In Global Stories

Hello friends & family, 

We were able to visit our friends a few provinces over—Yay! While we were in their province we got to walk around the same place that Paul walked all those years ago. I often forget how rich Bible history is here.

We so enjoyed the beautiful nature and fellowship, and got to meet some of the new believers at their house church. God is doing so much in their city! In the last 6 months, they have seen 5 people come to faith and are continuing discipleship with them. Roni led worship that day and our dear brother gave a great sermon on Jesus’s life & death. We always love our time with these friends and never want to leave. We are planning to visit them again in the near future. 

God is working through our friends in such incredible ways, but, it’s not easy for them to be the only workers there. Their city has a population of over two hundred thousand people. Please pray that God would call others to this city to work alongside them. 

In my last update, I mentioned a guy who Roni has been discipling; he’s learning more and more about what it means to follow Jesus. We found out that it’s not only his father who has been a religious leader in a mosque. He actually comes from many generations of religious leaders. What an amazing miracle—the Lord has been drawing this man to Himself! He’s counted the cost and decided to follow Jesus and is now on the journey towards getting baptized.

He has become a good friend, not only to us, but to others within our church. Since making the decision to follow Jesus he now recognizes the responsibility he has as a believer to share the good news with others, just like you and I. He shared with a coworker of his who then prayed about a specific issue she was having in the workplace. The next day the issue was taken care of and she knew it was because she had prayed. Soon after, she also made the decision to follow Jesus.

Our friend has been bringing her to our church and young adult group. I can already tell we will be good friends. This has been so encouraging for my own faith and I hope it encourages you too! We are seeing God at work here in such beautiful ways.  

Please pray for our new brother and sister. Pray that our friend would continue to walk in boldness as he shares with those around him. Pray that as our new sister has seen her own prayers answered that she would have the courage to pray for others and encourage them to pray to Jesus as well. 

This past month I had the joy of meeting up with a friend we have been discipling. Generally, we meet as couples since she is engaged to be married. However, her fiancé is not as open to the Lord as she is. We had a great conversation, just the two of us, and we both agreed we need to do this more. I mentioned to her that I would love to study the bible with her again. She agreed and is looking forward to starting our study. 

Please pray that in the midst of her crazy work schedule and wedding preparations, that we would be able to meet and study the word together. 

A few months ago a friend and I started a community group with some believers who also attend our church. As of now, we have a mixed group of workers and locals who, like us, do not have teammates in our city.

We have enjoyed getting to know one another through worship, prayer, communion, times of fellowship, and playing games. This past week at community group a friend of ours shared a testimony with us—she has recently moved here as a student at one of the universities in the city.

Our friend has the unique privilege of not only studying herself but also being able to share with those around her. What better way to reach students than to be one yourself? She has already had the opportunity to start a weekly bible study with some of her classmates.

This past week she was with a friend who had not yet shown interest in coming to her bible study. However, since they were spending time together beforehand, she and some friends were on their way to meet and they invited this friend to come. To their surprise, he joined! Our friend said it was so encouraging to hear what he was learning about Jesus as they studied the scriptures together. 

Please pray for our friend as she leads this study on her campus. Pray that as people join they would be touched by the Holy Spirit and their hearts would be open to hear & believe the good news. 

Our church has started a new ministry working with refugees. We have both local language and English classes a couple of days a week for Afghanis and Iranians. A good friend of mine is in charge of the English classes and I have been able to help as an assistant, I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Since living here, I have realized that there are other common languages spoken here. One of those being Farsi. Since I have studied Farsi in the past it has been so fun to understand some of the things they are saying in their native language. 

Since this is such a new ministry please pray for wisdom for my friends as they lead this. Pray that our relationships with the students would grow.

I celebrated my birthday, which was a lot of fun. Roni & I spent the day together doing all of my favorite things, and later, we met up with friends for a lovely birthday supper and cake. Even in the midst of celebration, I have been reminded once again about the cost of living overseas.

A few weeks ago my grandma passed away. Six days later my grandpa passed away. Whenever someone passes away it is hard to not grieve with my family and friends who are also grieving. Distance can be really challenging at times. These are costs that you do not fully understand until you are living it out. I have had to miss funerals, weddings, and watching my dear friends become parents. All of these life changes are so hard to not be a part of. 

Life is constantly changing, and it has been difficult to find our footing. We were recently rejected for Roni’s second attempt at a Canada visa. Once again we find ourselves at a loss with what to do next. If we were to have received this visa we would have been planning a trip home for Christmas.

This will be my seventh Christmas away from my Canadian family and friends. I was devastated; we have planned and canceled three Canada trips now. Every time we experience a visa rejection I feel like my dreams are being snatched from me. Dreams of Roni finally meeting my family and friends, having a Canadian wedding, showing him my own culture, and of course taking him to Tim Hortons.

In the midst of all this, we were notified by our landlord that he plans to sell our apartment and we must now start the process of searching for a new place to live. 

Please pray as we are once again faced with what our next steps should be. We are taking time to pray through the different options in front of us. 

Please pray as I am currently without a passport and hope to receive it soon—this would give me the freedom to travel back solo if I need to do that in the future.  

Pray for wisdom as we look for a new apartment. The economy here is crashing and the cost of living has increased drastically. As of now, we can not afford to remain in the same neighborhood.

As always we would love to hear from you!

Thank you all so much for partnering with us as we do the work the Lord has called us to. We could not do this without you!

Sue & Roni