How you can prayer

God is answering the prayer to send more workers to the field.

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A family that has been reaching central asians in Moscow has now arrived here to join our team.  Sveta, originally from Uzbekistan, her husband Matt, raised in England, and their four children are excited to be team with us.  We rotate our locations for our weekly church fellowship time.  Last week we got to eat traditional Uzbek food for dinner.  I love working on a multi-cultural team!  Please pray for us as we learn one another’s gifts, experiences and perspectives while being united in vision and purpose.  Pray for our outreach this Saturday the 15th passing out coffee and apples while engaging people.

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I have been very thankful for the opportunity to have a job I enjoy.  This job has helped me get permanent residency in Sweden as well as finish paying off the back taxes.  And besides, who can resist teaching math to 11 to 13 year olds!  These past two years teaching full time has taken it’s toll in energy and availability.  This fall I have decreased the hours at the teaching job in order to communicate better, have time for follow-up as well as take care of my health.  Please keep in prayer how to juggle these responsibilities.  Should this be the last year I am at the school?  How can I use my time there to share Jesus with co-workers? 

Sunday nights we have started an investigative bible study.  This creation to Christ study goes through the Scriptures bringing out the hard questions and illustrates the thread of redemption pointing to Jesus.  Please pray for these three sisters who have been coming.  Pray for their hearts to open and see clearly.  Pray for Caroline as she facilitates the conversations in Swedish. 

I have enjoyed hearing from you this past month.  Please reply with how I can be praying for you this fall!

 

 

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Where we are at

Living in a neighborhood that is 92% immigrant, you quickly learn that one of the biggest needs in a person’s life is community.  Rather than forming a type of melting pot where culture can be shared, history has created an atmosphere of distrust and skepticism.  So although we have a big vision to see the gospel reach the nations, we continue to learn how to walk step by step. Here are some glimpses into how the Spirit has helped us inch forward.

IMG_4054Sajid’s employer found out I worked as a teacher and asked if I would help him with his English.  After a few weeks attending the language cafe, Sajid admitted that his real motivation was that he had no friends outside of work.  He had lived in the neighborhood for three years.  He not only participates weekly in our conversation group, but he also has cooked food from his home country to have something to share.  Praying for his heart to be open to seek truth.   

Najla and her younger sister Elahe started to coming to the language cafe not knowing anyone in the neighborhood.  We often ask for ways to pray for the families and would share Jesus’ stories as a way to study language to see if anyone was spiritual open.  Najla was getting her coat on one evening and asked if there were more stories about Jesus she could learn.  She walked out the door sharing one more request if we would pray that she would meet Jesus in a dream.

2018-08-12 19.53.15Marsi, Azia, and Elena and three sisters who moved in a little over a year ago.  They are determined to learn the language so that they could go to university.  We have enjoyed getting to celebrate birthdays and pray for their mother’s health.  After watching a video about exploring important questions in life that included learning about the Messiah, Marsi expressed the deep longing she has had to find the answers to such questions.

Hassan and Nebahat did not want coffee as they past our stand, but their curiosity kept them close.  “Why are you doing this?,” they asked.  We explained that we live here and want to be a good neighbor in our own community.  They loved this idea so much that they invited us over to break the Ramadan fast with them.  We have now been able to share a few meals together.  Again praying for open hearts to sow seeds of truth and grace.

Starting something from scratch takes time.  Our main focus has been prayer in order to stay in tune with the Spirit as well as look to break strongholds that have held these places and families captive for too long.  Cultivating presence, building trust and finding creative ways to live life with new friends has been our other focus this first year.  We are all coming from different cultures, different ways of communication and different ways to show respect.  It has been an exciting journey to learn and grow in how to live out a biblical worldview and love loud.

2018-08-07 21.13.31Family Update…I have a niece!  Gemma was born August 7th. It is exciting to have a new life to love!

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My nephews Aydin and Ethan are now 9 and 7.  I always love the time I get with them.  As I got in the car to go the airport, they sang me the Star Bangled Banner trying to convince me stay. Love them!

 

 


Kindness

As I think back over the past couple of months, I have been constantly reminded of the Lord’s kindness. When I think about how to define kindness I think of consideration, generosity, warm/heartedness.  The Lord is thoughtful and continues to pour out love, provision, support – meeting my needs beyond measure.  Here are snapshots of some of the significant moments from these past months…just to wet your appetite until I can share with you in person!

img_4500India was incredible, overwhelming, intense  and enjoyable.   The first few days I met my father’s family for the first time.  Saw where they live, work and have raised their families.  Relationships have begun as I got to spend time with six out of thirteen first cousins.  From there I flew east and met up with the Jeff & Angie, a church planting couple that were involved with some of my training before I left the states.  I love partnering with others to see No Place Left in the world to hear and receive the gospel.  Working with Angie, we got to a training for 38 women, many illiterate, empowering them to make the gospel known and discipling the villages that surrounded them.  Next stop was engaging another NGO that has mobilized holistic approaches to community development and church multiplication.  It was an incredible 2 weeks and I look forward to returning!

Mom at the Artic!My mother was able to visit me over the Easter school break.  This was a great gift to have family here getting to see a glimpse into this world and to share it.  She not only got to experience my current surroundings, we also went up north so she could enjoy more snow.  Walking around Luleå, my mom got to meet and see some of the significant people and spots from where my Swedish journey began.

Tensta CentrumSteps of obedience in the local work. The Lord continues to bring affirmation and encouragement in the small beginnings.  In some ways, we always want to see the fruit of the efforts yesterday and to know that we are doing everything possible to move the vision forward.  Since moving here last June, we have had over two dozen people stay in our home and engage the vision of taking the gospel to the unreached.  We have a strong community of new friends from a variety of countries that we get to meet, learn Swedish and pray for the needs of their families.  The recent good weather has also allowed for conversations while handing out coffee as we seek ways to be a good neighbor.

So as you can see, the Lord has been so kind to me in so many areas.  I will be in the states from the end of June to early August.  My hope is to see as many people face to face as possible.  Can you believe it was 10 years ago this summer that I took a step of faith to work in ministry full time?!?!?!?!  And it has been an incredible ten years THANKS TO YOU!!!!  It will be a blast getting to reflect on what God has done these past ten years and consider what is coming in the next 10….until He returns!


Where to begin

Getting to share all that is happening is beyond overdue. Thankful for your prayers and support as it the most crucial need.

I moved five months ago. We have been able to host 10 different sets of people coming from different parts of the world to Stockholm for different reasons. Thankful in the space the Lord has provided and the opportunity to pretend that I get to run a bed and breakfast!

These past few months have been full of excitement, trial & error activities, and continual seeking the Lord’s face on the smallest of details.  We have three teams that have come alongside us to help push us forward.  Thankful for the workers God sends to encourage, help and engage the community.

file-2017-11-09-21-11-18.jpegPart of our vision is to provide an on the ground training of cross-cultural work and equipping in starting church.  Angel is our 2nd go around in learning how to:

  • provide a vision trip for someone to seek how God is leading them forward
  • include a new person on the team to get a first hand look at team development, strategy planning, and implementing our ideas to move the objectives forward
  • formulate a job description that would potentially mimic what he/she would do when they made the move to a long-term team
  • provide cross-cultural training in a muslim neighborhood

Please continue to pray!

  • Monday nights we have gotten to hang out with people from Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia and Iran…but all at different times.  Asking the Lord how to form a group studying the Scriptures and not just individuals.
  • B, a 16-year-old refugee boy, to get to start school. Paperwork is a slow process. We get to teach him Swedish when he hangs out here and use google translate to fill in the gaps. Pray his heart would open to Jesus.
  • Team formation. We are a group of four learning each other and how to work together.
  • Opportunities at the teaching job. Thankful for a work and the opportunity to connect with many people. We will host a Thanksgiving dinner with the hope to take relationships deeper.
  • H & L our upstairs neighbors have been over for dinner and will come to Thanksgiving.
  • Chelsea and Aidan are new workers that moved here 2 weeks ago. They will work with Korskyrkan (our national leaders) while learning language and finding their footing.

Well this is long enough!  I won’t wait so long next time! Blessings!  Thankful you make this possible!


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