We safely made it back to the Memphis, TN area. We have not been back to this area for 4 months and are glad to have a home-base for a period of four weeks. We thank the Lord for the safe travels, health, visits with family, friends, and supporting churches, and the many gifts bestowed on us and our children during this time.
Please pray for the Hughes as they arrive to the States today, Lord willing, to begin their furlough. Pray for safety in their travels and a blessed time in the States.
With the winter weather affecting the areas we will be this weekend, I am asking you to please pray for wisdom as we make decisions on when and where to be. Our Sunday morning meeting in Louisville, KY has already been cancelled by the pastor there. We are planning on driving tomorrow into the area affected by the winter storms. Our tires on the van are not at the point of needing to be replaced, but they are far from being new.
Please also pray for a man by the name of Gary. We met him at a stop during our travels on Wednesday. He is looking for work. When we met him, he was collecting soda cans from the garbage to get some money from them. He does have a family, too. He stated that he has trusted Christ as Savior and is saved. He saw the “Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry” on our van and was simply asking for us to pray for him to find work. We helped him out a little for one meal for his family, but please pray that he would find a job.
The past 12 months have been interesting. We have had more health issues in our family in that time period than ever before in our family. For one, this makes us thankful for the health we have had thus far. We also are reminded of how frail we really are, regardless of age or apparent health.
The most recent saga has been with Caleb. Please pray for him as he has a minor surgery scheduled on June 15th to correct something a doctor in the States had not done correctly. Secondly, he has been complaining about pain in his abdomen. This week, he has had a blood test, sonogram, intravenous x-rays, and a meeting with a urologist. From our meeting yesterday with the urologist (the same one that helped us with Abby’s kidney infections last year), we found out that Caleb has an abnormality with his bladder, an issue with one of the tubes between the kidney and bladder, and needs an additional test done to give us the extent of the issue. Nothing appears to be urgent right now or serious, for which we are thankful, but he may be needing some corrective surgery before future problems would develop with his kidneys. Caleb has been a real trooper through all this and I’m sure he would appreciate your prayers for him on June 15th and also as we look into these other possible issues.
For those of you who have been praying for us in our decision, thank you! We were planning on buying our house last week, went up to do it, but the sellers did not have all the documents that were needed. That evening, I read through an old buy/sell contract and saw that it specifically asks for the sell price to be written down. Problem is that the sellers (and most people here) put down the appraised value which is usually only a small percent of the actual sale price. The seller must pay 18% tax on the sale price to the government, thus a significantly lower amount is usually put down. Since our own signature is put down as stating it is the real price, we were not able to lie and thus not able to go forward with the purchase of the price. We thought we lost our potential house over this.
We prayed as a family for God’s will to be done. I had talked with other believers, an attorney, and a notary to double check on what should legally be put down, and it was as we had thought. When I called the seller to explain this, they could not understand what the problem was and initially said that if we wanted the house, we would have to pay the 18% tax for them. We continued to pray and leave open hands. I spoke with them yesterday and they offered to put the real sell price on the document as long as we would pay half of the tax. So, we are moving forward with it, and Lord willing, we will have a house (unfinished) by next week.
This whole situation has been a blessing for our children to see that obeying God and thinking you are forfeiting what you were wanting does not always end up in loss. Sometimes it is a test and God still gives the blessing in the end… with the clear conscience. Please pray for the family selling the property to somehow see and receive some blessing from doing the right thing. I have already started witnessing to the son-in-law in the past, but his in-laws who actually own the property, I have not been able to witness to yet. They live in Russia and came for a month’s visit to see their new grandson and to sign the papers for the house to be sold. Please pray for them, too. I’m hoping that we still end on a positive note through all this.
Thoroughly enjoyed today. I had a very profitable monthly meeting with Jacob Hughes. As a team, we are working on detailing out the doctrinal statement for our team and future church plants, team ministry philosophy, and working through other details in preparation for furlough and the second term in Soroca. Each time we meet is always an encouragement and a highlight of my month.
This evening, I had the joy of teaching the Romanian Tuesday evening Bible study at church. Seeing as Jehovah’s Witnesses are becoming more and more abundant here, I started a couple week series on the abundant reality of false teaching, our need to know the Scriptures, and focusing on the doctrine of the deity of Christ, that He is JEHOVAH God. The people were very attentive and were hungry to study the Bible. We had a young man who had been working nearby show up. After the study, I was able to talk with him a little more, exchange numbers with him, and give him a Gospel tract to read through. Please pray for my followup with Victor.
I will be leaving this month with a Moldovan friend up to Soroca to do some more home hunting. Hunting for a place to live here is very different than in the States. I need someone who has construction experience and will be able to identify issues with the homes we look at. We don’t know if the Lord will lead us to a place to live before we leave for furlough, but we are trying to take the steps to open up that possibility for us. Please pray for our safe travel to Soroca and back, for God to lead the hunt for a home, and for the safety of our families during out time away. It would also be great to make some more contacts and have more witnessing opportunities during our time there.