Mission Training International emphasized the importance, even the necessity, of keeping a daily record of gratitudes. They called them Wow God! moments. Our trainers cautiously reminded us that Wow God! moments don’t always feel so, well, wow.
In fact, sometimes they feel kind of awful.
The point of recording Wow God! moments is not the feeling, the point is noticing. Noticing God at work in our daily lives is crucial. It is a skill Amy’s mom taught her years ago. She called it Counting Your Blessings. We are grateful Amy’s mom taught her this habit long before we came to the mission field.
One thing we have learned (or remembered) since moving to Greece is the value of recording our stories. Those records become crucial documents of God’s work, especially when our faith feels anything but wow.
More importantly, the Bible is filled with commands, instructions, and reminders for God’s people to tell their God-stories to their children. Not telling those stories is what led to the Israelites’ devastating cycle of unfaithfulness in the era of the Judges. Don’t believe us?
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.Judges 2:8-10, English Standard Version
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.
John always told our children there are two types of people in the world: Those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who insist on making all the same mistakes themselves.
We strive to be the first type of person. Our desire is to follow the declaration of David rather than the path of Joshua’s descendants.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;Psalm 107:1-3, ESV
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
We pray that this virtual record of our Prayer & Praises as listed in our monthly updates will provide an account of our Wow God! moments. We pray it will document the story God is writing through our lives. Mostly, we pray it is a reminder to our children of God’s constant faithfulness and goodness.
May the generations be blessed.
Prayer & Praise
*Click on the arrow to read each month’s prayer requests and praises*
January 5, 2018: T-Minus Ten and Counting | Where We Are In the Process
We are a little over 35% funded. Our goal is to be fully funded no later than July 31; so that we can be in country by September 1.
Thanks to our financial supporters our pre-launch expenses are 100% funded. This includes our pre-field training at Mission Training International in Palmer, Colorado.
February 10, 2018: A Post-It Note Life | Lessons in Flexibility
We are 44% funded!! This is such a blessing. It is almost a 10% increase from last month! Thank you for your faithful giving and commitment to this work. Thank you to all of our new partners. You are making a difference, and we are so grateful!
Our one-time expenses are 6% funded. Having one category (pre-launch expenses) completely funded is something great to celebrate!
Please continue to pray for us. We have much to do logistically and personally during this season. Our heart is to balance things such that we honor God with our present and prepare well for our future.
March 26, 2018: Walking On Water | The Next Logical Step
We are 49.1% funded! We are so close to 50%!!!Thank you to all of our new partners for joining our team. You are making a difference, and we are so grateful!
Our one-time expenses are 22% funded! That is a huge 16% jump from last month. As a result, we were able to sign up for our pre-field training at Mission Training International! This was a major step. THANK YOU!!!
We can’t help but say it again. Thank you! We love and value each one of you. While we aren’t yet in Greece, the fruit of your generosity already abounds. The proof is in how God is growing and preparing us for that which He has called us to.
June 6, 2018: Not Your Grandmother’s Estate Sale!
This weekend is our estate sale. It’s huge. It’s overwhelming. It’s scary selling virtually everything. Yet, it is time because Greece is getting so close! Bathe everything about this event in prayer. Ask God to bless abundantly and mightily. We are expecting Him in so many ways.
July 19, 2018: Sustainable Giving | What We Need Not Only to Go but to Stay
Between July 3–12, 400 volunteers from around the world handed out over 100,000 Modern Greek New Testaments to 865 villages in Greece during Hellenic Ministries’ Operation Joshua 2018! Praise God for His Word and those who distributed it! Pray for the workers who will follow up in the villages to share the Gospel, plant churches, and disciple new believers. Click here to watch a short video to learn more about OJ2018 and the difference your gifts are making in Greece!
We sold it all, and we moved!! Thank you so much for your support, encouragement, prayers, and purchases! Our estate sale was a huge success. We are down to a few boxes, our clothes, and some keepsakes.
Continue to pray for us in this season of transition. We are living with John’s mom in Indianapolis (pray for Meg, too!) while John continues to commute to Illinois for work. We are also working hard to secure our visas, raise the rest of our support, and tend to a million other important details involved in this kind of move.
September 2, 2018: Complications and Celebrations
Our support team continues to grow, and God continues to provide. We currently have 64% of our monthly budget pledged. Praise God for this and all he has done to get us this far.
October 2, 2018: We Went to Mission Training and John Got the Boot
MTI has been more than we ever imagined! Praise God! Pray that we finish strong.
Our Visa appointment is on Monday, October 8 at 9am. This is an important and critical meeting. Please join us in prayer. We are asking God to grant us favor with the Greek Consulate officers and for abundant wisdom during the interview process.
Join us in thanking God and praying for our new role as house parents at HM’s Hope Center.
We are thrilled to announce that our monthly budget is just over 80% pledged! God is such a faithful provider! It is crucial that we raise the final 20% of our necessary support before we leave. Join us in asking God to provide and open the hearts of those he has called to partner with us in this ministry.
November 14, 2018: And So We Go
Pray fervently for our visa process.
Pray for our transition as well as Cobalt’s, and pray for our families and friends as we all adjust to a new normal.
Pray that we enter well with humble hearts to learn and seek God above all else.
Please continue to pray as we raise the last of our monthly support as well as our one-time expenses… we are so close to the finish line.
February 20, 2019: Am I Clark Griswold | A Visa Update & Urgent Call to Prayer
Our visa appointment is scheduled for February 27that 11:00am Central Time. We are reapplying for our student visa. Pray that Amy and I develop a rapport with the visa officer. Ask that we find favor with the consulate officers and are granted our visa.
Cobalt is in Greece loving the attention of the 5 children who have temporarily adopted him. We are so grateful for Babis, Lahela, and their children. Offering to watch our pup for up to day 90 days was quite the blessing!
June 15, 2019: Flowers, Nuns, and Crepes | How One Thing Leads to Another
Our Roma Neighbors: God is doing something special as we build relationships with our neighbors. Pray for them, that they will come to know Christ as Savior, and pray for us as we point them to the Gospel through our daily lives.
Language: Language IS ministry. Without language we cannot build relationships, serve effectively, or share the gospel. Pray that God would grow our capacity and understanding of Greek beyond our natural abilities.
Our Summer Intern: We are excited to host a summer intern from June 26-July 25. Pray for her as she serves refugee women and children in a medical capacity at Good Samaritan, one of HM’s refugee ministries. Pray that we will be an encouragement to her and effectively support all that God wants to do in and through her during this time.
Logistics in bureaucracy: Our visa gave us the ability to apply for a residency permit. Due to holidays, complex legalities, and a never-ending election season, our residency permit appointment isn’t until June 26. Pray for smooth sailings and favor our appointment and for a two-year residency permit.
A Car: Beyond needing this permit to remain legally in Greece for two years, we also need it to finalize the purchase of a car. Where we live makes public transportation prohibitive; however continuing to rent a car, which we have been doing since November, is equally prohibitive.
God’s good gifts: Praise God with us for the amazing opportunity to celebrate Andy and Blake’s graduations in person. It was such a sweet, sweet time with family. Praise God for his faithful provision through you. Your prayers, messages, plans to visit, and phone calls lift us up every single day. We are abundantly blessed!!
July 28, 2019: God’s Good Gifts
Amy’s Mom: Amy’s mom, Betty, had shoulder surgery replacement in mid-June. As many of you know, the physical therapy after such a surgery is a beast. On top of that, she had several complications the doctors are still trying to resolve. Pray for her health, that the Lord would completely restore her body. Pray also for each of our hearts. It is hard to be so far away during such a difficult time.
Rest & Wisdom: July was a rich blessing. It was also physically exhausting. We are still recuperating some 2 weeks later. Pray for restoration of our bodies and energy. Pray also for wisdom (James 1:5) as we prepare for and enter a new season of ministry.
Cobalt: The week after OJ, our neighbor’s dog attacked Cobalt. A group of strays wanted in on the action too. Although John was covered in blood from protecting Cobalt and himself, thankfully he was uninjured. Cobalt received some stitches and antibiotics. He is healing up nicely. Please pray for Cobalt as he continues to express anxiety when John takes him out. Pray for John and I as we navigate the best time and place to walk Cobalt.
God’s Good Gifts: Our update sums it up, but join us in continuing to thank God for our “blue papers”, our car, the opportunities to serve in such special ways at OJ and with our intern, Lauren.
August 18, 2019: He Said It Was Cancer
A Beautiful Night: Last week, John and I were honored to host a dinner on the rooftop of Hellenic Ministries’ Mercy Ministry Hall for a team from Papua New Guinea (Indonesia) and many of HM’s team leaders.
Peaceful Moments: This month held significant challenges and an equal amount of homesickness… not to mention temperatures soaring over 40° C (104° F). Peaceful moments were a blessing in the midst of it all.
The Trifecta: There are three things that don’t exist in Greece that we/I (Amy) sorely miss: Dr. Pepper, Sour Cream, and Jalapeño Peppers. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend, we found the trifecta at Ancho Grill, Greece’s answer to Chipotle!
Electricity: We finally cut the cord! The extension cord that is! After 9 months of waiting, we finally have power in our laundry room! Now to fix the outside lights and the mystery circuit that has a short in it. Yes, we have been waiting 9 months for an electrician. Σιγά, σιγά (siga, siga; slowly, slowly). It’s the Greek way of life. We are so grateful for a fully functioning laundry room!