door - Closed door open heart.” We heard this phrase repeated a number of times while we were in Spain. Spain has a closed heart with no interest in God and yet there is a open door. In Morocco the Muslims have an open heart but the door is closed. In Granada the two come together.

The 2nd phase of our trip we flew 2½ hours to Tenerife for a fast paced orientation to the different facets of the culture and to the spiritual needs. Yauns, Belches, McMillans, Muhas, and Albrechts with Dr. FortesWe met with Dr. Jose Luis Fortes, (left of Sharon) director of the Council of Evangelical Churches of Tenerife. He gave an overview of the church planting efforts and encouraged us to work on the northwestern side of Tenerife where there are several cities with no church.

One night we gorged ourselves on Canary Style Barbeque in a quaint, rustic temporary eatery which only operates during the wine season while their home brew lasts.

One of the cities that we visited was Icod de Los Vinos on the Northwest side of the island. It has a small church of 8 (Planted some 20+ years ago). We were asked to consider starting a new church plant with this small group of believers.

One of the couples that we toured Tenerife with was Scott and Lorna Muha. (To the left in the picture)They are fellow TEAM missionaries with us in Venezuela. We met with them in Venezuela before we left to consider the possibility of working together with them in Spain. This was a high moment as we looked over this valley and considered this as a strong possibility.

One morning a member of the Albrecht’s church who is also a history professor kindly gave us an interesting overview of the history and culture of the Canarians.

At the open house on Saturday night we were privileged to meet many of the warmhearted and enthusiastic members of the Fountain of Faith and Hope Christian Church. Even as we waited for our departure flight at the airport, we had a brief meeting with the coordinator for FIEDE,
(the association of churches that work with TEAM).

Thanks for taking the time to read about our trip to Spain. Pray with us as we consider these options and seek where the Lord would have us serve next.

Peter and Sharon McMillan

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Greetings faithful prayer partners:
Camp Chuparipal Report: 2 bus loads of 30 people went from
our area, contributing to a total of over 300. Many people were
challenged to be more faithful in their walk with the Lord.
One youth from our church, Jesus Marques, was deeply convicted
of sin in his life. What a testimony to see the other youth
around him, praying for him as he was broken before the Lord.
It rained several times, which would be the equivalent of snow
in the summer in the U.S! Small groups at camp
The waterslide stayed occupied all day!

This past weekend we experienced a Mini-Retreat: Friday
night and Saturday an hour away at a new developing camp.
@60 people from church, including children, gathered for
(re)orientation on the purpose and dynamics of the cell
group concept. Several new Christians and their families
participated. Our goal for 2009 is to develop 10 new cell group
leaders, form 5 new cell groups, and add 50 new members.

The biggest news and prayer concern this time is for the
Spain Investigative Trip.
We’ve had a surprise development: a young couple, Micah
and Kimberly Yaun, members of the Faith Presbyterian
missions committee, took up our invitation for someone to
come along! They have both come to Venezuela several times
with work teams and would like to explore the opportunity
to minister in Spain full time. Below is the basic itinerary
so you will know how to pray:
Visit Schedule:
Thursday: Leave 12:20 from Barcelona airport.
Leave 5:30pm from Caracas airport on 8½ hour flight and…

Friday:…arrive in Madrid 7:40 am their time. Visit an area
where ministry to Muslims in Madrid is going on. 4:00pm
meet with John Blake with Decision. Home and crash.

Meet with Ron Anderson, European Director of European
Christian Mission
Jake Bock - possibly
John Nicely, Coordinator for TEAM Spain, - lunch
6:00 Oasis Madrid church service
8:00 Tapas (drinks and light food) with Jay and Carolyn Sensenig,
formerly in Venezuela

Camarma Church Service
Lunch and afternoon with the Tablantes ( a dedicated couple
from our church who relocated a year ago)

Monday and Tuesday:
5 hour bus ride to Granada with Danny Johnson. Visit IlbET,
a training center for missionaries to work with Muslims. IIbET
has a need for a fund raiser, and it's strategic in terms of channeling
Latin Americans to Northern Africa, where it is difficult for North
Americans to enter. Maybe a visit to Alhambra?

Meet with Paul Bowman, TEAM church planter
Leave for Tenerife 3:00 pm (2hrs 45 min.) arrive 4:45 their time.
The other TEAM couple, Scott and Lorna Muha, will join us for this
leg. We return on the following Monday morning 7am Spanish time
and arrive at Barcelona airport 9:40pm. Attached is the schedule for
the 6 of us while we are in Tenerife.

Wednesday, Mar 18 - Monday Mar 23
Visit in Tenerife. Checking out Possible target areas, local pastors,
Housing opportunities, checking prices, Needed documents,
Return to Venezuela March 23

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy New Years! And Greetings from Lecheria.
Inauguration Day went by yesterday as we drove 2½ hours and met with another missionary couple to discuss future plans and ministry opportunities. After the whirlwind of extra activities in December and the first half of January, we are now focusing on the responsibilities that lie before us to finish well in the remaining 5 months and prepare for ministry in another area. The biggest need for the church right now is for someone to work fulltime in a pastor role. It looks like a good possibility that Alejandro Molero, one of our 3 national elders, will take on the responsibility. Another elder, Hageo, already receives half time salary.

This past Sunday night Domingo and Mimina apologized for their ungodly behavior. Sharon will resume meeting with her on a regular basis. It is a difficult thing to know how to counsel in this and similar situations.

Government offices are reopened. The efforts have begun anew in order to begin construction. Now we are waiting for the final electric, sewer, and structure calculations to be signed by a civil engineer to obtain the final approval for construction.

We have started the phase of “this is the last time that we….” The 7-10th of this month was the last time for us to attend an ASIGEO get-together in Caripe, a little mountain town where the conference center is located. It was especially helpful this time because we focused on how to develop, organize, and evaluate an existing or new ministry. Our group from church was so enthused about it that the elders decided to dedicate the following 2 weeks to planning. Each night 1 or 2 ministry areas meet. We are in the 2nd week and it has been encouraging especially to see the involvement of new people in the different ministry areas. Two areas of need are officially organized now: prayer and visitation.

Our church members participating in ministry planning

February 20-24 our church will participate in the family camp/conference held at our old stomping grounds- Camp Chuparipal! Some of our leaders are in charge of the sessions.

Now for a personal note. After Christmas we had a wonderful, but short, visit from our son, Benjamin and his fiancĂ©e, Hannah Drennan, from West Virginia. Several people from church helped us greet them by singing Venezuelan style Christmas songs with us in the airport! Then came the ultimate compatibility test for Hannah: she underwent being stuffed in our loaded down Cherokee with us for a 5 day camping trip in the Gran Sabana with a 10 hour drive at both ends. Another family from Melissa’s school joined us. Unexpectedly, the first night in the tents it poured rain and leaked terribly so the younger set ended up spending the rest of the night in an unfinished cabin!
Ben prepares to jump into a natural pool.

This past week and weekend Melissa participated in the CMUNCE at Columbia University in New York City. It provides experience in simulated United Nations sessions. She represented Russia in the World Food Summit. Heather also went to NY to visit her sister and see the sights.

Peter & Sharon