Saturday, February 6, 2010

An Overdue Update

Well, it's been way too long and for that I apologize. Life in America has kept us just a little busy, but that's no excuse. Now that we've passed Christmas, it seems like no time until we return to Prague. There are mixed feeling all through our house about that. We all miss it, but we have also enjoyed being here. I'm continually amazed at God's provision for us. He has provided cars, friends, ministry opportunities, time with family, and much more. At ever turn, we have met unexpected needs and never, have we come up short. We've seen with stark clarity how God does indeed go before us and give us everything we need, and much that just makes us happy.

The kids have done beautifully at their appointed schools. All have made friends, received honors and enjoyed themselves. Highlights for them: David ended his first semester with a 3.6 and is going to Ethiopia on a mission trip in March; Lauren was the mvp of her soccer team, taking them to play-offs for the first time; Jessica made it into the Honor's choir at her school, and was asked to try out for a special workshop by her ballet teacher; Andrew played football and his team won the league's Super Bowl.

More importantly all the kids have continued in their spiritual maturity. They have been given multiple opportunities to share Christ with the kids around them and, even better, they've taken these opportunities! That's been the most rewarding thing to me--to watch them growing and obeying and learning what it means to be a follower of Christ in a different context. Pres and I realized that a year in a new place could bring all sorts of challenges and hardship, as well as blessings. We weren't exactly sure what to expect, although we felt sure of God's leading us here. We've been so pleased to see them flourish here.

That's not to say there haven't been rough patches too. Loneliness, missing Prague, missing David, feeling like they don't belong, trying to fit what they know of following Christ into this context of public school and kids who say they are Christians but don't live like it. These things have brought heartache and tears from time to time, but God has been faithful to meet us in our moments of need. Thank you all for your prayers.I know they have helped sustain us.

Preston loves being back in the classroom. He taught New Testament and Missions last semester and is teaching 2 hours of New Testament and Preaching this semester. I have just begun discipling a lovely young lady whose husband works at the college and with her, have gotten involved in a bible study for college students. Both of these are huge answers to prayer as I have been asking God to open a door for me to get involved in some girls' lives since arriving here and now he has.

We've also had some much needed time with our families. Spending holidays with them was really great this year. We haven't done that in a long time. We've also been really blessed by seeing old friends during our travels.

When we left Prague, IMB was undergoing a paradigm shift, so some of our time here as been spent learning about our "new and improved" jobs once we return. We're getting excited about what God has in store for us. Pres will be the European Theological Education Consultant and I will continue on the media team as lead writer and liason to the Roma people. For now we will continue on in Prague, though eventually we may move to another location in Europe.

There's lots of good news out of Prague too. In our absence lots of new folks have moved in and some have started a church there called "Bridge Community." God has faithfully brought people and some have become believers. Our friend Lubos was able to see his mom come to Christ and she was baptized recently. The new wave of missionaries there are settling in and finding their own niches of ministry. There have been some exciting things happening among the Russians of Prague as well as in the Roma ministry.

There are some that you prayed for from last year, specifically Dasa and Coral, who have not taken the next step and are complacent in their search for truth. Please continue to pray for these two. We've continued to talk, but only sometimes about spiritual things.

We've still got lots of travels yet to do this year and maybe we'll get to see many of you! I'll try to keep you updated more faithfully.