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Abounding in Hope - December 2020

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

~ Romans 15:13 ~

2020 was, to say the least, a difficult year. We have all been stretched and tried in ways we never imagined. As you know, 2021 has already presented many challenges. While countless changes surround us, our consistency and stability come from God’s character. No matter our circumstances and how arduous they seem, God is still the God of hope. This hope is not wishful thinking or an uncertain desire, but rather, a concrete security. In what? In God’s glory and control. In His salvation. In His Word. While life continues to change, the foundational truths of the believer’s life remain fixed and firm. Because of God’s character, we can have genuine joy and peace that causes us to abound in hope. May we take that hope and share it with a hopeless world.

The past month has been a whirlwind! Lisa graduated from the Intercultural Studies Program (ICS) on December 8th, then on the 9th, we left Texas for the cold north! We spent several days in Illinois, then we traveled to Pennsylvania for the holidays. We saw so many of God’s blessings last month - friends to help us pack and clean our apartment, safety in traveling, family time over the holidays, and the opportunity to connect with several supporting churches. It is hard to believe that, Lord-willing, we will arrive in Ecuador in just over a month!

If you follow our social media platforms, you know that on December 30th, Jeff underwent surgery to repair a double hernia. We are so thankful to the Lord for orchestrating our circumstances; we have seen His hand in so many ways. In spite of the holidays and the complications of COVID, Jeff was able to have surgery quickly. We are also thankful that the hernias occurred here in the US, rather than in Ecuador. While this was a large, unexpected expense for us, God has provided as only He can - above all that we can ask or think. Praise Him for His care and provision for us! Please pray for Jeff as he continues to recover, and for Lisa as she handles the bulk of packing. Jeff will not be able to lift anything over 25 pounds until mid-February.

Another item of prayer is for the required documentation for our visas. Due to COVID, government offices have minimal staffing, and there are many delays within the postal system. It is taking longer than expected to receive the proper documents. There are many steps in this process, and the documents are time sensitive. Please pray that the documents will arrive before we leave the country.

Initially, the doctor’s instructions stated that Jeff should not travel for 7-8 weeks after his surgery. However, we still plan to leave for Ecuador on February 17th. We continue to pray for wisdom and a good report from the doctor next week. You can find our current schedule HERE. Please note that the date of our commissioning service has changed to Sunday, February 14th at 5PM.

This month begins many goodbyes, or as some missionaries say, “see you laters.” We know that God has called us to Ecuador, and we are excited to live and minister there. However, we covet your prayers as we say some hard goodbyes over the next month.

Simon Says: Mommy and Daddy gave me a book about airplanes! They said that in February, we are going to go on a big adventure in a plane! I’m really excited about it! Last month I experienced snow for the first time. I love farm animals, and I was able to visit my great uncle Terry’s farm! It was so much fun!


Praise and Prayer:

1. Praise: God’s many blessings this month

2. Praise: God’s perfect timing and provision

3. Pray: Jeff’s recovery from surgery

4. Pray: Visa documentation

5. Pray: Packing and preparing to leave

For a printable PDF, please click HERE.


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