In Global Stories

It is hard for me to imagine that spring is nearly upon us. Life has been flying right by, and we are trying not to blink.

The last few months have been filled; filled with new challenges and touched with grief, yet overflowing with ample grace and fresh joy. We are so grateful for the Lord’s tender loving care, especially when we are most bruised. We are thankful for His presence and steadfast help in every season.

Our hearts echo the words of the Psalmist, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence…’

Our motto for this season of our lives is ‘Faithful’

Faithful to Jesus and faithful to the call that He has placed on our lives. We want to be found obedient to Him in everything, with our eyes and hearts steadfastly fixed on Him. To that end, we have discovered that a lot of our work isn’t glamorous, but it does need to get done, and done faithfully. Many days are spent following up via text message or in person with those who have expressed interest in the gospel. Some days it feels as if lasting fruit is a distant hope, but we press on trusting Jesus to do the work and to soften our hearts to more of what He has.

We are grateful over these last couple of months that Dave has been able to start a regular Bible study with one of our new believers. We continue to pray for his wife, who hasn’t yet committed to following Jesus.

We are grateful that Dave has increasing favor in relationships that he has been slowly building over the last 6.5 years, and that he has been given a place recently where one friend has asked him for a Bible. He delivered!

We are grateful that even in this chaotic season with a new baby, the Lord continues to hold open a door for Erin to do the work God has called her to. A conversation about the Lord and His Word can still be had via text or in person with a sleeping baby in tow or resting in her arms.

We are grateful for the meetings that are being arranged this week with the new organization we are partnering with, with those that are interested in hearing more about the Lord, and are looking forward to seeing how God will show up.

We are grateful that the Lord has given us favor in networking and building relationships with others; when we have been unable to meet with someone face to face the Lord has helped us place another who can do so.

We are grateful that over the last couple of months, the Lord has provided new workers, particularly local believers, to respond with us in the neighborhoods we are reaching out to. Working in a team together, for the sake of the Gospel, is a beautiful thing. 

Family Update

Sadly, Dave’s mom passed away in January. We narrowly missed being able to say goodbye to her in person, she had a stroke and passed four days before we were scheduled to land in Canada. However, we are so grateful for the opportunity to attend her funeral as a family, and even more so, for technology that enables us to still connect, especially during times like these.

It had been a few years since we had been to Canada, and most of our families had not yet met baby J. Although the reason for our return was quite sad and very short, we really enjoyed spending time with both of our families.

On a brighter note, we were absolutely thrilled to have Erin’s sister and her husband come visit us for Christmas. It was a real treat for them to come, and especially for almost two whole weeks during the Christmas season. The kids had their fill of games, opportunities to bond, and we loved showing them a little bit of our beautiful country and introducing them to our lives here.

Big J is growing up so fast and we are thoroughly enjoying him and who he is growing up to be. He is busy with all of his activities, school and sports especially, but the highlight of his week is still our Friday picnics at the park.

During one particular stretch of the pandemic, children were only allowed out of their apartments on Friday afternoons, yet were still not allowed on public transit. Our solution was to walk with picnic fixings to the local park and meet with another family there every Friday. Soon our two families became three, and then the three families became four, and here we are! Something really beautiful was birthed in the middle of a challenging time, and it has become one of our biggest gifts and absolute favorites.

Baby J has become our little wild man. He is into everything these days; crawling, pulling himself up to stand, and walking around furniture with help. He is enjoying trying solid foods and is more than pleased when people speak to him in the local language. He has quickly learned to follow the local tradition and culture, offering a second cheek for kisses if a friend kisses one. However, his favorite part of the day is when we pick up his big brother from school. 

Praise Reports

Everyone in our family has a passport and a residency permit! This is a huge answer to prayer, and we know that the Lord has moved mightily in making this happen. When Dave’s mom started to decline at a rapid pace, Dave and Baby J had no residency permits. We prayed, we fasted, and we were desperate for the Lord to move. Leaving without a residency permit would massively complicate and limit our chances to continue to reside here.

We decided to try to visit the immigration offices in person, explain our situation, and see if there was anything we could do. To make a long story short, we had success with Dave’s residency permit and decided to try the head office for Baby J’s. Somehow, despite all odds, we ended up at the ‘president of residency permits’ at the central office. We told our story and explained our situation. Baby J danced on his desk and flashed his best smile. He complimented our language skills and was pleased that the little blond foreign baby was born in his city. Tea was drunk. He told us to wait while he ordered someone to bring him Baby J’s file. 5 minutes later, not only were we given a temporary pass for travel, but his ENTIRE VISA APPLICATION WAS APPROVED.

The highlight however, was when we returned after the funeral. Our close Muslim friend asked how we were able to travel, and if we had been granted our visas. We recounted the long version of the story (ha!), and he then replied, ‘Wow. Clearly, the hand of Jesus was helping you. That could only be God.’

Prayer Requests

  • Health—for all four of us. This winter has seen us in and out of the emergency room more times than we’d prefer. Most recently, Baby J spent 5 hours on and off a nebulizer in the hospital after contracting a virus. 
  • Favor and a hedge of protection.
  • For Dave’s Bible studies and that our new believer would become a faithful disciple. Also, not only would his wife be favorable to his newfound faith, but that she would come to faith as well.
  • Erin has in-person meetings with those who are seeking and reading the Scriptures. It’s difficult to get to a place where women (in particular) are willing to meet face-to-face to discuss these things.

Dave & Erin