Almost 20 years ago
It is hard to believe that it was almost 20 years ago that our family followed God to Central America. Many of you reading this email were around when this happened, others, God has brought in along the way. We thank the Lord for you, your partnership, friendship, generous giving and prayers – all key to what God has done and is still doing.
These years have been full of God’s favor and blessings, from our early years of working in Nicaragua’s orphanages (helping establish Chosen Children Ministries), to the redemptive moments and years of working with street youth, families and young moms, in very hard places and often dangerous communities of town. It has all been amazing, as our lives have intertwined with others resulting in mutual blessings and enrichment. In more recent years one of our focuses was on the training of church leadership, which has helped equip leaders towards having healthier churches that flourish in their outreach ministry. This would turn out to be a key pieces of the puzzle that the Lord would use when in 2013 he re-opened the door to a burden He originally gave us way back in 1996 – to strengthen the Cuban Church.
“Sharing not only the gospel, but ourselves …
because ‘they’ had become very dear to us.” 1 Thess 2:8
Encouraging, comforting and imploring each one …
to walk worthy of God, who calls you … 1 Thess 2:12
Steps Of Faith
By God’s grace, the effort to expand the work into Cuba, went from strength to strength and now Kathy and I are excited to share with you a “new thing” God is doing in our lives. Just as God once told Isaiah, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? …” God has been impressing upon us both and causing us to believe that He is about to “do a new thing” in our lives and ministry in these coming years.
In response to invitations from Cuban church leadership to be more involved and also to our mission’s interests for us to start teaching our course materials to their graduates in the Bahamas, we have prayerfully and emotionally come to the decision to follow God and “step beyond” what has become our homeland of Nicaragua.
Looking forward to many more years of missionary service, we will be moving from Nicaragua in May and basing ourselves out of Chattanooga, TN where our Mission Agency has its head office and our extended family lives. A major benefit of this relocation is that it places us strategically close to Atlanta airport, enabling us to reach into Cuba and the Bahamas at a fraction of the previous cost traveling from Nicaragua.
We ask for your prayers in all of these changes and goodbyes that will take place over the coming months. Quickly after our arrival to the States in May, we will leave again for Cuba in June to be involved in a variety of ministry opportunities, returning late September. Then, later in the year, we are planning our first trip to Eleuthera, Bahamas where we will look to launch our training classes.
Choosing to live out of faith and not out of fear
These are exciting times friends! We are moved to know that God is orchestrating these opportunities and continuing to invite us to join Him in His work in these countries. To be very transparent with you, this excitement is also mixed with a dose of fear. Fear of the letting go of all we love and hold dear and what has become an intricate part of us, fear of the unknown – What will others think? Will our donors continue to stand with us in this next step? What will this ministry look like in several years ?
Yet in sharing this with you, we also know that God’s love casts out fear, and without our full faith placed in God, it is impossible to please Him. So please be praying with us, and for us, as we step forward in this next move, – that God will be honored, His plans accomplished, and His glory achieved in and through us.
As we look back over the years of service in Nicaragua, God has made some major changes along the way. As we followed, He showed Himself more than faithful and in charge of all the details. Peace comes in glancing back over his past faithfulness. We are so grateful that you on many of those occasions made the steps of faith with us.