I once bought a get-well card for a relative. The text on the front read, “The doctor said you’ll be normal soon.” On the inside it continued, “That will be a first!” So, I preface this letter by admitting that normalcy may be a bit subjective and hard to define. Regardless of your definition, however, I think everyone will agree that the last few months have been anything but normal. If you’re even remotely like me, you probably cringe at the catch phrase, “the new normal,” bantered about so frequently by various media personalities. While progress continues to be impeded on every front, it seems we are finally inching back toward normalcy—whatever that may be.
I am happy to report that my parents have made a full recovery from their flu-like symptoms. Our son, whose flight was repeatedly canceled, finally made it to the States and is transitioning smoothly into his new work and ministries. Churches are holding services again, and I have heard many reports of salvations and of successful VBSs, camps, and Missions Conferences. One of the characteristics that has impressed me so much through the present crisis has been the faithfulness of God’s people in their giving. Our support has shown no evidence of the economic collapse that seems to be threatening our entire world. Thanks to each of you who sacrifice on our behalf.
Our language-services business is back up and running, although at a greatly reduced capacity. We have been thrilled to renew contacts with so many people from whom the pandemic had kept us distant. We are definitely seeing increased witnessing opportunities. Church attendance is also recovering for us here. In fact, this last Sunday was one of our best crowds ever, considering that it was accompanied by neither promotion nor out-of-town guests. We had six different nationalities represented in our little congregation and a good spirit that kept people long after the service concluded. People today are being starved of fellowship and seem to soak up every opportunity afforded them.
We currently have two families on deputation to join Team Eurasia. One of them is raising support in the United States and the other in Mexico. Travel for both families came to a standstill during the government-imposed lockdowns, but now progress resumes. Please pray for these families, both striving to be on the field by next spring. A couple from the church I pastored in Germany went to Bible college in the U.S. and has completed deputation to return to Germany. Travel restrictions are the only reason they haven’t yet been able to move. Please pray for them as well.
In family news, we have added another grandchild to the clan this summer, with three more on the way. For those keeping track, this will bring the total to ten. We are so pleased that our adult children are all serving God in five of America’s finest churches. We appreciate your prayers for them as well. We are trying to get my wife to the States for a few days (perhaps this fall). It would be an opportunity to hold her grandchildren, including four she has never met (except by Skype). We already have the funds for the flight. We are just wanting to make sure that, if she flies, she will be able to return to us on schedule. I can’t imagine surviving without her for more than a few days. One of my sons, the oldest of our children still living with us, has a better mastery of the language here than anyone else in the family and has begun preaching for me from time to time. Pray for him as he tries to discern God’s will for his future. We appreciate so much your faithful support, friendship, and prayers and hope life for you is also returning to normal!