Corona, Celebrations, & Coming Home!

It is a common question to me about how is Sweden handling corona and what it looks like for us here. In Sweden, they provide recommendations not restrictions and trust us to be responsible. My school has never closed, so my day to day has been unchanged. The time has allowed for deepening of friendships with local friends as we have continued to meet in small groups weekly. As long as everyone is symptom free, we have continued to host language cafe, book club and dinners. We always weigh the recommendations and try to make wise decisions. To most of our refugee friends, we are extended family and are thankful to have been able to still gather.

Although it was kept a secret until hours before, I had the privilege to be with my friend Marsi when she accepted a marriage proposal. To be with the family for this event that took place through video, was an incredible gift. The families chatted together for some time before Marsi appeared on the screen. Of course everything was in Farsi, so I had no idea what was said, but you could definitely feel what was happening!
I had taken a job at a local school to help pay for back taxes as well as transition when I moved to Stockholm. Thankfully, all taxes are paid up to date and the money for 2020 is available! Having a local job has increased trust and opportunity for which I am very grateful. I will leave this job in December as ministry has increased and I have been stretched too thin trying to juggle both. Starting in January, I am excited to take a step towards full time ministry work again to provide the energy and time for the growing work. There is of course the thought to take part time work at a school in the neighborhood which would also allow for more local connection.

Corona allowing, I am still planning on spending time in the states following Christmas through March. It will be such a gift to get to spend extended time with family and friends. I will send out a calendar of where I will be when in case it would work to get to meet with you…corona allowing of course. Otherwise, video coffee dates will have do!

Ways to pray: – Monday night language cafe – pray for hearts to continue to grow in curiosity and for opportunities to invite people to consider Jesus. – Janelle, an American that has lived her for the past year, will return to the states next month. Please pray she is able to finish well and transition. – That corona will not prevent travel. – Pray for provision in the financial need of monthly support for the account I am responsible for. I am looking to raise another $500 a month. Click here if you want to help answer that prayer! – To finish well at the local school with students and coworkers.

A person of peace

Dinner together. Janelle, Amina and Ahmad.

To hear the story, click this link!

Thank you for the continued investment you make toward this work. Your prayers and have finances are what make this possible!

Oh give thanks to the LORD

Call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16.8-11)

This prayer has been a theme this past summer and transitioning into fall. David had brought the ark back to Jerusalem and there was this renewal of thanks and praise to who God has continued to be for them. It is is the same with us today. There are many storms still brewing that are affecting lives, yet God remains faithful and his love is steadfast. I encourage you to read the whole prayer in 1 Chronicles that your spirit would be encouraged and strengthened in who God is to you!

Feras, Yasamin and their children have become dear friends. We get to see each other weekly. Pray for strength as they raise these three beautiful children as well as pursue eduction to fulfill Swedish requirements for their careers.
The first week of August, I had the opportunity for a 5-day backpacking trip in the middle of a national forest for a silent retreat. The days were spent hiking to new locations while getting to pray and process with Jesus. The afternoons and evenings I enjoyed reading, journaling and just sitting in silence. Very thankful for the nature I got to explore as I got to hike about 18 miles!
Our good friend Sajid has finally gotten his wife and daughter to Sweden. After a two year process, they arrived a week ago. We are super excited to get to know Asifa and their daughter. Pray for the crazy transition they are in learning a new culture, language and living without being surrounded by family.

The Lord has blessed us with incredible community of people from many nations. We are thankful for their friendship, food and time. Yet we pray that they would get to experience the fullness of God’s love for them and their families. Please continue to pray with me for this neighborhood to encourage the Living Hope!

It has been a few years now since I have had the opportunity to fellowship with you face to face. Although COVID may hinder some things, I am moving forward to be state side January through March of 2021! These next few weeks I will be working out a schedule to get to visit churches and you! If you know of any churches that would like to hear about the ministry work here, please get us in touch!

Praying for you. May the Lord bless you and encourage your heart this morning with the reality that He is a firm foundation regardless of the story you may find yourself in. Thankful to have your running with me in this journey!

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