|Uh - May - Zing!
From the time that we started support team building (~January) until September it seemed like nothing was happening. I was getting worried. I started having paranoid thoughts like,
Fifteen years of steady progress - fifteen years of God's clear leading and now this is it! On the threshold of victory and just like that - it's over?! Finis?! Kaplooey?!
At the end of September I sent our newsletter letting you know we were at a crossroads.
Wow. Look what happened from the beginning of September until now:
All of a sudden we started getting emails, phone calls, new supporters, invitations, encouragement, advocates, ...
After that letter not one week has gone by that we have not had someone communicate a desire to contribute to our support or invite us to speak or even candidate for their church.
I can't believe I ever doubted.
June 9, 2011.
Up until now we've set departure goals. How things work out from this point on is in God's hands, but it does seem like the time is right to set a departure date.
We don't yet have enough support to leave in January but a June date gives us time to raise the additional finances we need. Also, by June the kids will finish the school year, I'll finish my dissertation, Jana will take her Music Together certification test, and our lease is up on June 10.
Arriving in Slovakia in June also has its advantages. The kids will have more than two months to adjust to Slovakia before school starts in September. I'll have time to rewrite current seminary courses and prepare for new ones. We'll also be able to reconnect with Slovak churches over the summer months.
So maybe we'll leave the States on Jana's birthday and arrive in Slovakia on Elisabeth's birthday.
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Teaching and Preaching
KETM - Seminary
This semester I'm teaching both of my Old Testament classes in Slovakia. It seems like a great group of students this year and I'm enjoying teaching my last classes over the Internet. If God provides, next year I'll have the chance to teach this same group of students in person.
November 14: Peoria Family of Faith
I've enjoyed my opportunities to preach and teach this fall. We visited some college friends in Bloomington and preached at their church, Peoria Family of Faith. They have a great fellowship that's led entirely by the men in the congregation - no pastor on staff!
November 7: CCMC
I preached at Chinese Christian Mandarin Church in Willowbrook, IL. They have an English service for the young people where I preached my sermon on Isaiah 46 (next year it's Psalm 19). Afterwards a young man came up to tell me that the message was very timely. He said I could never know how much it impacted him.
It's wonderful to have those opportunities to preach and witness how the Spirit uses God's Word to transform lives.
For the five Sundays in October I had the chance to teach on Genesis at First Evnagelical Free Church. Teaching Genesis is my sweet spot. Before I finished the last class I let people know that Jana and I need people who will be our advocates. "If you like the teaching," I said, "pass it on - let others know." Quite a few came up after that class and said they would be our advocates. One lady said she'd be talking with her son who is the missions chair at another local church. She also said, "No one's ever taken us that deep into the Scriptures before."
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Music Together gets Extended Life
Jana just finished up the fall session of Music Together and she will teach one more session before closing shop on Music Together at Trinity.
In the spring Jana plans to take the tests required to achieve level 1 certification as a Music Together instructor. Currently she is a registered teacher and a director.
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The Story Continues - Slowly
We have a few additions to our blog since our last update. I'm still working on the Story of Acts series, this time I've added a post on the gospel to Jerusalem. The post looks at major themes that contribute to the plot and tracks the first step in the plan of the book - the gospel to Jerusalem.
We also have some new family photos from the fall, a new video of Jana's Music Together class, and our most recent post is about Elisabeth and Max starting a new family tradition.
If you're interested in more of our theological posts you can find a complete listing on our Muse page.
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Thank you very much for your prayers and for your continued support.