Our efforts on this Muslim field could well be encapsulated in the phrase “serving God through tears of joy and sorrow.” Having spent more than two decades on our previous field, it is hard to believe that we are just beginning our second year on this one. Yesterday my wife and I accompanied C__ and T__, two of our adult children, to the international airport and said our “goodbyes” as they left to begin the next phase of their lives in the United States. I catch myself weeping at nearly every thought of them. It is hard for a daddy to let go–even when he knows it is time.
With that detail out of the way, I am glad to report that much progress has been made in recent weeks, and God’s blessings have been evident and obvious. Let me list some of the highlights. After months of laying the groundwork, our language school is finally up and running, with many new students applying for classes. We have obtained the necessary business license and could not ask for a better location than the meeting place that God provided. (This facility also serves as one of our Sunday assemblies.) While hosting the M__ from Bulgaria, the F__ from the States, and a few other friends, we were able to have our dedication service for this office and classroom space. The national who offered the dedicatory prayer was one of the first we were able to reach with the Gospel. We have been discipling him for many months. While the F__ were here, God also confirmed that they are to come work with us full-time!
We want to have a great impact on the other full-time workers serving this country, as well as those on our team. Since the last time I wrote, I have been able to participate in two weeks of camp. We have also held two prayer meetings for the believers who have come here from various countries to serve the Lord. One of these took place in the A__s’ home and the other in our new office facility. Both lifted many spirits.
We are also striving to be a positive influence on the national believers. It is difficult for Christianity to grow deep roots in a country that only has exposure to shallow, contemporary Christian music and a shallow Bible translation. While preaching in Romania recently, I was able to meet with brothers who have literally spent decades working on a Bible translation for the language group among which we work that would be majority text-based and consistent with the King James. These brothers have also been translating many hymns into the same language. We are working with First Bible, reviewing this text for possible printing and distribution! We are also enjoying the opportunity to expose believers in this country to doctrinally sound hymns and faithful Scriptures.
As C__ and I consoled each other over C__ and T__’s departure, we couldn’t help thinking how good God has been to us. With five children in the States, we are still far from “empty nesters” (still 11 children with us). We just completed the visa renewal process for almost all of them and in much less time than it took the first time around. M__, our oldest, just got engaged. S__ is faithfully serving in our sending church. C__ gets married in July. C__ and T__ both had various job opportunities waiting for them. We recently moved into a beautiful home that God provided so reasonably we still can hardly believe it. Muslims are hearing the Gospel, and the work of God continues.
Missionary #6501 for Team Eurasia
PS. For those who have been asking, I have another book nearing completion.