Greetings from miserably cold Northwest Indiana. Just two days ago, it was 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and we spent the entire day in the hospital—I’ll get back to that in a moment. It is now, even as I write, exactly 32 degrees, while a quick Google search informs me that it is currently 87 degrees in Dapitan City. The call of the mission field has never rung clearer in my heart! Well, let me get to the news everyone has been waiting for. Hannah Grace Morrissey was born this past Thursday, November 10, at 1:20 p.m. Being of Morrissey and Christiansen stock, she was “predestined” to be small, and she did not disappoint. She came into the world at just 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18½ inches long. Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for Ruth and the baby. God was very merciful and blessed us with a smooth and relatively brief delivery. I know that everyone wants to see pictures, but I really don’t have space in this letter for all 43 million, so you’ll just have to be satisfied with these. 😊
Timetable for Our Return to the Field
The natural question following Hannah’s birth is, “How soon can we return to the field?” When we first came back from the field, we were hoping to return sometime in mid-December. I was even considering purchasing our tickets in October. Then it very slowly began to dawn on my feeble brain that you can’t buy airline tickets for someone who hasn’t been born yet . . . because he doesn’t have a birthday! As it turns out, not being able to purchase tickets yet was a good thing because our original timetable has proven to be very unrealistic due to several factors outside of our control. As of right now, we are hoping to fly back sometime in early January—the earlier the better! Please pray that God will give me wisdom as I look for ticket options. For whatever reason, it is difficult to get tickets to the Philippines right now. Most of the itineraries are painfully long or completely unrealistic, with ridiculously short layovers! A 19-hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey, isn’t particularly appealing when you’re traveling with a wife and four kids, but neither is the 1-hour, 10-minute layover in Doha, Qatar! Please pray that God will lead me to a good option at the right time.
Please also be in prayer regarding the processing of Hannah’s birth certificate and passport. I was expecting the birth certificate to take two to three weeks, but we found out yesterday that it could take as long as six weeks! Nothing like a little extra drama to keep missionary life from getting boring! Once we have the birth certificate, we then have to apply for the passport. Please pray that God will push things along a little faster than normal for us. Obviously, this really complicates the issue of purchasing tickets. When you add the holidays into the equation, things could really get sticky for us, so please pray. Thank you so much for your prayers, friendship, and faithful support.
Dividends on Your Investment
Having been in the States for about two months, I can now definitively say that soul winning still works in the good old USA. God has actually given me three stories in the last couple of months that I would really like to share, but I only have space for one. This story actually began last Saturday, November 5, when I decided to take my kids to a Filipino restaurant in the south suburbs of Chicago. My plan was to eat some good Filipino food, hopefully get a chance to speak some Visayan, and then do some soul winning somewhere in the area. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the restaurant, they were not open for business, so we decided to step inside a small Filipino grocery store next door. Inside the store, we met three Filipinos: Howard, Anne, and Heidi. It was not until earlier today that I found out that Howard and Anne are married, and that Heidi is Howard’s sister! I never would have guessed! To make a long story short, I began witnessing to all three of them. Unfortunately, some other customers came in, and Heidi had to take care of them, but I was able to clearly explain the Gospel to Howard and Anne. Howard had a lot of questions, so it took me nearly an hour, but in the end, both Howard and Anne bowed their heads and put their faith in Jesus Christ. We left that grocery store rejoicing about what God had done, but I couldn’t forget about Heidi. It was obvious that she was interested. Every time she finished dealing with a customer, she would come back over and listen. So, I decided this morning, November 12, to go back to that little grocery store to see if I could witness to Heidi. When we arrived at the store, there was only one other customer there, and she was taking her time deciding what to buy. That gave me a chance to talk to Heidi. I began reviewing the Gospel and quickly realized that she had heard enough the previous week to clearly understand salvation. She just needed to make the decision to put her faith in Christ. Just a few minutes later, Heidi bowed her head and made that decision! God is good!
Yours for souls,