The October Update
Our Support: We got the great news that our church will support us. This is a direct answer to a prayer request we listed last month and adds one more bit of validation that this is God’s plan for us.
The house: as I mentioned last month, we were starting the “minor” upgrade to our master bath. I had hoped to avoid doing any of the work myself, but I am currently in the middle of painting the walls, much to my dismay. Then we will replace some carpet and paint a few other walls on the main floor that need to be painted, too. Plus, I’m sure we will find other items that need to be “touched up.” Ugggghhhh!!!!!!
We are still planning to put it on the market in mid-January or early February so these projects need to be completed soon.
Our Dog: I wouldn’t normally include Riley in the letter, but she is a concern we have. She will not be able to make the move and therefore we will need to find her a new home before we leave. She is 12 years old and she is not aging well. We really hope that whoever buys the house will allow her to stay.
Our New Home (?): We have been looking more intently at apartments/houses for rent in Norway. All rentals are handled on-line so we are able to shop from our living room. We can see indoor as well as outdoor pictures. We can also see them on the map so we know how far they are from the office. Some have amazing views which we are excited about, but trying to visualize 90 square meters (or less) is somewhat challenging.
Dave’s Trip: Oct 23-Nov 2 I attended a forum in Greece with representatives from the OM offices in Europe. This was a great opportunity to share ideas and have discussions concerning the processes each office uses for their short-term applicants. It also gave me the opportunity to negotiate some new procedures that will allow our office to work more efficiently in the future. Without getting into the boring details, the new procedures will allow our office to reduce the application deadline from 90 days to 45 days. This will result in more people being able to apply and that means more folks going to the nations. This is a tremendous benefit to my team and to the Kingdom work that is done overseas.
An unexpected benefit of the trip was that I was able to start networking with the people I will be working more closely with when we move to Norway. We plan for Jo to attend a similar meeting in Belgium in March so that she can also get a better understanding of the role that is awaiting her in Norway. Hopefully, she will gain as much from her time as I did from mine.
The forum was hosted by the OM Greece office and we were able to spend a day participating in some of their on-going ministries. I chose to visit the red-light district in Athens on a prayer walk because I wanted to see for myself what that world is like. We didn’t see any women on the streets because they are kept in brothels. The brothels are identified by a single light over or near the door. These doors were always steel and most of them were closed with a buzzer near-by. The ones that were open revealed a dark hallway with another door further in. The buildings were usually 2-3 floors and the windows of the upper floors were always boarded over. As I looked at the buildings I had the sense of a prison which is exactly what the brothels represented. The only difference is that prisons are full of guilty people and these brothels are full of innocent victims who have been forced into this life by human-traffickers who prey on their poverty and fear of being deported.
Even though these buildings were not in a “good” part of town, there were still people on the streets and there were businesses that were open. It grieved me that these dark worlds of depravity were tolerated in the middle of normal life. But then I realized that even though the “sin” might be different, depravity is present in every corner of normal life. But, this particular blight on humanity is especially offensive because it treats other human beings as property that is bought and sold on a whim.
I would encourage each of you to get involved in the fight against human trafficking through OM’s ministry created specifically for this purpose called Freedom Climb http://www.thefreedomclimb.net or there are other organizations listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organizations_that_combat_human_trafficking
The Departure: As of today, there are 200 days until our projected departure date of June 1. As we have said from the beginning of this journey, we are excited and scared at the same time. We are looking forward to having a great holiday season with our girls, but at the same time we know this won’t happen again for a few years. We know God has ordained all of this, but the eventual “goodbyes” will almost certainly be very difficult. We are resting in the assurance that the Lord isn’t just taking care of us, but He’s taking care of our children, as well. As we move closer to our departure, we are living out 1 Peter 5:7 which invites us to cast all of our anxiety on Him, because He cares for us. Would you pray for us to keep that verse in the forefront of our minds?