Like Paul, I am writing to you from Rome; unlike Paul, I am not writing from prison. My wife and I have been in Italy for a week. While we’ve had a wonderful time, we are nonetheless anxious to return home tomorrow. Our trip served a dual purpose. My wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary by visiting the area where my wife’s maternal grandfather spent his youth. We also helped our friends, the Y____s, celebrate their church’s anniversary with special preaching services.
Next month sees us traveling again, as my wife and I will be Stateside, Lord willing, to attend the wedding of our daughter S___. We are so pleased that God brought her and J___ together. Our time in the U.S. will be extremely brief, but we are looking forward to it just the same. In addition to participating in a couple of conferences and visiting some of our favorite people, we are also looking forward to holding our four precious grandchildren, three of whom we’ve not yet met. B__ and C___’s second daughter is almost a year old. T___ and C___’s baby girl was just born in December, and M___ and J___’s baby girl was just born in January.
Most of our current prayer requests involve personnel. To say we are currently understaffed would be a gross understatement. One family
that had come to work with us felt called to another part of Turkey. Another family that came felt called to a different Muslim country entirely and is now serving there. Our precious family from Mexico is temporarily on furlough trying to secure some paperwork to help with their visa situation. Please pray that God will help them get what they need and return to us as soon as possible. A widow lady, who comes and serves for a few months each year, has just returned to the States. Another family from Mexico just spent a very profitable month with us and are definitely planning to return and serve with us long-term. Pray for them as they try to complete their deputation as quickly as possible. I believe they are at least halfway. One American family currently on deputation is planning their survey trip so that they will be there to keep things going for us while we attend S___’s wedding. Pray that this family can quickly raise the remainder of their needed support. Pray for several others who are sincerely praying about joining the team but are not yet certain of God’s will. Pray for some Persian friends who are also praying about coming to work with us. Truly, the harvest is great, but the laborers are few.
Since our last letter, we have been seeing progress with the language. I am currently typing out the entire New Testament in our adopted language. We have taken many opportunities to share the good news with people and to disciple those we can. We have added several new students to our school. A week ago Sunday, we had two first-time visitors from Haiti, of all places. They were already believers, and at least one of them was a Bible college graduate. When we took them out to eat after the service, they showed great enthusiasm regarding our preaching service and their potential future involvement. Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers.