Happy New Year!

It is 2017! Where did 2016 go??? We had such a busy year it is no wonder it seemed to fly. The year began with preparing to visit South Africa the end of February and beginning of March to verify what we thought God wanted us to do next. Spring flew by when we decided to prepare our house to be put on the market rather than waiting until now. We had no idea it would sell so quickly (in just five days). We started summer by moving into a tiny two-bedroom apartment, and it was during that time in very close quarters we learned how little space we needed. The beginning of September we moved downstairs to the church’s spacious three-bedroom missions apartment. If we had moved directly to the missions apartment from our home we would have felt quite crammed. However, after living in such a small place all summer we still feel like we have so much room. We love how God works! The fall is always busy and goes so quickly with the kids getting back into the routine of school.

The summer and fall were difficult times as Alyssa was struggling so severely with her health and having test after test come back normal. We are still thankful God led Amy to change Alyssa’s diet. Alyssa continues to be pain free and has even been able to cheat a bit on her diet a few times the past couple weeks to enjoy a small bite of bread or dessert (which she has savored!).

We spent several Sundays during the summer and fall in churches presenting our future ministry to South Africa, and we are grateful for the four churches who have decided to partner with us financially. We have also had several individuals commit to supporting us financially. We are thankful for them as well as those who are supporting us through prayer. We can’t do this without both prayer and financial support. We will be in several more churches through the winter and spring months and are trusting the Lord for those He will have partner with us in our ministry in Knysna.

I (this is Amy, by the way) recently read an encouragement to choose one word to focus on for the year rather than make New Year’s resolutions (something I don’t do typically). There are so many words that could be a possibility and narrowing it down to one wasn’t easy. However, I chose “transition.” 2017 is going to be a year of transitions for us, more than we’ve ever had, and as much as I want it to be easy and as much as I am excited about what God has called us to next I know it will be hard at times. I will miss my family, my church, my friends, my job, and everything I know and am comfortable with, but I also know God will guide us through every step by providing exactly what we need for that step. While so many things in our lives are going to be changing God will never change. For that we have peace and can truly be excited about our move to Knysna, South Africa, Lord willing in August.

How do we make this quickly approaching move VERY real??? I found an amazing deal on towels and linens, so I purchased them, washed them, and packed our first bins. Yes, folks, our move has become very real in the past week, and August is going to be here before we know it. I am already making lists of things we need to do, things to purchase before we move to take with us, things to sell before we move, things we will need to purchase after we move, and on and on and on.

So how can you pray for us right now? I guess the most important right now is for George. He left very early Monday morning and will be away until January 14th teaching a theology class to a group of national pastors in a part of our world where believers are persecuted for their faith. He felt a cold coming Sunday evening, so you can pray he would be healthy. Please also pray for safety for the national pastors and that the eyes of the government officials and those contrary to the things of God would be blinded. You can pray for our family as we transition through our “lasts.” We treasured our time with George’s family over Christmas since we know we will only have a few more times with them before we move. You can also pray for travelling safety as we go to different churches January 15, 22, and 29 to present our ministry.

As always, we encourage you to send us your prayers requests so that while you are praying for us we can be praying for your needs as well. Our prayer for you in 2017 is that you will be salt and light to reach your world and that through every circumstance God allows in your life you will allow Him to make you more like Christ. There is nothing better!