December 2020 Vol. 30, No.4
Dear Family and Friends:
How thankful we are for you being such good friends to us over the years! We hope this letter finds you well and finding the grace of his calming Presence in the midst of the strangeness of this past year. Covid, political turmoil, and the related isolation, confusion, and anxiety they bring, has taken its toll on all of us. I have also felt it personally. Yet I am being called back into a period of waiting; of remembering who is the Author and Finisher of my faith; of resting in His finished victorious work on the cross, of remembering who is Truth and who is the source of all Truth.
For this is the time of Advent, isn’t it? Waiting, –Waiting to see how things change and how things open up. Of remembering the hundreds of years of waiting for the Messiah (Jesus) to come into the world. And then after Jesus’ birth, waiting to see how He would make a difference. How He would make a difference in our lives personally and in the many cultures and lives across the world. We look around us and see multitudes of people (both here and abroad) still living in darkness waiting for the news of the Great Light. There are huge groups of people who are still untouched by the power of the Kingdom of God. Pray that God would freshen the sense of Emanuel, of God with us, and that He would give us the joy and wonder of God’s love for us and for this lost and broken world.
Ministry Update: In our last newsletter, we reported that despite Covid restrictions, God has provided new ways for us to reach out to our new friends. In mid- Oct we once again re-started in-person English lessons at the newly renovated ESL center (set-up together with a sister organization that we are working alongside). The lessons were a great success with committed students and teachers working together quite happily in a lovely facility, however due to statewide mandates, we had to again close the ‘in-person lessons’ by mid-November. We hope and pray that the Covid curve flattens or dips soon so that we will again be allowed to start up lessons later this month. Tim continues to teach online twice a week, and I, following precautions, have been making personal visits to various families most weeks (I am low risk since I have recovered from Covid and have positive Covid antibodies). During each visit, we try to grow our ‘gospel centered relationships’ with our friends by coming alongside them in regards to social service connections, helping navigate & advocate & translate for them with the health care, schooling, and financial systems, employment connections, hours of phone calls, and nearly always spending time with them in prayer.
Recently we were thrilled when a friend, spoke of her longing to go to ‘church’ with her family. So in the next couple of weeks we will accompany her to her first church service and we will look with eagerness to see what God continues to do in her life and the lives of her family members. Through it all we continue to pray that God will continue to raise up a people for himself among our refugee friends and that we will be faithful bearers of the light on the ‘frontiers’ of ethnic groups here in this local area.
Family News: We are truly thankful that our children (both by birth and marriage) are all doing well and we rejoice that they are all walking faithfully in His truth and light. (here is no greater gift for a parent than their children walk with the Lord….
The local version of our family clan’s Thanksgiving was mildly chaotic due to hospice care issues for Tim’s dad and also the separation needed for health concerns. Our usual big family holiday celebration at grandma’s house was spread out over three different homes…. And each day of these past several weeks, we are continuing to walk with Tim’s parents through this time of waiting as Jim (Tim’s dad) gets closer to eternity. Dad’s own’s version of ‘Advent’! From what Dad says, the prospect of seeing Jesus gets sweeter and sweeter as his waiting goes on…. Pancreatic cancer is not for the faint of heart! Along this way, the road has had many ups and downs, lots of learning curves, tears and joys, laughter, and sorrow. Overall Dad’s pain is managed fairly well, though it is hard to see him dropping weight and becoming increasingly weak. Such a change from the vigorous person that he was previously. However, unless things change radically in the next few days, I think it might be possible that Dad will be with us on Christmas. We’ll see God’s timing in all of this….. We pray for His grace and mercy to lead us through.
We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care, and prayer support during this challenging time of our lives. We sense the grace that your prayer support brings. Thank you again.
With much love, Karen and Tim
Ongoing Prayer Requests:
- Wisdom in reaching out to new refugees in our area; that the Kingdom of God would be strongly born among them.
- That all our children (by birth & marriage) and all three of our grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.
- Grace for good management of Tim’s dad’s pain level until the time he goes home to Jesus. We are thankful for the support and care of a great hospice company!