Hello praying partners,
I am writing this update from Iowa City, IA after an exciting week of Vacation Bible School with Faith Baptist Church. Sunday night is the closing program, so we get one more opportunity to reach out to these children and an opportunity to talk with their parents. We had the privilege of working in the primary department all week as well as a daily missionary time at the end of the day. There was a high of 57 primary children and only 4 were regular attenders at the church. Every day there were several that received counseling about salvation, and I had the privilege to pray with 4 different children as they received Christ as their Savior. What a joy and blessing that was! And then to watch these new children of God start to grow as the week progressed was another blessing. We originally were not going to be able to stay for the closing program because we already had another church scheduled for this Sunday, over 5 hours away. But as it worked out those plans were changed, which made it possible for us to remain in town in order to participate in the closing program.
It seems as though the last several weeks have been filled with other examples of changing plans. Some minor. And some major. Some ours. And some others.
First, on July 2, dear close friends of ours woke up to find that one of their 3 month old twin boys had died in his sleep. What a heart ache as the plans they had for him disappeared. We spent as much time and energy as we could over that next week reaching out to them. We participated in the funeral and attended the viewing and burial and gathered with the family as much as possible. Through it all, the Lord has given them the grace to praise Him. Please pray for our friends, the Clines.
Second, on the day of the burial we found out that plans have changed for a fellow missionary family to Germany and they not be returning to the field. Please pray that more missionaries would come to Germany.
Third, the next week we had planned to drive to Cleveland for the BMM annual conference as the kick off to returning to the road after having Cornelia. Our departure was delayed because Sarah got an abscess on her right tonsil, which required her to receive strong antibiotics, and the doctors said we should not leave the area because follow up visits may be required. He said if things didn't clear up by Wednesday of that week then further testing would be required. So we changed our plans. Praise the Lord that Sarah is better.
Fourth, this week our car added two more significant problems to its growing list. So my evening plans of getting some rest after VBS had to change for a couple of days in order to work on the car. It already had transmission issues which will eventually require an overhaul. This week the ABS and traction control started acting up. Plus, the car overheated several times. I was able to spend an evening with some men from the church, one of them being a mechanic, and flush the cooling system. That took care of the overheating issue. When I return home I will need to have the other issues looked at. Please pray for wisdom to fix these issues safely.
Fifth, finances have become tighter than originally planned and we have had to change plans several times because of that. We are praying about ways to help lessen the financial strain. Please pray that our finances would normalize.
Through all these changed plans we are reminded of the words of Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare[and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Thank you for your prayers,
Jim, Sarah, Josefine and Cornelia