“And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!'” – 2 Chronicles 14:11
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. A lot has happened over the last few months. We see steady progress in our lives and ministry here in Athens, but we also observe forces that work against what we’re doing.
In our last update we asked for prayer for provision for plane tickets to visit California over the summer. A few days after that, we found really affordable tickets, and felt that God wanted us to purchase them. Two days later, the exact amount we needed appeared in our bank account from a church that supports us, letting us know that someone donated a large amount that they distributed evenly amongst all their missionaries. God is so good, and He anticipates our every need. Thank you for praying. We are almost finished with our travel schedule for our time in the States, and will post in our website soon, for those who want to see us when we come to their area.
Down But Not Out
The last few weeks both Kristin and I have been in a deep depression. Though we have seen God’s provision each and every time, we are still struggling to find a way to stay in the country. After meeting with our immigration lawyer, we learned that the best chance for us to get the only type of visa available to our family is to have €45,000 to put into a Greek bank account. Before meeting, we realized God had already provided €16,000 which was put into our account in December and January through one-time donations. That encouraged us that God already knew what our need would be before we did. That means we still have to raise €29,000, which still seems like a lot, but we know that our Heavenly Father is able to provide all that we need. If you are interested in how you can help, please check out this page for ready-made letters you can take to your pastor or friends.
After a time of prayer and consideration, seeking the Lord to know what He wanted us to do about our visas and our desire to move to a new neighborhood here in Athens, God showed us that He wants us here, and we need to keep working hard. The next day we were telling our neighbor (who is now a believer) that we will be moving in the fall to Kerameikos. She then told us about a dream she had. She told us that in the dream we were moving to another neighborhood and she was very sad, but happy for us. She told us that she believes that God gave her that dream for us. In a second dream that we feel accurately describes our ministry here in Athens, she was picking peaches off a tree with her brother, and the tree was overloaded with fruit. The branches were so heavy from all the peaches, that they were bowed and leaning toward the ground. But one branch had little tiny peaches that were growing very slowly. She felt that she was supposed to take care of it and to help it somehow. I immediately thought of our ministry, because God has called us to reach out and minister to those that no one else pays attention to. In missions it is easy to get caught up in numbers and results, and to ignore the slow-growing fruit, but that is our calling. Then yesterday, a brother sent me a link to this article, which encouraged me that this is what God wants. Here are two quotes that stirred my heart:
“The gospel is eternally serious business, inextricably tied to the glory of God and the destinies of real people. Given the stakes, there has been a good and right recovery of the urgent task to see the gospel go to the world’s hardest places and least-reached peoples. And yet if we’re not careful, I fear we will wrongly identify urgency with speed, failing to remember that a task can be urgent and yet demand a slow, methodical approach that thinks in years and decades instead of days and months.”
“We have a great gospel to proclaim to a needy world. But if we’re not careful, we will undermine its spread. If we don’t trust that God knows best how to protect and display his gospel—through sound churches pastored by men who, in appropriate ways in their contexts and settings, aren’t novices (1 Tim. 3:6)—then we will stunt true growth.”
Please continue to pray for our family and for the ministry here. We know that God has a plan, and we’re waiting to see what it is, trusting that He will work everything out according to His will.
Travis and family
1. For God’s provision and favor for our family.
2. For grace and compassion in the ministries where we work.
3. Health for all of us.
4. Encouragement through this time of trial.
6. Wisdom in planning our furlough.