Updated: Aug 14
We are thinking about modifying the words to the song written by George Gershwin “Summertime.” If you do not know the melody or the words, this would be a good time to upgrade your musical spectrum. The opening line of the song is “Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high . . .” Really? The living is easy?
The beginning of Summer was fantastic for us, and it was so much fun to join with our friends at Grace Baptist in Lewisberry to celebrate the Fourth of July with about 3,000 people attending the fireworks display that we do every year with all the church members serving the community with free food and games plus a clear presentation of the gospel before the fireworks. Several of our friends in the area have helped us with projects in the Caribbean as well as in Pennsylvania and it is always a blessing to be back in the community with them. So far, so good.
Then on July 3, we began our journey to visit several friends, and prayer warriors who live down the east coast with the intention of eventually arriving in Florida. We have the hang of traveling, so this is easy and fun. Furlough is a blessed time connecting with people who have been praying for us over the years and meeting new friends.
Our first stop was in Virgina where we were blessed to be with Glenn and Helen Barnhart, from the Lewisberry church as well as other servants of the Lord who encouraged us greatly during our years at the Bluewater Bible College (BBC) on the island of St. Thomas. Pastor Charlton and Consi as well as Dr. Dennis and Francis Belew along with the Barnhart’s did more than they will ever know to encourage us during our 5 years at the Bible college and beyond.
Continuing our southward journey, we arrived on Tybee Island in Georgia to be with another amazing couple that we first met on St. Thomas at the church where Pastor Charlton was the pastor. This was the church we attended during our BBC days. There is no way to describe the spiritual blessing of being with people who consider their purpose in life at this stage to pray and shower love on others. So far, so good.
Not So Easy
Then, just before sunrise on Tuesday morning, July 11, Jo Ann was on her way to the restroom when she fell and broke the ankle on her leg that requires a brace. We were planning to continue southward that morning to Florida, but everything changed when we were told that Jo Ann needed surgery to repair the ankle.
“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” (Prov 16:9)
Our little Honda CRV did a 180 and now we were heading north making a short stop in Winston-Salem, NC to pray with a dear friend from Peru, Fanny, and her husband, Ray. We had not seen Fanny since leaving Peru in 2007 but she was a part of our administrative team at the Monterrico Christian School and a faithful member of the New Life Baptist Church in Monterrico, Lima, Peru. Ray is battling several physical ailments and we wanted to spend some time with them in prayer and fellowship as they were right on our path northward back to our home in Pennsylvania.
Jo Ann is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, July 19 here in Pennsylvania. Following the surgery that same day, she should be released to recuperate at home for the next six weeks. It has been “interesting” getting Jo Ann up to our bedroom on the second floor and back down again. Following the surgery, it may be more interesting and probably not so easy.
We are so thankful for our friends at Grace Baptist who have been using “Meal Train” to schedule which family will provide meals for us during this time. No one wanted Jo Ann to lose weight with my cooking, but on the other hand, it would not hurt me to lose some weight!
The Lord is directing our steps which is fine with us. He knows what is best and all of this is bringing glory to His Name. We have contacted our travel agent in Moldova, and she is working on trying to reschedule our return flights to Chisinau for the first or second week of September. Now, we have return flights in August which we cannot make.
Please do pray with us for Jo Ann’s healing following the surgery and for our return to Moldova. We are looking forward to teaching at UDG in the fall semester as well as continuing with the next phrase of the Institute of Church Planting (ICP).
Our dear friends and colleagues in Moldova, Bill and Denise Braun, just informed us that some of the men we are training in the northern part of Moldova are planning to run camps for the children and young people. They need about $1,000 to help with the camps connected with the new church plants in their area. Please pray with us about this need and should you desire to help, simply click on the following link, and give as the Lord leads you.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and concern for us and our ministries. We will be sure to keep you informed of events as the time draws near for our return to Moldova.