“And we know that in all things God works for the good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom 8:28 NIV
When we started this journey, we went into it knowing that many things were uncertain. We followed God’s leading and believed everything would work out. That being said, we realize that God doesn’t often let us see very far down the path when He shines the light on the next step for us to take.
Due to the changes in leadership and Mission ONE’s refined vision going forward, as well as the continued lack of full funding, my position (Bill) has been eliminated. Mission ONE has extended my employment through June and offered a severance to make this difficult transition as easy as possible. I will continue to work with our national partners on their missional business projects during this time.
This is a distressing turn of events. However, Patricia has been asked to stay and continue in her role at Mission ONE. (I have written many times in our reports how she has become a very valuable asset to the ministry.) We are unable to know how this will play out in the days ahead as we seek God for His plan and guidance. Patricia is filling a position at the ministry which is paid out of a different fund, therefore your financial support will no longer be necessary beyond June.Please note, however, that we would ask our monthly donors to continue with your regular recurring donations through June so that Mission ONE is able to pay my salary through the remaining months.
Please keep us in your prayers as our lives are entering a season of change again and we have so many questions. Here is another opportunity for us to grow in faith and in TRUST in our Father. We stepped forward in faith to join Mission ONE with no “plan B”. I’ll be looking for another mission organization who can use my experience in business and administration to serve the spread of the gospel on the foreign field. I’m also open to employment/business opportunities if that’s God’s will. I’m revamping my resume and am open to ideas and help. I am putting this before you, Friends, for prayer and counsel, so please don’t be shy in contacting us. We believe that it was the Lord who opened this path for us to move to Arizona – so we are willing to consider that He might still have a reason for us to be here longer. But of course, Florida is home and we’d gladly follow an open door back there as well. Or is there a “door number 3” that we have no idea of yet?!
I know we say this all the time, but it’s true. We are grateful beyond words for your love and friendship, financial and emotional support, prayer, and the encouraging words spoken into our lives. We hold you in our hearts and cherish the unique relationships we have with each of you.
In our last update, I promised to give you news from Ethiopia. Brother Negash is our team leader there, and he sent us several good reports over the last few weeks. Here are some excerpts:
“On Saturday, October 27th, 99 people were baptized for His glory! … The baptism work was amazing and the first of its kind since we started to work with these churches in the countryside…the ministers in the area have done their best in teaching and visiting, truly giving themselves to His people.”
“In Senkele,16 people were baptized at the Alito River which is about a 30-minute walk from the church. Members of the church along with the new converts were singing in their going and coming from the river and people were watching from the fields and their homes. It was a great witnessing of the gospel to those who were watching.”
“The second baptism was on Sunday morning the 28th in the river called Teji and the number of baptisms was 83 from 2 churches, Kule Gefersa, and Demu KHC. Those baptized were between the ages of 11-60, and among these, two of the men were in witchcraft and one young lady is deaf.”
“Here is a photo from another baptism we just had on November 11th, at a place called Buni. We baptized 38 people and it was amazing. Four ladies and one young boy were also freed from demonic power.”
“Three weeks ago we had 16 baptized at Burayu Prison! Since I started the prison ministry this was the third baptism we’ve had! “
“Love you all and pray the Lord will keep us connected in doing His work to make a difference in the lives of the lost.”
PRAISE GOD!! This is just one small part of how He is using our Mission ONE family for His purposes and glory among the nations!
In addition to the above field reports, Bill had the honor and opportunity to speak in a panel discussion at the New Zeal Missions Conference in Phoenix on the 10th of November. The purpose of the conference was to connect churches, cultures, and people from across the Phoenix valley and discuss their personal experience and challenges with reaching people for Christ within their sphere of influence. We felt God’s Spirit that evening and look forward to more local opportunities like this. Bill will be meeting with the coordinator of the conference to assist with the planning of future events.
(See more pictures below)
**Please keep us in prayer for God’s provision through our end-of-year fundraising efforts. **
Thank you for partnering with us. I’m truly humbled by your devotion to the work of the Lord, and it keeps me mindful and diligent, knowing that I’m not alone and all of you are in this with us for the sake of the Gospel. Thank you also for all of your prayers and praises in response to our last report on our Africa trip.
Psalm 118:23 “This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.”
Overseas travel like that will comprise a small percentage of our time. As Mission ONE staff, we are engaged in what one would call, “day to day ministry operations”, which amounts to pretty much what anyone else does who works in an office. We drive 17 miles to work daily on a very busy freeway. We arrive at the office, make our coffee and work in front of a computer. What we both do encompasses all the necessary background work toward accomplishing a greater goal, so today I’d like to give you an inside look at our tasks:
Patricia’s Role — I’m not being biased when I say that Patricia is a tremendous blessing to Mission ONE. She has dug-in and quickly learned the complex donor software that is NOT user-friendly. Beyond all the data entry, she spontaneously writes-to and calls donors to bless and pray with them. She invites people into the Mission ONE office to know us and pray with us. In addition, she has enriched the long-established Mission ONE habit of weekly prayer time. After our trip to Africa, she initiated the change to begin to include all our overseas partners. Her heart was for them to also have the joy and honor of
reciprocating in praying for the requests of our staff and board as we intercede for them. She has enjoyed seeing the fruit of this through many grateful and supportive emails from our frontline partners who have been tremendously blessed by her prayer initiative. We are all well-aware of the strategies of the enemy, so having everyone closely associated with the ministry praying with and for each other is powerful and Spirit-inspired.
It’s the regular communications from the partner ministries for whom Mission ONE exists that encourage and inspire us the most. For example, above, is a new church building going up for a new church plant in Ethiopia. We have been praying and trusting the Lord along with them for this blessing. (Next month I’ll be writing more about how the Lord is moving in Ethiopia!)
Patricia communicates regularly with each partner overseas and uses her skills to edit and enhance the photos and reports we get from them. “Why do they need editing?”, you might ask? Well, besides security concerns, most are in broken English and she must work hard to discern meaning and reword them for proper communication and context before they are sent to the friends and supporters who ultimately receive the reports. She also edits anything from emails to webinar materials for all of us, and handles the fulfillment of all orders of Mission ONE teaching materials. She answers the phone and takes care of daily office operations and supplies. (And… she bakes scones for the staff regularly!)
Bill’s Role —
My duties include: reviewing partner Missional Business plans, Communications, IT and social media. I do a lot of planning and strategizing with others to bring the vision and faces of Mission ONE to the public. I study communication metrics to determine the best platforms to use for how and what we are communicating. I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with Werner Mischke, the author of “The Global Gospel” book and helped facilitate his webinar series. What an experience and honor it was to host a webinar and communicate with mission leaders and missionaries from all over the world!
Most recently I’ve worked together with IBEC Ventures to complete a business plan for our partner in India, HBI (Hindustan Bible Institute). This included several meetings at 5 am! I discovered I can be remarkably on task at that hour, much to my surprise. Now I’m communicating with a pastor in Kenya and beginning the missional business plan for his ministry. I expect to do more traveling, as needed, to assist our partners with these matters.
• Patricia’s brother in-law, Dale, just went to be with Jesus. Please pray for the family during this difficult season of loss and change.
• Please pray for our time management in general as there’s more work to do than we have time for and we need to remember to rely on each other more and unplug when necessary.
• Pray for all the decisions and relationships involved in settling into life in Arizona.
• Pray that we reach our full support goal soon, so we can not only stay at Mission ONE, but be able to travel and fulfill all our ministry duties. We will be flying home to Florida in October to have some key meetings and hope to be fully-funded upon our return. Pray for new connections, miracles, and like-hearted people to join our support team.
At 9am in Phoenix, we headed for the airport with our own luggage plus 150 lbs. of textiles for a women’s sewing school in Kijabi, Kenya. 28 hours later, grateful and bedraggled, we arrived at our final destination in Limuru, Kenya.
Please look through our photo-journal below! Click on any photo to see it full-size.
Mission ONE had organized a retreat for our native pastors in Africa and their spouses, to provide marriage enrichment teaching and a time of spiritual/personal renewal. The work of the ministry puts serious strain on even healthy marital relationships. Increased ministry and fruitfulness leads to more “busy-ness”, and spreading the Gospel among unreached and unevangelized peoples draws the attacks of the devil and increased spiritual warfare.
The trip to Kenya was everything we’d hoped it would be and more. This was my (Bill’s) second time in Kenya with Mission ONE, however, it was Patricia’s first. I saw God at work in many ways, but first, was through my wife. I was able to witness first-hand her gift in cross-cultural communication as she related with our African partners. She connected easily at a heart-level with many of the pastors’ wives and was absolutely in her element. I was truly humbled by her ability and am inspired to grow in that area.
The second way I saw God at work was in the hearts and lives of the attendees. The group setting that Mission ONE’s founder, Bob Schindler, had wisely arranged, proved a safe place where they could openly share, discuss, and hear and learn from their spouses, one another, and the Lord. We witnessed sincere introspection, revelation, repentance, commitment to change, joy, worship, brotherly love, and mutual support among the partners in attendance. It was beautiful, and I was amazed to find that while we live in very different cultural and physical environments, their challenges in marital dynamics and communication are the same as ours.
Here are a few of the comments we received from those in attendance –
“Thank you so much for the privilege you offered to us in the marriage retreat. Thank you for the teachings. We thank God. We had a good time with my husband. To speak truthfully, we lack such moments. I realized we somehow always give time to the ministry and the church, and don’t get our own time as a husband and a wife. And each one of us just lives in our own world! I thank God that I realized that is not the way. We are now trying to find at least one hour in week for us to pray and talk together.”
“We praise God for the marriage retreat which went well. My wife and I appreciate your concern for marriage couples. Devil knows difficulties of struggles of two people to live together, wife and husband. He knows their weaknesses and problems. As a result, he anticipates continual attacks in these areas so [they] surrender to his will by either terminating the marriage or live in hateful life that grieves the Holy Spirit. We have benefited a lot from your teachings and we continue to submit our lives at Jesus’s feet in repentance. We are committed to do what is required of us as godly partners. May God bless you.”
We also met with each leader in attendance to discuss their missional business projects and the next steps forward together with Mission ONE. It was a very fruitful and productive time on many levels. We feel so grateful for the supportive role we have in the effective works being accomplished for the glory of the Lord through His faithful servants in Africa.
Below is a video of some in attendance who wanted to thank MissionONE and all donors for the privilege and blessing of the marriage retreat. And WE, too, are grateful for those of you who gave and prayed and who make our service through Mission ONE possible.
That all may know Him,
Bill & Patricia Kics
Brackenhurst Retreat Center-Limuru, Kenya
Severino and Rose from S. Sudan (EFCSS)
Bob Schindler teaching during the retreat
Pastor Hannington and wife Agnes from Kenya (MUPE)
Joseph & Gracia from Togo (AECM)
seeking God’s guidance and unity
Emmanuel & Janet from Kenya (MUPE)
Patricia with Gracia & son
Bill & Patricia with Idris & Mary from S. Sudan (ROM)
Long drive to Kijabe
Rough roads due to flooding
rough roads made worse after the flooding
Bill overlooking the Rift Valley
Visiting a Mission ONE ministry in Kijabe, Kenya – NEO Kenya
Farm for children’s feeding program
Farm for children’s feeding program
Patricia with Rahab & Eunice by the kitchen
Inside Rahab’s kitchen
Patricia feeding the littlest one
Roadside snapshots – Nairobi
roadside snapshots – Nairobi
school visit near Kisumu
Bob, Linda, and Bill with Kevin & Vincent in Kisumu
We leave today on a mission trip to Kenya.
The main purpose is a retreat to provide marriage enrichment and a time of spiritual/personal renewal for our native pastors in Africa and their spouses. Even if a marriage is relatively healthy, the work of the ministry puts serious strain on marital relationships. For example: increased ministry and fruitfulness leads to more “busy-ness;”; and spreading the Gospel among unreached and unevangelized peoples draws the attacks of the devil and increased spiritual warfare.
While Christian leaders in the West often have the opportunity and resources to get away, get rest, and receive counseling, key leaders in other lands do not have the ability or resources to do so. Please pray that this ministry week provides a significant impact on the lives and ministries of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ on the African continent. We will also have further discussions with each Mission ONE partner about their missional business projects and the sustainability issues that impact their ministries and communities.
We are trusting the Lord to provide the finances to cover our expenses for the trip. ($2000 remaining) And Mission ONE is trusting the Lord for financial partners to sponsor both this retreat and another in Ethiopia —transportation, lodging, food, conference facilities and other expenses for 30-35 couples from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Togo, as well as the Mission ONE leaders from the USA. The total need was $25,000. Approximately $9000 has already been raised, so the remaining need is $16,000.Will you prayerfully consider a generous investment either for our expenses, or toward the retreat expenses to bless/strengthen these servants of God in Africa?
We deeply appreciate your prayers and support for us and for these retreats.
*May the spirit of the Lord cover every aspect of this trip and may God be glorified.
Travel – Home AND Abroad
…in the next month! NEXT WEEK – SARASOTA!!
Patti’s siblings have arranged a mid-week family reunion during the week of April 14th and have graciously provided for us to come back home for a visit. We never thought we’d be back this soon! We’ll be at our home church, Calvary Chapel of Sarasota, at all services the weekend of April 21st and 22nd. We can’t wait to see everyone! We’ll be attending church at Faith Community Christian Fellowship in Nokomis the prior Sunday, April 15th, and will be fellowshipping with our Home Group at the Woodruff’s that evening. We expect to connect with our friends at the Superior Word at their Thursday evening service on the 19th. We would love to have a few share-gatherings to maximize time with as many as would want to meet up with us!
Please contact us to set something up. We will have Saturday night the 14th available, week nights, or even time for a few morning coffee dates. How about a group beach walk? The whole weekend of the 22nd and 23 is open as well. Dinner after Saturday service? Or First Watch after church Sunday?
MAY 1st, 2018 – KENYA!!
We’re going to Africa! Mission ONE has organized a gathering of all our national ministry leaders from Kenya, South Sudan, and Togo in a central location, to provide a time of training, enrichment, and personal renewal in a retreat setting for these who sacrifice so much for the sake of the Gospel. There will be training in Biblical marriage principles for their own strengthening and benefit as well as helping them be better equipped to help others. We will also be discussing their burgeoning missional business strategies and sustainability issues that impact their ministries.
We are so blessed to be able to have this opportunity so soon to be able to make personal connections with these brothers and sisters who we have upturned our lives to serve. Amazing.
*Thank you for reading our news.
*Thank you for loving and supporting us. We need you.
*Thank you for praying and giving and texting and calling. We miss you.
If we don’t see you in Sarasota… => watch for our trip report upon our return in May!
From Patti: New norms. New laws… State taxes?! Ouch.
Giving up our Florida driver licenses and registrations => that really stung. We both hated no longer being Floridians on paper.
An Arizona license plate on my car. Ouch again. (but it’s BEAUTIFUL!)
We’re in a temporary rental situation. We signed a 14 mo lease until we know the area and get more settled and have a better understanding of where it will best suit us to live.
The first weekend we drove into town we found a fabulous church that resonated with our hearts. We have been attending and connecting there, but – it’s a 45 minute drive from where we currently live. So we’ll continue to seek God both about where to live and where to be a part of His community.
Bill’s not able to bike much yet. He’s been accustomed to riding to/from work, but now that is utterly impossible with big-city roadways and aggressive traffic. He is riding on his trainer in the garage for fitness, and we take exploratory rides together in safer places on the weekends. (as seen in many of his social media posts)
Grocery stores… farmers’ markets… mechanic… bank… post office… coffee shop… all gradually being discovered. One car to share. Adjustments to long-standing habits and compromise on needs/wants/schedules. Long commutes, alien landscape. We’re completely surrounded by mountains!WHAAT?! Sooooo surreal. But we love it. We marvel at them EVERYDAY and comment on the shadows and light that play on them…the shades of lavender in the evening… the endless miles of muted golds and browns and green… the sweeping vistas. You can see sooooo far! The cactus are all beginning to bloom now. There are so many different flowers in the desert! Who knew?! And don’t get us started about the SUNSETS. I didn’t think Siesta could be outdone – but boy, was I WRONG! BREATHTAKING and SPECTACULAR. Come visit and SEE!!
Working together in the same office… and both with SO much to learn! Fatigue. Satisfaction. Joy in serving. We feel incredibly grateful to be at Mission ONE, offering the things we can do to facilitate the spread of the Gospel on the other side of the globe. We love the staff we serve with – such integrity and faithfulness. We feel so honored to work side-by-side with them and learn from them and serve them. We feel loved and valued by them, and we see God knitting us together beautifully as a team and His hand at work among us. Praise the Lord.
From Bill: Patti and I are working hard (sometimes too hard?) and have to remember to unplug and relax. We’ve yet to explore the beauty and sights of Arizona at all except for the few local bike rides she mentioned.
I’m really enjoying learning more about Mission ONE’s ministry, even as it is evolving. We’re “steeping” in ministry history and reports from the overseas partners, as well as familiarizing ourselves with the training resources which have been produced for the Church. This training side of the ministry is really taking off in amazing ways. With the completion of the book,“The Global Gospel” and the production of an evangelistic Bible tract using the story of the Prodigal Son and the language of “Honor and Shame”, they are truly serving the Church at large. (“The Father’s Love” is available in multiple languages.) I’m seeing that an understanding of the concepts of Honor and Shame in Scripture is critical for today’s Christian, as it directly relates to the cultures and issues of today’s majority world. This curriculum can equip believers to effectively share the Gospel cross-culturally, both on the foreign field… and right here at home where the nations have come to us. I’ve been assisting with the logistics behind creating a webinar-based learning platform for this material which just began last week. (Click here for more info)
I’ve spent a lot of time integrating a new virtual office communication infrastructure for the Mission ONE staff and have high hopes for how this technology will help us moving forward to have an even more effective team. Whew! What a challenge that was as my knowledge (and patience!) were being stre-e-e-tched! I’ve also been privileged to be involved in weekly early morning Skype meetings with one of our native pastors in India, regarding the development of his missional business plan.
Then there’s Patti’s work. I can’t begin to tell you what a blessing she has been to Mission ONE already. She has already made such a difference with her administrative and relational skills and her heart for people that everyone he is breathing a sigh of relief that the Lord brought someone along of her capabilities. (Plus they enjoy her spoiling them regularly with homemade baked goods!)
Even though we’re not yet fully supported, we know without a doubt that God brought us here at the right time. Histime, for this season of Mission ONE’s story. But it’s all HISstory. And as Mission ONE always says – it’s all about,,, the STORY OF HIS GLORY.
So…. these are thoughts and snapshots of our experiences and feelings beginning this new life here in Arizona. It’s so different. It’s so challenging. And we trust it will be so fruitful in whatever ways God intends…as we remain faithful and TRUST… and, “do the next thing”. (Remember that poem we love? It’s on the blog.)
So that catches you up-to-date. Stay tuned tomorrow for the “BIG NEWS” of what lies immediately ahead.
The POD with our belongings arrived at our new rental townhouse on December 9th and we have been hard at work to settle-in to our new surroundings, despite complications and both of us getting hit hard with the flu! We both begin our new work schedules with Mission ONE on Tuesday!
As we say “goodbye” to 2017, we want to do more than just make a “wish” for your coming year to be “HAPPY”. We will close the year today, Dec. 31st, praying for each of you reading this, you who have impacted our lives, whether new relationships, or those with rich personal history, and even those we haven’t yet met but who have connected with us through social media. And particularly – for those of you who have become a part of our team, financially contributing toward our support. These two Sarasota natives are so thankful that you have chosen to give to the Kingdom – through us – and we can confidently say that your contributions will keep-on giving to further the saving work of the Gospel of Jesus in people’s lives in many regions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. What an amazing thought… that we can truly make an eternal impact so far away through our prayers and giving and efforts on this side of the globe.
So, instead of just wishing you well… we will pray Scripture over you:
We ask for God’s blessing on you and your families, and on all your work, and in everything you undertake that is pleasing to the Lord.
We pray for a hunger and thirst to know Christ more and for His Word.
We pray for sensitivity and obedience to the Holy Spirit.
We pray for fruitfulness and that you would be the fragrance of Christ to those around you.
We pray the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow withhope and gratitude and grace by the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask God to give you wisdom, a love for the things of God and a hatred of all that displeases Him.
We pray that in all you are facing in your life that you will be strengthened by His Spirit so that you may have great endurance and patience, and may joyfully give thanks to the Father.
We pray that you will not be anxious about the things in this life, but that you will choose wisely what you allow your mind to think-on, and that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We would desire the same prayers on our behalf, so that we may all be equipped for whatever 2018 may bring our way. May we all be good stewards of our gifts and resources and finances and time; and may we all be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, and worthy ambassadors for the name of Jesus.
Most of our friends have followed our pictorial journal via our Facebook page, but here is the full recounting of the last 2 months because – many asked for details! We packed up our belongings, and despite several setbacks, the POD was shipped out on October 23rd, bound for Arizona. (1) We weren’t able to fit everything in the POD, so our departure was delayed while we struggled to make other arrangements. Our generous friend, Nancy, in Sarasota, opened her home to us to stay several nights. ♥ Our lengthy journey began with a late evening departure on the 25th and we drove through the night to Atlanta. Bill’s daughter (2) and sister live there, and we were hosted by Patricia’s closest friend and her family who provided a joyful respite from the stresses and work of moving. We then traveled back south to Tallahassee to visit Patricia’s sister, Carol, and her husband.
(With whom, as a side-note, Bill attended the Global Leadership Summit earlier in the month. He highly recommends attending this event!)
We shared a brief visit with Carol’s son who is a pastor and is starting a church plant in downtown Tallahassee. They are currently meeting in a coffee shop, and here’s where we give a shout-out to Redeye Coffee for their commitment in giving 100% of their net profits to world missions! The visit was, sadly, far too brief as we had to honor visiting hours at a nearby prison to see an incarcerated friend there.
We drove from there to the Pensacola area to spend a few days with other members of Carol’s family. One niece took us out for a delightful tour of the area and walk by the river, while the other provided us with gracious and generous hospitality in her home. What a joy to spend time with our great-nephews, attend one of their baseball games, and to be treated to a sunset boat ride by our nephew-by-love. (3)
From Pensacola we traveled through Alabama and Mississippi into Louisiana. (4) As we approached the New Orleans area, we were invited spontaneously to dinner and to spend the night by a former host and sponsor of Patricia during her many years of music ministry with the Celebrant Singers in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. What a special time for them to reminisce and share after so many years! We are so grateful for their provision and hospitality.
We were lovingly sent on our way to our next planned destination – Houston, Texas (5) to spend time with another of Patricia’s past host families from those years on the road. Those on Facebook may sometimes see comments from someone who refers to herself as “your Texas Mom”. She and Patricia enjoyed a trip down memory lane as well as sweet memories of her late husband. We were also given a tour of the devastation caused by hurricane Harvey. It was hard to comprehend as we drove through some areas that the water level at that time had risen to 10 feet above the road we were on!
From Houston we headed north to Dallas. There, Patricia got to visit the Bible college she had attended after high school, Christ for the Nations.
She holds precious memories from those years of her growth in Christ and the deep relationships forged with her roommates. This seems hard to believe, but the campus really hadn’t changed much in appearance at all! They did add a
FABULOUS Earth History Center to the campus, which is actually a museum celebrating the Biblical account of creation. (6) We were blessed to “just happen” to run into one of the men to whom God gave the vision for the museum and he took the time after- hours to share details with us and even to pray and speak an inspired word over us. We were enriched and deeply encouraged.We then drove just north to
McKinney to reconnect spontaneously with one of those Bible college roommates who Patricia hadn’t seen in…. over 30 years. (7) (uh – for the record – that’s frightening to recognize and say!) We cannot say enough about how we were able to rest our bodies and souls with these friends. In addition to their offering us a place to stay, they gave us the gifts of time and space and freedom to rest and really unwind. Patricia was even able to cook quite a bit, which you all must know she LOVED after being out of her kitchen for so long! One night turned into three… with blessed sharing of hearts and stories and trials… and prayer. It was ALL GOOD.
Then came the looooong hours past the windmills and cotton fields of Texas. (8) We had no personal connections for places to stay in the direction we were headed. So we reached out to the body of Christ and were connected with a man in Lubbock who is part of the online body of The Superior Word church in Sarasota. God had a good reason to connect the threads of our lives in His tapestry that day. Then through him and an anonymous
donor, hotel arrangements were made for us right there in Lubbock. We were very grateful and enjoyed a “date night” together that evening. We really liked what we saw of the town and were sad to have to be on our way the next day. (9)
That day again brought the question of where we would be sleeping as we traversed New
Mexico! (10) And, again, the Lord provided through the family of Christ. A kind couple, friends of friends, provided us with dinner as well as a place to sleep for the night. The mountains and vistas in Las Cruces were breathtaking and we saw coyote and hawks and a fox along the route.
We left the next day on our final leg of the
journey (11) and arrived in Phoenix on the evening of November 8th after a very long drive and a stop for dinner in Tucson. We were lovingly received by the Founder of Mission ONE and his wife and stayed in their home for the next couple of days. The Mission ONE staff also received us with open arms and hearts and held a special welcome lunch for us.
Here we have to also marvel at God’s provision while we began the search for our new place of residence. First, Mission ONE was given the provision to put us up in a hotel as needed through the end of the month. Then, life-long
friends of Patricia’s sister, Donna, live in Chandler, just south of Phoenix, and they made themselves completely available to us for help in any way needed as we walked through those challenging days. They gave us complete access to their home to come and go… cook in their kitchen… invade their hearts and lives! We love you, Don and Regina! They gave us counsel… rest… love… and constant encouragement. We
never could have anticipated that our house-hunt would require so much time and energy. The rental housing market here is extremely difficult right now, and finding housing that fit our furniture and met our needs proved to be exhausting, frustrating and challenging. However, there were many blessings at the same time. We enjoyed great times of fellowship and bonding with ministry leadership… We were included in the Schindler family Thanksgiving celebration… Patricia found creative ways to cook some of our favorite comfort food in the hotel room (12) and we attended home group and church services with Don and Regina at Evident Life Church in Gilbert. (13, 14) We immediately felt connected there and were deeply blessed and ministered to by the fellowship, the worship and the teaching of the Word. We love the vision of the church, “A
people of PRAYER, pursuing God, and loving others.” and our hearts resonated with all that we heard as we attended 2 sessions with the pastor to dig-deeper. We would love to make Evident Life our local church home, but the place we have found to live – is 41 miles northwest of there! So… we need to know God’s plan in this… where He wants to connect and grow and serve. We are willing – but it’s hard to be super-involved as we’re used to when it takes an hour to get there!
We stayed with our friends in Chandler the first week of December from the time our hotel stay ended until we were able to find an adequate place to rent. Evident Life sent a team of men to help Bill unload the POD and carry furniture up FOUR FLIGHTS OF STAIRS into the townhouse! (15) God is GOOD and we are so grateful for the assistance of the
body of Christ both here, and all along the way as we’ve been on this journey. While there will be no Christmas decorations for us this year as we unpack, we were able to enjoy the beauty of tree and lights at our temporary home with Don and Regina and we shared a beautiful Christmas dinner and celebration evening with the staff from MissionONE. We are SOOO READY to cease being transient and to get settled and really begin this new chapter in our lives here in Arizona! Our hearts and bodies are weary… but expectant.
For all the above…. WE ARE THANKFUL.
To the thoughtful friends and members of our home church body at Calvary Chapel Sarasota who sent us Christmas cards to our new address – you brought us tears of joy and a breeze of Sarasota air. (If only some MOISTURE could have come with it!)
Pastor Carl and Pastor Jim – Calvary Chapel Sarasota – your encouragement of us from the start to follow this path meant so much; your prayers and counsel and financial support have been inspirational.
Charlie Garrett – Superior Word church – your support has been avid, and persistent, and astonishing, a real lifeline and a transfusion of encouragement to us.
Chris and Kristan Thostensen – Faith Community Christian Fellowship – you have become true friends and have endeared yourselves deeply into our hearts. We are profoundly moved by your coming to our home to pray over us, for the last-minute details you took care-of for us, and for the TIME and HEART-SHARING you poured into us.
This has not been a comfortable transition, but in obedience to God – we press onward in this new venture, despite the adversity already encountered and the inevitable that will come. As our founder at Mission ONE always says – “God is WITH US and FOR US.”