update from Tim and Karen

September 2020                         Vol. 30, No.3

Dear Family and Friends:

 Greetings!  What challenging and chaotic days are facing us: from the ongoing Covid 19 issues, the rhetoric related to the upcoming elections, wild fires in the West and the divisions and challenges that continues to sweep across our cities and nation.   We continue to pray for a great moving of the Holy Spirit to powerfully wash over this land and cause great repentance to fall -first on the Church, and from there to spread out to all people, from every theological or political mindset/viewpoint, skin color, and ethnicity…

Only in Jesus …..will we find peace needed to quell this raging storm. 

Only Jesus …..is big enough to handle this mountain of pain and sorrow.

However, as Jesus himself has said,  ‘peace I give to you, My peace I give to you….. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid.’   (John 14:27) 

Both Tim and I cling to and anchor ourselves in this verse through the uncertainty of these current and future days.

Ministry and Health Update:

Despite Covid restrictions, God has provided new ways for us to reach out to our new friends.  We have joined in partnership with another agency to renovate a building so we can work together and reach out to immigrants and refugees in the nearby metro area.  We hope to resume teaching ‘in-person’ ESL classes in Oct.  We have also been teaching online and then also making personal visits to various families each week.  Trying to make in-person visits has proven challenging in this new environment, but we have been able to do more visiting than most folks since we have antibodies from having had the Covid virus back in March. During each visit, we try to grow our friendships 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, help with employment connections, hours of phone calls, and nearly always spending time with them in prayer. Tim continues to have an online English class with a lovely couple where they are using the Old Testament as their learning text.  As you can imagine, they are having some really great conversations.  Apart from this, there are other small group picnics and barbecues which foster friendships, laughter, and the sharing of hearts.   Through it all we continue to pray that God will raise up a people for himself among our refugee friends. 

Family News: Though we are happy to report that all our children (by birth and marriage) and grandchildren are doing well; we have had some sad news about Tim’s dad (Jim) this week.    After several weeks of weight loss and increasing weakness and pain, diagnostic testing has revealed that Tim’s dad has pancreatic cancer with metastasis to liver and lungs. 

This has been a shock to all the generations of our family and we are now gathering to support and help Tim’s dad and mom during these next few weeks and months.   Please pray for us all, that we will sense the comfort of our Savior during these days; as we weep, laugh, pray together.  As both Tim’s mom and dad have said, they ‘want this time to be a praise and glory to Jesus and to the furtherance of His kingdom whether or not he (Tim’s dad) is healed here in this earthly body or in eternity in the Lord’s presence’. . .

And along with the news of Tim’s dad, Karen’s brother, Philip, had a heart attack this past week.  Thankfully, it is less serious than initially thought.  However, please do pray for him that he would have increasing physical healing which would lead him into a walk with the Lord.

Closing:

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,     Tim and Karen

_______________________________________________________________________________Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • Grace for all of us as we try to come alongside Tim’s parents during these difficult days.
  • Wisdom in reaching out to the refugees in our area through friendship and sharing heart faith issues, various social events, English classes, job seeking assistance, translation and advocacy for them with local organizations, etc.
  • For a move of the Holy Spirit among our refugee friends to bring them into His Kingdom and make them into a growing vibrant believing congregation.
  • Peter and Rebecca as they wait for Peter’s new naval assignment.
  • That we and all our kids (by birth & marriage), and all our beloved grandchildren, will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.      
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Update from Tim and Karen

Dear Family and Friends: July 2020

Greetings to you during these hot very chaotic days facing us.  Challenging is a word that often comes to our minds these days. Not only do we face continuing Covid 19 issues, but also never in our lifetimes have we seen such division within our nation at large.  We both continue to pray for a great sweeping of the Holy Spirit to powerfully wash over this land to cause repentance to fall on all people, from every theological mindset, political viewpoint, skin color and ethnicity. Only Jesus is big enough to handle this mountain of pain and sorrow. As Jesus, himself, has said, only He “is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”.  (John 14:6)

Ministry and Health Update:

Many, many thanks to all of those who have continued to pray for recovery for Tim’s back issues over these past many years.  Finally, we are starting to see God’s healing hand.  Though he still has some pain, it is much more manageable and he is more mobile than he was at this point a year ago.  We are very grateful; both to you for your faithfulness in prayer and also God for His gracious mercy.  We are also very grateful that we seem to have finally recovered from the Covid 19 virus.  It was tougher and longer than we expected but now we feel back to ourselves.

Here we are in the midst of a summer filled with news about new Covid 19 surges and the necessary restrictions that that entails.  So how does that affect our relationships with Afghan friends in the Detroit area?  Initially, we had little in-person contact other than deliveries of food items outside their doors, with all of us wearing masks.  However, during that time of isolation, the Lord has opened up lots of phone conversations and some online English classes.  Tim’s online English reading class of the Joseph story in Genesis with one couple has been very interesting and they have requested an English Bible to continue their studies.  Pray that God will continue to open up their hearts…. More recently, we have again started in-person visits with the new arrivals who came most recently in Dec/Jan trying to support them in English and cultural lessons, connections to social service and health organizations, and emotional support and basic economic help/financial literacy as they go through this time of job loss and isolation.  Please pray particularly for one friend who is a widow with 5 young children who is finding it difficult to manage the children safely and still bring in an income to support the family. Many challenges

Please continue to pray for us as we are working to help a sister organization set up a new building where we will be able to hold ESL classes and hopefully other classes to do with finance and sewing and IT literacy.   Karen’s dream is to have a ladies sewing group that would be able to meet once weekly to share life stories, support each other, and also share scripture stories.  How God will bring this about with difficulties with location, the Covid 19 restrictions, their daily schedules, and her nursing schedule remains to be seen but God is greater than all these ‘small things’.

Eid-e-Qurban

At the end of July, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj, takes place.  It commemorates the time God provided Abraham an animal to sacrifice, instead of Abraham’s son.  It is a great time to visit your Muslim friends and neighbors and to interact and talk with them about sin and the need for a sacrifice.  There are two main holidays in Islam and one of them Eid al Fitr (or Eid-e-Qurban), takes places during the time of the Hajj, and they will be anticipating and expecting guests and visitors at this time.  I don’t know what the Covid 19 situation will be at the time, but grab a mask and go visiting if possible!

Family News:

We are very thankful to report that all our kids (by birth and marriage) are doing well.  Abby and Illyas and Adah (now a year old) are all flourishing.  Tim and Lydia and Suzannah and perspective new arrival in Oct (‘Baby Boo’) are all well and happily settled in their newly renovated home.  Peter and Rebecca just celebrated their first anniversary and are now awaiting news of where Peter’s next assignment will take them.  Unfortunately, our much anticipated ‘all-family’ vacation this month is not going to happen in its entirety.  Peter and Rebecca are o lockdown in SC due to Covid 19 surges in their nearby communities, so will not be able to join the rest of us in VA . Sad face …..

Closing:

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,     Tim and Karen

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • Wisdom in reaching out to new refugees in our area.
  • Thankful that there has been a fair degree of relief in Tim’s back pain and corresponding increase in mobility and function!
  • That we and all our kids (by birth & marriage) and all our beloved grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.      
  • Prayer for Muslims seeking God during Hajj at the end of July.  Pray that they would truly find God and surrender their lives to him.

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Update from Tim and Karen

Dear Family and Friends: March-April 2020

 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 these challenging days here in the US and around the world.  May God give grace for a great turning of hearts to Him in this time of uncertainty!

Ministry/Health Update: We meant to get this out to you earlier, but the last three weeks have been a challenge, as both of us tested positive for the coronavirus and were knocked hard off our feet.  Thankfully, though we had all the other symptoms, we never had the shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, so we have self-quarantined at home and are slowly recovering.  Currently we are on the mend, but it is a slow uphill climb… ‘Slow as a sloth’ takes on a whole new meaning!  Various family and church members have taken turns dropping off food on our front porch, so we have been blessed and are well covered.   They say 72 hours after the last symptoms you can end your quarantine, but we are not there yet as we both have lingering coughs.                                                                          

About the same time that we got sick, the MI governor ordered social distancing, so our team has had to stop our visits and ESL lessons for the new immigrants and refugees in Detroit, so we are sending out pictures and short vocabulary videos by WhatsApp to our students to try to keep in touch.  We also call them frequently to check on them and/or translate by phone for them with various offices.  They were in a tough financial situation already and this shut down has put all of them temporarily out of work.  Continue to pray for open hearts to the gospel for them as they adjust to living in a new country. 

We ask for continued prayer for the seeds planted through the programs and outreaches that we have helped set up through Oct, Nov, and Dec 2019.  We also had a big spring program set up with several churches and continued outreach among our friends, but the operative word is ‘had’…. Now everything is currently on hold, along with the rest of the country.  While this was a big surprise to us, it is not to our Savior! Please pray that God will use this, in many seen and unseen ways, to advance His kingdom around the world.  Please also pray that as we interact with our new friends via cell phone, that the message of Hope and Light in our hearts will resonate in their hearts.

Additionally, we also want to bring to your attention the fact that Ramazan, the Muslim month of fasting starts April 24.  Well officially Ramazan starts at sunset on the 23rd, but the fasting part starts the 24th.   A great resource for prayer is the 30 Days Prayer Guide, this colorful printed guide leads you through the month with a suggested daily reading and prayer requests.  There is a children’s version for the younger ones, perfect if you have younger kids in the family or for your youth group at church. If you run out of time, you can also order a downloadable PDF copy instead of the printed copy.   For those interested, there are also Spanish copies available as well!    At the end of Ramazan, whether you use the adult or children’s version or the version in Spanish, hang onto the prayer guide as a condensed resource to use again later in the year.   I have many back year’s copies as references, as each year they try to cover different areas of the Muslim world

This could be a very unusual Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, as they are supposed to prayer together and then break the fast together in community.  With the current world situation stricken by the Covid 19 virus limiting gatherings of people together, it will prove to be quite a challenge for them.  May the true God of heaven and earth give them eyes to see Him in all of his glory, grace and mercy for the first time this year, and may their lives be transformed!

Family update:

Our kids and their own families are all doing well and we rejoice that they are all walking in His truth and

light.  While there are challenges that come to each one of us, we pray for grace and his mercy to lead us through.  Pray that we would have responsive and obedient hearts to walk hand and hand with our Savior.

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.
  • Thankful that there has been a fair degree of relief in Tim’s back pain and corresponding increase in mobility and function!
  • That we and all our kids (by birth & marriage) and both our grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.
  • Prayer for Muslims seeking God during this upcoming month of fasting.  That they would truly find God and surrender their lives to him.
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Update from Tim and Karen

Dear Family and Friends December 2019

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 activity of this season.  As we thought about that first simple Christmas that began in a humble stable, Tim put these simple verses together.

Among the animals and strands of straw, the shepherds came and looked in awe. 

They worshiped as they bent the knee, to acknowledge that he came to be. 

Emanuel, God with us.   

Angelic hosts sang in heaven above, the son of God had come on earth to love.

Glad tidings we bring, do not shake- do not fear, today a Savior is born, yes God has come near.

Emanuel, God with us!

As the shepherds returned to their fields-hearts a pounding, their heads uplifted, their voices resounding.

We saw with our eyes, the things we were told, this amazing miracle before our eyes did unfold!

Emanuel, God with us!….Emanuel, God with us.    May we never lose the joy and wonder of God’s love for us and for the world.

Health Update and projected ministry focus: Well, here we are at the end of the year and it is decision time and we are not where we wanted to be health wise.  As we mentioned, at Tim’s last appointments, both his surgeon and pain doctor recommended that we not return overseas.  While they are very pleased that he has made substantial progress from where he was, they both realize that there is still quite some ways to go, as three years into this, simple things like putting on socks and tying shoestrings remain a challenge.   This is in one sense a bitter pill to swallow as we had hoped that if we worked hard enough and waited long enough that we would eventually get there.  In the last three years we have literally made hundreds of doctors, surgeons, physical therapy, pain clinic, acupuncture, etc. visits.  On the other hand, God knew this all along and it is no surprise to him.  What might have been surprising to him was how long it took us to bang our heads against the wall!

However, while one door was closing, another was opening and during this wait to return overseas, we have plugged into some exciting ministries here locally and it is to these that we will now turn to more fully.  Last Saturday night, with a group of others from several area churches, we introduced Christmas to 6 refugee families from Central Asia and several singles too.  It was neat to be able to talk, share and sing in a language that they could understand.  We had a similar opportunity three weeks ago during Thanksgiving, to share with these folks and others, that we can be truly thankful for God’s blessings, his mercy and grace, even in difficult circumstances.

While this is not the path that we thought we would be on at this time of our lives, it is where God has us for now.  In the days and months to come, pray for us to be faithful servants where he has us, not moaning and complaining because we can’t be somewhere else.  Yes, there might be a tear or two, as we certainly feel the loss of letting go of a dream, but God is faithful to sustain us and we need to be willing to be molded by the potter’s hand.

Ministry: We ask for prayer for the seeds planted through the programs and outreaches that we have helped set up through Oct, Nov, and Dec.  Our last one for the fall is on Dec 19th.  It has been a very full and busy time with teaching English, doing the logistics for holiday events, being challenged to push on with our Dari studies, and nurturing relationships with our new friends. Pray that as we interact with our new friends, through our friendship and love, the message of Hope and Light in our hearts will resonate in their hearts.

Family update: Our kids and their own families are all doing well and we rejoice that they are all walking in His truth and light.  While there are challenges that come to each of us, we pray for grace and his mercy to lead us through.  Pray that we would have the responsive and obedient hearts of the shepherds who responded to the Angel’s proclamation by saying “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord told us about.” 

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.
  • Pray for an increase in support levels as there has been a drop in support over the past several months.
  • Thankful that there has been some degree of relief in Tim’s back pain due to steroid injections.  Pray that it will continue long term, he has his fourth injection Dec 26th.
  • That all our kids (by birth & marriage) and both our grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.          

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Update from Tim and Karen

Sept/Oct  2019                           Vol. 29, No.3

Dear Family and Friends:                                                                              

We hope this finds you all in health and good spirits.   Autumn is upon us and the trees here in Michigan are changing from green to various shades of orange, red, purple, brown, and yellow. Each one exhibiting the beautiful handiwork of God our Creator. 

Health Update and projected ministry focus:

August brought more surgery for Tim: this time for a double hernia that was masked by his back pain- probably for a number of years, according to the doctor.  And, par for the course, this recovery has also been prolonged and complicated. 

More importantly, we had Tim’s neuro (back) surgeon three month check up this week.  He is encouraged that Tim is doing better; with increased mobility and somewhat decreased pain levels, and said we are on the right track, even if it is the ‘slow one’.  He noted that the lower back surgical site is completely fused but there are still other problematic areas in Tim’s back and hips.  Consequently, he recommends that we not return overseas.  That was painful to hear and not what we wanted to hear.  We have been praying for direction and he offered this recommendation unsolicited.  He knows our history and we have talked in the past of hoping to return overseas and so he said he wanted to make sure we knew what his thoughts were on our situation.  He said the choice was of course up to us, but he likened it to riding a rollercoaster after neck surgery.  Could you do it, yes.  Should you do it?  Probably not.   

This recommendation hits us hard, and it is something that we need to pray about and take seriously.  God is certainly more powerful than any surgeon and if God wants to overrule and bring full healing to Tim’s back then we are certainly fully on board.   So, we are taking the doctor’s advice and laying it out before the Lord.  Lord, what do you want us to do with this? Please join with us as we pray for wisdom and seek His guidance.   During the last two and a half years, through all your prayers for Tim’s physical therapy, all his exercising at home and daily walks, we had the hope that this would restore Tim to full health in the end.  And so here we are, grateful for the incredible progress made from where Tim was to where he is now, but also beginning to realize that it might not be enough for us to return overseas.

We had wanted to decide about returning overseas by the first of October, however, Tim’s additional surgery and complications has now delayed that.  So, we are now looking at making a decision by the end of the year.   If we are not able to return overseas then we do have several options open to us here in the US, either staying and ministering here in the Detroit area or relocating to another area.

Ministry:  Tim is now working full time, split between the SEND finance department, and the Diaspora work in Dearborn/Detroit.  We ask for prayer for the next weeks and months, that as we teach English and interact with our students, that through our friendship and love, the message of Hope and Light in our hearts will resonate in the hearts of our students. We are starting to plan for gatherings with new friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, looking for ways to take advantage of these special times as more of a season of heightened opportunity to share God’s gift of Jesus.

While the ESL program we are helping with has people attending from many different countries of the Middle East and Central Asia, we have been delighted to spend increasing amounts of time with new Central Asian families.  Several of these families that have arrived this year having spent 7 or more years as refugees in other host countries after fleeing their home country.

It is our hope that we can connect local churches with these new immigrant families through setting up welcoming committees from the churches that essentially adopt a new immigrant family for a year and acts as cultural coaches for them.  Karen and I and another SEND family that has worked overseas previously will initially train and then coach these committees as they interact with their adopted families.  Pray that the three churches who have expressed interest in this will be able to move forward and implement a brave reaching out in the name of Christ for his honor and glory!  And pray that more churches will get on board in the months to come as well!

Family update: 

We had a fun time gathering together with all our 6 kids (birth and marriage) and two grandchildren in Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend at the end of September.  (Tim’s first plane trip in three years.) We hit the beach, played games, visited a couple historic sites and just enjoyed being together.  All are doing well and being stretched with the challenges of raising little ones with minds of their own.

We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care and prayer support during this unique time of our lives.    Thank you again.

With much love,

                        Karen and Tim

______________________________________________________________________________Contact information: Email: kmindling@sbcglobal.net

______________________________________________________________________________

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • That Tim’s nerves and sciatica pain settle down, and that there will be an even further decrease in his pain levels; and a corresponding increase in activity levels.
  • That all our kids (by birth & marriage) will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.    
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Update from Tim and Karen and Co.

June/July 2019                         

Dear Family and Friends:

It is so good to have this time to touch base with you. We are only starting to relax a bit after a very busy season of life.   We hope this finds you all in health and good spirits.  

Health Update about Tim:

Yesterday we saw Tim’s neuro (back) surgeon for his three month check up.  Overall the surgeon is pleased that Tim’s pain levels have decreased and he has been able to increase some of his activity levels.  Tim continues his walking program and has also started seeing a specialized spine Physical Therapist, who has tweaked his previous PT regimen, and that has started to help increase his mobility levels.  Two days ago Tim drove 45 minutes in the car, for the first time in 2.5 years!   He was definitely not pain free, but still, that is a big improvement from previous abilities.  This is a big issue for us, because the direction of the next phase of our life is dependent on increased mobility.  Will we be able to return overseas to work with our Central Asian friends?… (a couple of locations are under consideration)  ….Or should we stay in the greater Detroit area and work with the new arrive immigrants that the Lord is miraculously resettling in this area? We have set this Sept/Oct as the decision making point as to whether or not Tim’s back will be stable enough for us to be able to return back overseas.

Ministry:

Tim is now working full time, split between the finance department, and the Diaspora work in Dearborn/Detroit.  We ask for prayer for the next weeks and months, that as we teach English and interact with our students, that through our friendship and love, the message of Hope and Light in our hearts will resonate in the hearts of our students.

Family update:   (Our family has had lots going on this spring and summer!!)

  • Peter and Rebecca: After 4 tough years, Peter graduated from the Military Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy near the end of May.  And following that; on June 21st, Peter and Rebecca were married in a lovely touching ceremony over which Tim officiated.  Hardly a dry eye in the place… Rebecca is a wonderful young lady and we are delighted that she has joined our family. They will be posted to their first assignment in South Carolina for specialized training for the next 18 months or so and then future posting after that is still to be determined.  Please pray for Peter and Rebecca during these transition months of marriage; for Rebecca as she tackles a new teaching position and finishes a master’s program, and for Peter for his 12 hour days in his new study program.
  • Abby and Illyas: Praise God that Abby and Illyas are now the proud parents of little ‘Adah Ruth’-born on May 30th at 6 lbs; 7 oz.  She is doing well and we are so thoroughly enjoying being grandparents of our second grandchild.
  • Tim Jr. and Lydia:  Tim Jr. continues in his transition to becoming a flight instructor and is enjoying it very much.  Something else he and Lydia enjoy very much are being parents of a rambunctious of soon-to-be-12 month old daughter, Suzannah, and fixing up the cute starter house that they just bought.

Preceding all the above joyful events, there was also sadness as Karen’s dad, Philip, died in mid-April after the final episode of a long chronic illness.  He had just celebrated his 90th birthday in VT with the whole immediate family in attendance-including Karen.   In the midst of the  difficult time surrounding the funeral, we were very grateful that all our children and spouses and grandchild were able to be with us.   

We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care, and prayer support during this unique time of our lives.    Thank you again.

With much love, Karen and Tim

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • That Tim’s nerves and sciatica pain settle down, and that there will be an even further decrease in his pain levels; and a corresponding increase in activity levels. 
  • That all our kids (by birth & marriage) and both our new grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.

That God would give us clear wisdom with how He wants to use us in the future. 

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Tim and Karen & Co. March 2019

Dear Family and Friends,

It is so good to have this time to touch base with you. We hope this finds you all in health and good spirits.

Health Update about Tim:   Good news is that Tim has now finished all his hyperbaric treatments and also has finished his official course of physical therapy; 97 PT visits in total. Yesterday we saw Tim’s neuro (back) surgeon for his three month check up. Overall the surgeon is pleased that Tim’s pain levels have decreased and he has been able to increase some of his activity levels. Tim continues his home walking program and is also continuing his workout regime at the local PT facility for a monthly fee, (but without the ‘hands-on’ of the therapist). The main difficulty Tim has is the increased pain that he gets whenever he sits longer than 20-25 minutes (as Tim says, sitting causes his ‘sciatic pain and lower spine to roar’) which is very limiting for both car and plane travel; all of which have been a big part of his personal and professional life. Our surgeon suggested that if the pain levels remain intolerable, then perhaps Tim should consider an internal rechargeable nerve pain blocker implant. It is complicated getting this item and there are no guarantees that it will work, so we would appreciate your prayer support- regarding whether or not to pursue it. (Of course we are always open to the Lord just healing Tim out right!)

We have set this fall as the decision making point as to whether or not Tim’s back will be stable enough for us to be able to return back overseas. In the meantime we will be involved locally with a limited amount of travel. If his back does not reach full strength again, then we are open to all that the Lord has for us here in terms of long term ministry among our international friends.

Ministry: In addition to Tim’s part time work with the finance department, we both have continued working with the ESL classes each week in a nearby city. We ask for prayer for the next weeks as we share the Easter story; that the message shared will resonate in the hearts of our students.   We continue to have students from many countries attending, and recently there has been a significant increase in new students from our former host country (which of course brings much joy to our hearts). One evening their number were the majority of the beginner class!

Please don’t forget the international students in our midst. Please pray about inviting one or two to your house for dinner. They are far from home and lonely. It doesn’t have to be a complicated meal, keep it simple, even feel free to pick up a cooked chicken from Costco or Kroger!

We also want to remind you that Ramadan (or Ramazan) the Muslim month of fasting begins May 6th. Please pray for Muslims all over the world to have an encounter with the living God this year, that they might finally realize that they cannot earn God’s favor, but rather it is a gift freely given.

Family update:   (Our family has lots going on this spring and summer!!)

Abby and Illyas: Praise God that Abby is continuing to enjoy her nurse-midwife position at a local hospital; so much so that she wanted to be on the other side of the equation. In keeping with that desire, she and Illyas are now expecting their first baby (a little girl) by the end of May. All is going as expected (pun intended) and we are all so excited for them.

Tim Jr. and Lydia: Tim Jr. continues in his transition in being a flight instructor and is enjoying it very much. Something else he and Lydia enjoy very much are being parents of a rambunctious seven month old daughter!

Peter: Peter has a couple of major milestones this year; after 4 tough years Peter will graduate and receive his commissioning on May 24, and then less than a month later he and his lovely fiancé, Rebecca, will get married. Rebecca is a wonderful young lady and we are delighted that she is joining our family. They will be posted to their first assignment of nuclear school for the next year or so and then future posting after that is still to be determined. Please pray for Peter to remain focused and finish strong, and for both he and Rebecca in all that goes into planning and pulling off a wedding here, while he is at school and she is teaching in the Dominican Republic!

We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care, and prayer support during this unique time of our lives.  Thank you again.

With much love,     Karen, Tim, &  Peter

________________________________________________________

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • That Tim’s nerves and sciatica pain settle down, and that there will be an even further decrease in his pain levels and numbness in his feet, and a corresponding increase in activity levels.
  • Grace for all the upcoming family events
  • That all our kids (by birth & marriage) and both our new grandchildren will continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.
  • That God would give us clear wisdom with how He wants to use us in the future.
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Update for Tim and Karen & Co.


Dear Friends and Family,                                                               December 2018

We trust this letter finds you well.   We give thanks to the Lord that we are well and having a lovely quiet post Thanksgiving interlude before the Christmas rush begins. Our Thanksgiving week with family was busy and wonderful. Our children (by birth and marriage) and our first grandchild were home and altogether under one roof! We had such a sweet time of catching up together.

 Health Update about Tim: Well, we are pleased to say that Tim is finally showing some progress in his recovery from his extensive back surgeries!   After Tim’s initial 40 hyperbaric treatments which ended in mid summer, he has continued with an additional treatment every three weeks to keep the healing process stimulated. The plan is for those treatments to end in January 2019. Along side the hyperbaric program, Tim engages in a vigorous 2 ½ hour PT program 3 times a week, continues a home therapy program and walks 2-3 miles daily, all of which are together showing positive results. The pain levels are slowly decreasing while his mobility levels are slowly increasing. He can now drive within a 5-10 minute radius of home though sitting for longer than 20 minutes or so still remains problematic. We are deeply grateful for your support and friendship through this uncertain period of our lives! Thanks again to all of you.

 Ministry:  Tim’s surgeon has given his permission for Tim to “officially” return to work part time. Please pray with us as we work out the details with our office as to what that will look like on a day to day basis, and pray for us and the rest of the office personnel as our office goes through some restructuring and possible relocation.

We have tentatively set September 2019 as the decision making point as to whether or not Tim’s back will be stable enough for us to be able to return back overseas. In the meantime we will be involved locally with a limited amount of travel. If his back does not reach full strength again, then we are open to all that the Lord has for us here in terms of long term ministry among Muslims.

We have continued working with the ESL classes once per week in Dearborn and we ask for prayer for the Thanksgiving and Christmas programs (Dec 20th), that the message shared will resonate in the hearts of our students.   We continue to have students from many countries attending, including Afghanistan, Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Mexico and this week Sudan!

For December Tim wrote a blog for SEND Hope and Light about Shame and Honor. This is a huge subject and we here in the US can benefit from gaining a better understanding of these concepts for those coming from the Middle East and Asia.  This is a bit outside the box for most of us, but we have to realize that Shame and Honor shapes and influences every decision they make, every thought, the person they marry, how they treat elders and how they treat those younger.  Most people in North America were taught to think and act on “What’s the right thing to do?”   People from the Middle East and Asia ask, “What’s the honorable thing to do?” Sometimes the answers to these two questions line up perfectly, but probably most of the time they produce different answers.

Family update:   Abby and Illyas: Praise God that Abby is enjoying her nurse-midwife position at a local hospital. She is gaining valuable experience and is delighted to be able to put all of her training and school work to good use! What a great place for her – coming alongside mothers and babies during this pivotal time of life. Illyas continues on with a full load of classes and wants to finish up his master’s program by spring of 2109. Please pray that the necessary internship will be found for him to complete his program.

Tim Jr. and Lydia: Tim Jr. just transferred from pilot/mechanic to flight instructor within his same company and is working hard to learn all that goes with that position. Baby Suzannah continues to be a delight as she grows more and more interactive with those around her. We are delighted to see what wonderful parents Tim and Lydia are to their lovely daughter

 Peter: We rejoice that Peter is recently engaged to Rebecca- a lovely young lady from our local church here! She has a heart for missions and is currently a much -loved teacher at a mission school in the Dominican Republic. They plan to marry next summer, after Peter graduates. From there they will be posted to their first assignment with the Navy. Peter is finding that his last year at the Naval Academy has a lot of pressures and asks for prayer regarding his studies, leadership roles within his company, and planning & decision making for their marriage and upcoming work assignment.

We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care, and prayer support during this unique time of our lives.   Thank you again.

With much appreciation for your care and partnership,

Karen, Tim, and Peter

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

-That Tim’s bones will be strengthened, nerves will regenerate and settle down, and           that there will  be an even further decrease in his pain levels, and a corresponding increase in activity levels.

-That both of us will walk with peace and joy and thankfulness even in this time of uncertainty.

-For all our kids (by birth & marriage) and our new grandchild to continue to grow and walk in His grace and truth.

-That God would give us clear wisdom with how He wants to use us in the future. See ‘Ministry’ above.

 

 

 

 

 

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Update from Tim and Karen & Co.


Dear Family and Friends,                      September 2018

We trust this letter finds you well.   We are well and having a lovely late summer/early fall season. God has given us many joys this summer; time with our family and friends; and especially a lovely week with our first grandchild -Suzannah Ferris! What a joy to see a new generation come into being. We are very excited and blessed to be grandparents!

 Health Update about Tim:

Well, we are pleased to say that Tim is finally showing some progress in his recovery from his extensive back surgeries!   After a total of 40 hyperbaric treatments (spread out over 8 weeks) the latest CT scan showed that he now has some bone growth and central fusion of the problematic areas in his lower back. Now the fusion just needs to spread to fill the disc space and become denser/stronger. For the first time, our surgeon had a smile on his face when we saw him at our last appointment! He also gave the green light that Tim can seriously engage with a physical therapy program for rehabilitation- (18 months after first having surgery) which Tim diligently follows both at the PT office and with his home program. And in addition, Tim’s pain levels are decreasing!

Most days, Tim is now up to walking a mile two times daily and has begun to drive short distances around town! Sitting however, is still proving to be quite a challenge, so for any longer distance than 10 minutes, he is driven by a Chauffer (Karen) with Tim lying down in the back of the van.) And …drum roll please… just last week, Tim was able to stop wearing his back brace (for the most part) which is a joy! We have seen several specific answers to your prayers. Thank you!! We are so thankful to the Lord for His healing hand and for all your prayer support of us during this uncertain time of our lives.

Ministry:

This fall we have decided to reach out locally, and once a week we have begun assisting others from our sending agency who teach beginner and intermediate English classes at a church in Dearborn (about 45 minutes away). A range of refugees from multiple countries attend those classes; including a few Afghans. How sweet to hear Dari spoken again!

We did want to mention that Tim writes for the SEND Hope and Light newsletter, which is a kind of monthly blog addressing a variety of issues pertaining to reaching out to the M. world in the name of Jesus. You can sign up for these e-newsletters here, and scroll down to the Hope and Light section. Once you sign up you will begin to receive these e-newsletters the first week of each month. You can also access back issues of the blog through the SEND Hope and Light webpage as well.

 10/10 Prayer Challenge

We want to remind you again about the 10/10 prayer challenge, where we are praying for 10% of the M. world to come to Christ in the next 10 years. This is a God sized request, and one that we would do well to prepare for, as when God starts to bring M’s into his fold as a result of this prayer, these new sheep will need discipleship and training as well.

Family update:

 Peter: Has begun his last year of studies at the academy and asks for prayer for the pressure of studies, leadership roles within his company, and planning & decision making for life after graduation.

Abby and Illyas: Praise God that Abby has successfully finished her orientation for her new nurse-midwife position and is enjoying her new work of coming alongside mothers and babies during this pivotal time of life. Illyas continues on with a full load of classes to finish up his master’s program by spring of 2109.

Tim Jr. and Lydia: They are now a family of three with the recent arrival of Suzannah in early August. What a joy to see them take on these new responsibilities and we are pleased to see them continuing to grow in wisdom and grace.

We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your friendship, care, and prayer support during this unique time of our lives.   Thank you again.

With much appreciation for your care and partnership,

Karen, Tim, and Peter

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • That Tim’s bones will be strengthened, nerves will regenerate and settle down, and           that there will be an even further decrease in his pain levels, and a corresponding            increase in activity levels.
  • That both of us will walk with peace and joy and thankfulness even in this time of                     uncertainty.
  • For all our kids (by birth & marriage) and our new grandchild to continue to grow and          walk in His grace and truth.
  • That God would give us clear wisdom with how He wants to use us in the future.

My ‘work-in-progress’ Life Verse:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7

 

 

 

 

 

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Update from Tim & Karen

 

Dear Family and Friends:                                                             

We trust this letter finds you well.   Here in our area, we are not sure what season we are in yet.  Just as it appeared that summer had decided not to wait and had sprung over spring (we hit 90 degrees for almost a week), spring made a sudden comeback and we are enjoying cool weather in the 60s once again.   The trees and flowers are bursting forth and everything has suddenly turned very green.   What an amazing transformation, much like the transformation that occurs when one gives their heart over to Jesus!

Tim’s Health Update:

Well, we are pleased to say that Tim is finally starting to show some improvement in his recovery from his extensive back surgery in January.  Currently he can either lie down, stand for about 90 minutes, and can also sit for about 20 minutes.  He is up from walking a 1/4 mile to 1/3 of a mile 2-3 times a day- and while that may not seem like a lot to you- it is huge for him!  He attempted to start physical therapy back in March – but the therapist cancelled treatments due to uncontrolled back spasms.  So PT was delayed until the point Tim is able to tolerate some movement without excessive spasms.  He is now scheduled to restart PT the 20th of this month and we are praying that the sessions can continue uninterrupted this time.

Since Tim has had such trouble growing bone in his spine for over a year, it was recommended that he take a series of 40 hyperbaric oxygen treatments and so he is now a little more than halfway through the treatments.  Each session lasts about an hour and 20 minutes, 5 times per week.    He should be done by the end of June.  These high intensity pressurized oxygen treatments are to help stimulate and promote bone growth and nerve healing. These types of treatments don’t work for everyone, but, internationally, there are documented studies showing good success at treating issues similar to what Tim is dealing with. There are only 6-8 of this type of high quality private hyperbaric recovery centers in the whole US and we happen to have one in our town! That sounds like a ‘God thing’ to us!  We are excited that Tim’s over all level of pain seems to have decreased somewhat in these last couple of weeks which is very encouraging to us and is an answer to prayer.  Thanks so much for praying with us and please don’t stop!

Ministry:

Although Tim is limited in what he can do in terms of ministry, Karen is spreading her wings and has joined others from the SEND office who teach a range of English language classes at a church in a nearby city on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Though it is an hour away, she was invited to join those teaching when they discovered there were Afghans coming to the classes!   The classes are taking a break during the month of fasting, but will resume once Ramadan is over.   We are now more than halfway through Ramadan, which is their month long time of fasting.   Join with us in praying that God would reveal himself to many Muslims through this time of fasting and prayer, and that they would understand who He really is, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!      If you haven’t already gotten a copy of the 30 Days of Prayer guide book you can look up information at www.30DaysPrayer.com for daily prayer requests throughout the month of fasting.   This website can also be used year round, for learning about Muslims and ways to pray for them.

We also want to remind you about the 10/10 prayer challenge, where we are praying for 10% of the Muslim world to come to Christ in the next 10 years.  This is a God sized request, and one that we would do well to prepare for, as when God starts to bring Muslims into his fold as a result of this prayer, these new sheep will need discipleship and training as well.

Family update:

Peter: He has just finished his third year at the military academy and with one year left he is starting to get excited about graduation next spring.  He is now in his summer trainings.  Pray that these trainings would provide him strong opportunities to grow spiritually and sense God’s direction for post Academy work concentration. He will be home for a month towards the middle of the summer to see us and a certain young lady.  Stay tuned for the next episode…..

Abby and Illyas:  Both are doing well.  Abby is thriving as she progresses through her orientation to her new nurse midwifery position; and Illyas juggles his master’s studies in public health, part time work at a local nursing home facility, and also studies finances on the side!  If they have any free time, they like to go fishing at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Tim Jr. and Lydia: They are anticipating/preparing for the arrival of their little bundle of ‘girl-joy’ near the end of July!    They were just up here for a visit and both perspective parents and ‘little one’ seem to be doing well.  Of course as ‘first time’ grandparents we are also over the moon with joy.

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We continue to be very grateful to each of you for your care and support of us during this time that God is walking with us through.  Your friendship & prayer support continues to be such blessings to us.  Thank you again.

With much appreciation for your care and partnership,

Karen, Tim, and Peter

Ongoing Prayer Requests:

  • Tim’s bones will be strengthened, nerves will regenerate and settle down, and that             there will be an even further decrease in his pain levels.
  • That both of us will walk with peace and joy and thankfulness even in this time of                 uncertainty.
  • For all our kids (by birth & marriage) to continue to walk in His grace and truth.
  • That God would give us clear wisdom with how He wants to use us in the future

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Karen’s thoughts: I read this recently written by a man, Jerry Sittser, who has endured crushing loss.  It reminds me where to keep my focus…..

“Though we were created to live in this world, we are redeemed to live in heaven.

This world is wonderful, but it is also fallen, a grey and grim place where suffering often has the final word.  Disappointment, insecurity, pain, and death remind us to turn our gaze toward heaven and hope for final victory.  Jesus will come again and establish His Kingdom.  Then, all tears will be wiped away and all brokenness healed.  In the end, nothing, not even the past or the future will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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