Praise the Lord! We made it to the field where God has called us! Since our last prayer letter, there have been several major events that have taken place. One of those events was my ordination service, which was very special to me. Several pastors attended, and one particular pastor, who was the guest speaker, traveled several hours to my home church and then after the service, traveled back. Not only was I honored to have these pastors come, but I was especially honored that my dad was a part of the service! Years ago, my dad served as a pastor and continues to serve God in many capacities. I can’t comprehend the kind of willingness both my parents have demonstrated to let God call their son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren to a foreign field. They have been such an encouragement!
The next major event was taking a family of 7, with 14 suitcases (mostly books) and 7 carry-on bags, across the world. Somehow it all worked out—we made it! We had an issue with Customs right before boarding the plane. However, the issue turned into a blessing because they let our family cut to the front of the line. The flight itself had no problems, but when we were picked up from the airport, the weight of all our luggage, along with our family, caused the engine light to turn on. We had to pull over to let the engine cool down and pray that it would make it the rest of the three-hour trip. The van had trouble starting after we pulled over; but it finally did, and we slowly made it to our destination.
The m___s who picked us up from the airport graciously accommodated our family for over two weeks until we could get the essentials turned on in our home. It took a little longer than expected to get electricity, and we had several problems trying to get the gas turned on. We decided to move into the home before they turned the gas on and slept with some heaters and boiled our water for baths. Praise the Lord for the simple provision of gas that we now have!
Another big event that started last week was a major lockdown, which is in place until May 17. This is especially difficult for those who live in neighborhoods outside the city, because no driving is permitted to go to a grocery store, and the nearest store is a long hike. Thankfully for us, we found an online grocery store that was able to deliver food to our address! We are praying that the lockdowns will be completely lifted after May 17, as there are a few major events yet to come.
On May 20, we have a very important interview to obtain residency visas. We are hopeful that we can obtain a 10-month visa to start off with, which is a major prayer request. Shortly after we obtain the residency permit, we will be allowed to purchase a vehicle, and I am hoping we can find a good vehicle in a very short period of time. Then on June 8, a family from the States will be staying with us for a survey trip. This is a major event for this family while they seek where to serve God on the field, as they are burdened for the Muslim people.
Please pray as we adjust to this new culture and learn how to communicate with these dear people. I have made some good contacts and pray that they will develop into opportunities to share the Gospel. I have hired a private tutor to help me with the language, and once we are established, I plan to go to language school. Thank you for your prayers and support. We are so blessed to represent you on this field, and we are very excited to see God do great and mighty things!