Right or Left

We are returning to the U.S. on May 27th

After much prayer, counselling, and seeking guidance, we decided to step away from the coast of Kenya where we were living among the Digo people. We have been in Nairobi the past month. We have had many meetings with leadership, counselling sessions, doctor appointments, and business to complete before leaving.

Results from the past month:

  • All 3 of us have had physicals and have been given a clean bill of health.
  • Claudia has improved so much in the past month. She has been released from her Psychiatrist here in Kenya. She is still on medication. We will seek a doctor in the U.S. to start weaning her off the medication in 6 months.
  • Jeremy had Lasik eye surgery 3 weeks ago and is healing well.
  • We have completed our End of Term with Eastern Region within AIM.
  • We have had several meetings with Southern Region within AIM about the possibilities of returning to Tsumkwe, Namibia among the San Bushman.
  • Jeremy has met to learn about The Timothy Initiative (TTI).
  • We have sold our vehicle.

Where we are going from here:

  • We are seeking guidance from God individually and seeking corporate guidance from you our supporters. Please pray with us.
  • We are confident God will reveal in the next 6 weeks which direction in life to go. Return to Namibia or seek another ministry opportunity in the U.S.
  • If God is leading us back to Namibia, Jeremy will return to Africa the first part of July on a vision trip with The Timothy Initiative. This will help us make a final decision.

How to pray with us:

  • Returning to Namibia would be a four-year commitment broken into two 2-year terms with a home assignment between the terms.
  • The best way to reach the Bushman within those 4 years: The Timothy Initiative, One Story Oral Bible Story set, Farming God’s Way, or another way.
  • A future team to return to Tsumkwe. The Unit Leader of Namibia would be the team leader which we have full confidence in his leadership ability. For team members that would join us to reach the San.
  • Work visas renewal for our Unit Leader to stay in country. He has worked very hard the past year to look for the best way to obtain work visas. He believes there should not be a problem anymore. If he can renew his work visa, we have more confidence and obtaining new work visas for us.
  • Staying in the U.S. would be starting completely over. God would need to open doors for employment, housing, vehicles, childcare, insurance etc. There are so many unknowns to take this turn?????

So many times, we settle for something that is good. We want God’s best for ALL 3 of us. This may not be the easiest road to take. Turning right or left presents challenges. We are leaning on God to guide and not on our own understandings. We are trusting God completely. Proverbs 3:5-6

We will send out another update at the end of June of which direction God is leading us. We have to give AIM a final decision by the end of July.

Will you join us in praying the prayer below?
Father will make it clear whether we are to return to Namibia or stay in the States.  We are praying that you speak not only to us but to our supporters and friends.  Give us ears to hear a unified decision and wisdom to see Your path for our lives.  We ask for humbleness as others speak into our lives. Amen.

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers. Jeremy, Claudia & Anastasia

 

Reality of the mission field

This is taken from our recent newsletter.  You can access the full content here.

We want to be open and honest with you our supporters. The mission field is a struggle. Recently our Regional Executive Officer (REO) shared with us that 90% of our time on the mission field is spent just trying to survive and 10% is the ministry stuff we put in our newsletters. This is true from trying to get water, to trying to get home on washed out dirt roads, to trying to dry clothes on a rainy day, to trying not to get sick, to trying to figure out what this weird fungus or rash is on your skin, to trying to just go grocery shopping. It all can be a huge struggle to survive. Our REO encouragement us through Philippines 1:27-30. Verse 27 talks about “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” He encouraged us to allow everyday things to be done in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Verse 29 says “for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” Our REO wanted to let us know he understands how hard it is to “suffer for his sake.” He shared a personal story of not being able to go home for his mother’s funeral.

We have left everything to come live among the unreached of this world. And it is suffering but that one conversation with a neighbor about Jesus makes it worth it. A seed is planted or watered. It is the Holy Spirit who brings a person to know, understand and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We have the privilege to walk beside people as they make this decision.

We write you all this to say we have been struggling to survive here in Digoland. This past year and a half has brought us more life changes than most people would experience in a decade. It has been overwhelming. It has especially been hard on Claudia. At the beginning of March, we travelled to Nairobi for medical help for her. AIM has a counselling center called Tumaini. In Swahili, tumaini means hope. Claudia was diagnosed being moderately depressed and has been put on medication. It was difficult to face the fact that Claudia needed help. She spent two weeks seeing a counselor to talk about what had pushed her to this point of needing help. We have returned to the village of Vuga but we are trying to find a healthy way forward. We are trusting God to show us the correct path to take. We share this to ask for your prayers. The reality of the mission field is it is super hard and we desperately need prayers to support us here.

Watering those seeds

The post is an update from my previous post. Currently, we are testing the first two stories which are the creation of the spirit world and the creation of heaven and earth. This past week I have been sharing these stories in Swahili in our village. I am asking for feedback which has opened many doors for discussions. For two hours, my language helper and I discussed the major differences between Islam and Christianity according to our holy books. I was able to share why Jesus came and why He died on the cross. Later, I sat on my steps with my neighbors and we discussed the different creation stories they had been taught. It was amazing the diversity of stories shared between three people from the same village. As we continue to test these stories, please pray for wisdom and boldness and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our chats with others. Hopefully in the next week, we will finish the first two stories. The next two stories are going to be a real challenge as we tackle the fall of man and Abraham and Issac. The difference between Islam and Christianity is vast in these two topics. When talking about Abraham, I have had to share that Abraham had two sons. Our neighbors know about Abraham’s first son Ishmael through Hagar. Islam leaves out Issac who is the son promised by God to Abraham through Sarah. It is Issac’s grandchildren who form the twelve tribes of Israel. Issac is a major piece of God’s redemption story foreshadowing the coming of the promised Son of God, the Messiah, Jesus. Pray for teammate Samantha and I as we tackle these new stories in the coming months and the discussions that will revolve around these stories.

 

The seeds are being planted

I’m so excitied that I had to blog about this facebook post I shared the other day.  The day after this post I sat down with H and we now have the first audio draft of the creation story.  We are creating 16 stories to start off with and they will take us from creation to stories of Jesus in the New Testament.  This is why we are here to bring the gospel to the Digo.  So excited.

 

I know this isn’t a perfect framed photo. But today my Digo friend H and I started on the first Bible story. This is so huge to finally get started on putting the story of the Bible into an oral form so it can be spread. So excited I had to take a photo of this occasion. He was watching the story of creation on my tablet. As we were reading Genesis 1 he said to me. Oh so God created us and wants us to be friends with him. I said yes. You see for a Muslim to say that is totally opposite of their view of God who is very distance and you must do rules to try and gain favour. Pray for H as we journey through the bible and for my teammate Sam and her storyteller as we are working on this together.