January usually feels like a slow month - Christmas is over and I'm typically in "recovery mode," falling back into a rhythm and contemplating a new year, all in the midst of cold, gray winter. This January has been quite the exception! We have said good-bye to our jobs and co-workers, dealt with visas, moved out of our house, packed our bags, and prepared to start a new life overseas. We are now soaking up every last minute with family and friends as we make final preparations to move.
It's hard to believe, but in three days, we will be on our way to South Africa!
It’s 15 hours from Houston to Dubai, where we will layover for a night, and then on the next 10-hour plane to Cape Town, South Africa, followed by an hour drive to Stellenbosch.
Study update: Jack begins new student orientation the day we land. He is excited to dive back into the world of Linguistics, Greek and Hebrew. As his wife, seeing his passion and excitement for studying and sharing the word of God continues to confirm for me that God is leading us forward to pursue our calling.
Would you pray with us, that as Jack studies the word of God, the Lord would give him opportunities to share his findings with the church?
Housing update: We will initially be living with some very kind missionaries from our East Mountain team and will begin hunting for a place of our own to live, something that we've been told can take time and patience in a university town with a housing shortage.
Would you pray with us, that God would deliver us an affordable rental home in a safe area that meets our needs?
Baby update: In late March, God willing, we will welcome our little girl! We are thankful that both Loren and baby are healthy. Much of Loren's time in the first few weeks will be establishing care under a doctor and securing plans to deliver the baby.
Would you pray with us, for health for mom and baby, and that God will provide us with a skilled doctor, doula, and supportive community as we welcome our first child?
Ministry update: We are excited to finally in person join the East Mountain ministry team (check us out, we are now "official" on their team page!). We are honored to join them as we work together to equip and expand the church in South Africa.
Would you pray with us, that as we undergo a lot of transition, we are able to establish a healthy and positive community with our East Mountain team?
Funding update: Thank you to everyone who has given to support our ministry in South Africa! Currently, we are 60% funded. We are thankful to be reminded that God provides for us, enough for each day and need. You can find more information on our budget page.
Would you pray with us, that God continues to meet our financial needs as he teaches us to rely on him and our community of faith?
We’ve been amazed (yet again) at how our God is a God of abundance - we have seen his care through all of you. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community here - between baby showers, practical help preparing, words of love, financial gifts to our ministry, and an outpouring of love and support, we are very aware that we will not journey into South Africa alone. We are deeply humbled by all of the support and love.
Thank you for being part of our journey, and thank you for your love.
Together, I know God is going to use us to encourage our brothers and sisters in South Africa, and to advance his kingdom work! Lately, I’ve been contemplating a beautiful quote from The Valley of Vision. Wherever you find yourself this January - stuck in the cold and gray, aware of his abundance, or somewhere between, may it encourage you:
“Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in thee, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells.”