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Our 2010-11 Januflection

January is that threshhold time of year--leaving the old year and entering the new. It's a time for januflecting--looking back and looking ahead. 2010 perhaps didn't turn out as we'd expected, but we had many highlights and we start 2011 with hope and confidence in the Lord's plans.

Looking Back: 2010

All things considered 2010 was a pretty good year. Of course we were hoping to be in Slovakia by July or August and we were getting downright nervous about our support level by about September, but things took an amazing turn in October and we are now at more than 90% support.


We had other highlights in 2010 as well.

Elisabeth and Max look back most fondly on our trip to Arizona and our trip to Ohio to visit our friends the Duffs. Elisabeth performed in a beautiful ballet recital and Max enjoyed his gymnastics class.

Jana completed all of her goals for Music Together--and then some. She attended the director's conference in New Jersey in the spring and she successfully completed her first year of Music Together at Trinity.

As for me, I did a lot of teaching--about 15 weeks total in Rockford, Naperville, and Moody Church in Chicago. I also preached in Davis, Rockford, Willowbrook, and Peoria. And of course, this fall I taught both of my seminary classes in Slovakia (via Skype). For me, the increased teaching has been a real highlight and I'm looking forward to doing more of it in Slovakia.

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Looking Ahead: 2011

Wow. We have a lot of looking ahead to do in 2011.

We're not yet at full support and we don't have official approval to make travel plans, but it does look like we'll be able to relocate to Slovakia in June.

That means Elisabeth and Max have some big changes ahead of them. They'll be going to a new home, new friends, new family, new school, and a new language. Behind all the "new" is also a lot of goodbyes and a lot of challenges.

Jana will be finishing up all of her Music Together activities in the States during this first half of the year and then starting Music Together in Slovakia in the second half. There are a lot of unknowns for her. Music Together has to be run as a business so she'll have a lot of beauracratic hoops to jump through (just like she did here). Will it be a viable business in Slovakia? Will it really turn out to be a good form of ministry? We won't know any of that until we get there.

Even I have a lot of unkowns. Right now I teach two classes at the seminary. How many more will I teach when I'm in Slovakia? How much time will I have for other ministry? What other ministries will I be involved in? Everything depends on getting to Slovakia, getting to know our new situation and how we can best fit in with the ministry of the local church (where Jana's brother is the pastor).

One of the most important things this year is finishing up my dissertation. It's been a long, slow process with extended interruptions for teaching and support team building. Nonetheless I continue making steady progress and I'm excited about the work. Still, I'm a little stressed about being behind.

I can't tell you how glad I'll be when it's done.

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Most of the new content on our website is family related. The newest clip is from a 2005 vacation in Croatia. I hope you had a chance to see our Christmas slide show and the poem I wrote for our Christmas card.

In December, after just a couple months of playing violin Elisabeth had her first performance at school.

Finally, take a look at some of the new winter photos in our gallery.

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Thank you very much for your prayers and for your continued support.

Vol. XX, no. 1, Jan. 30, 2011

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