Dear Praying Friends,
Sometimes it’s difficult to find new ways to say thank you to those who lift us up in prayer regularly. We want to offer our thanks with each update, but we never want it to be routine or feel ‘normal.’ Truly, our gratefulness for your partnership with us grows intensely with each passing milestone we experience in our preparations for Knysna. We know you are praying, and we know God is working in us through you. We sense your support, and we know this is a huge component of God’s sustaining us, enabling us, and keeping us close to Him.
In the past ten days, we have gone through two major preparatory events that could not have gone as well as they did without your prayerful support. First, on June 19, we visited the South African Consulate General in Manhattan to apply for our visas. Having to do anything in Manhattan – for any reason – is stressful enough, but knowing the importance of the visa process only added to the significance of the moment. We were praying. We knew you were praying. And, to His praise, God provided us with a good day and nearly routine appointment. The last piece of paperwork required for our visa came via e-mail at 6:00 A.M. the day of our appointment. The hotel clerk graciously made five copies of the eighteen-page document to complete our individual visa application – at no cost! While George did need to return a few days later to offer a corrected form, all in all it could not have gone better! Now we wait to see if we are accepted. Please pray that those in the Consulate office will look favorably on our applications and grant us the visas for which we’ve applied.
Second, just yesterday, we loaded and sent off our shipping container with (nearly) everything we are taking to South Africa! The stress of this event is rather obvious; but it’s compounded by the fact that once the container arrives, the moving company gives two hours to have everything loaded, secured, and ready to go. Once again, God provided. Due to a small army of 20+ helpers, our container was loaded, packed tightly and securely, and sent off in just over an hour! It was an unbelievable display of teamwork and community – dare I, George, say it was a little fun as well? A hearty THANK YOU to all who were there to help! And thanks to all who were praying for this to go smoothly. It did; and now we anticipate our belongings arriving at our Knysna home sometime around August 25.
These two events are the more striking examples of how God has provided and sustained us during our preparation. But truth be told, there have been countless other, ‘smaller’ events through which God has proven His power and grace time and time again. We know that your faithful, undying prayer support is an overwhelming component of how and why God has been so good to us. Please don’t stop praying for us. We now turn to an entire month of travel throughout the country, combining vacation time with multiple visits to family and friends in several states (as well as Canada!) to say our goodbyes. The fun relaxation will be coupled with sadness at every turn, but we do look forward to reconnecting with many of our loved ones. We also need to see the remainder of our support come in. While we currently have just over 90% committed, we do need to finish this process strong. Please pray that a few more churches and individuals will partner with us to complete the goal of 100% committed support.
Finally, thanks to all of you who prayed for and sent gifts to our ministry partners in Knysna for the people who lost everything in the recent wildfires. (If you would like to help please send your gift to: Calvary Baptist Church, 1380 S. Valley Forge Road, Lansdale PA 19446 with “Knysna Relief” in the memo. The Knysna Hope Management Team will distribute the funds according to the needs.) The damage there has yet to be fully assessed, as the entire community is just beginning to work through the recovery process. We know there will be numerous opportunities for the gospel through this tragedy. May God find us, and our team already there, faithful to follow through on these opportunities for His glory!
Eagerly awaiting our departure for Knysna,
George & Amy