Earlier this month we were sitting in Chick-fil-A in Manhattan, Kansas with Anita’s Aunt Shaila and Uncle Jess. It was the first time we’d seen them in two and a half years, so I was giving my quick summary of life both in Africa and in the U.S. I concluded by mentioning my anxiety over whether my Tanzanian work visa would be granted in time for our return in August and my powerlessness to push the paperwork through while in the U.S. I said, “I just don’t know how I’m going to make it happen from here.” Without a moment’s hesitation, Shaila replied, “First of all, you’re not the one who’s going to make it happen.”
That’s all she needed to say. She’s right, of course, and I was immediately humbled and encouraged, especially in light of what Shaila herself has been through. Due to a series of medical complications, Shaila was unconscious for many weeks this spring, and based on the doctors’ prognosis we did not expect to see her again in this life. Nevertheless, God has graciously extended her life and allowed us to meet again, and she has even returned to playing the organ at church. She knows and reminded us that all our days are in the hand of God; He is the one who makes things happen.
My brief conversation with Aunt Shaila provides a snapshot of our experience in the U.S. this summer. On the one hand, there is stress and anxiety from our constant travel and uncertain future. On the other hand, we’ve been tremendously encouraged by everyone we’ve met – by family and friends, both old and new. Many of you have been supporting us over the past three years and we’ve known your names from our donor reports, yet it was not until this summer that we were privileged to learn the face that goes with the name! Thanks to all for your ongoing prayers and support, and thanks to all of you who have already welcomed us so warmly during our travels. Our remaining visits scheduled for the summer are listed below. If you are in the area of one of these, please come and say hello!
7-1 Zion, Crosstown, MO 7:30am
7-1 Salem, Farrar, MO 9:00am
7-5 Peace, Sussex, WI 9:00am
7-7 St. Paul, Hamel, IL 6:00pm
7-8 St. Paul, Hamel, IL 7:45am
7-14 Immanuel, Belvidere, IL 6:00pm
7-15 Immanuel, Belvidere, IL 8:00am
7-18 Memorial, Ames, IA 6:00pm
7-21 Redeemer, Lincoln, NE 6:00pm
7-22 Redeemer, Lincoln, NE 8:30am
7-23 St. Johns, Ord, NE 6:00pm
7-24 Zion, Kearney, NE TBD
7-25 Trinity, Blue Hill, NE evening
7-29 Faith, Woodland Park, CO 9:00am
8-15 Our Svr, Pagosa Springs CO evening
8-16 Risen Savior Broomfield CO 7:00pm
8-18 Cross, Yorkville, IL 5:00pm
8-19 Cross, Yorkville, IL 7:45am
TBD: exact time to be determined
Prayer Requests, Praises, and Thanks
Thank God that we have returned safely to the U.S. to be reunited with family and friends.
Pray that the paperwork for our Tanzanian work visa and residence permit would be completed and approved so that I can serve at St. Peters Seminary in Himo this fall.
Pray for our oldest son Emil as he works his first summer job away from the family and prepares for college in Chicago this fall.
Pray that Anita and I would have stamina and wisdom in balancing the many demands placed upon our time this summer.