Dear faithful pray-ers,
We’ve been thinking . . . . In the midst of crisis, it seems that sometimes we concentrate prayer on the main person in pain but forget about those in the shadows, the “hidden sufferers” whose pain is also very great. We’d like to introduce you to a few (some names changed), so you can pray for them.
* Local friends/colleagues left behind in our country of service
The threat of COVID-19 (linked with the ongoing insecurity in the country) meant that the majority of our expatriate teammates evacuated to their passport countries last month. That left some office employees like “Mary,” who faithfully carries out her duties day after day in an almost empty building, feeling quite isolated. Her work is critical for the group’s ongoing ministry in the country, but she is very relational and is now almost alone every day. It’s hard for her to feel a part of a team that doesn’t seem to exist any more. Pray for God’s encouragement for these faithful Kingdom workers in a lonely environment.
* Missionary Kids (MKs)
Our coworkers are feeling the loss of ministry and home, but their children may not always be able or willing to express their losses and griefs. For instance, “Ivan” has already suffered a number of significant losses in his young life. His family has had to move numerous times in the last several years (and now once again), he’s had several friends move away, and he also lost a beloved pet not long ago. He didn’t choose the life of a missionary kid, but he has to live with the reality of relentless goodbyes and many, many disappointments. Pray for these young ones to grow in knowing Jesus as their Refuge, the One whose love is steadfast and who will never leave them.
* Siblings of a cancer patient
Younger siblings may not always be able to understand or express their feelings at the way their lives have been turned upside down because of their oldest brother’s cancer and prognosis, and now the “social distancing” of COVID-19 is added to that. Any terminal illness deeply affects the entire family (and beyond). Lydia and Thomas miss Samuel being able to throw a football with them, Anna and Rachel have had to adapt to their big brother being physically confined to his wheelchair, and how can one explain to two-year-old Joshua why people don’t hug him as much these days?! When you pray for Samuel, please pray also for his younger brothers and sisters.
Samuel is fairly stable right now. He is able to do some school work, plays a lot of chess (often on-line with people here and there), and enjoys playing games with his family. However, it’s hard for him not being able to run around and play outside as he used to. He is taking a medication that we hope is slowing down the growth of the tumor. Brent is working again after a two-week home leave. Susan was sick for a few days, but recovered quickly, and the family seems to be doing okay health-wise. We are grateful to the Lord for the daily wisdom and help He is giving Brent and Susan in leading their family and keeping things as normal as possible.
Jeremie & Crista just suffered a miscarriage (their second). That loss hit them hard, but God is enabling them to look UP in the midst of their distress. We were touched by what they have shared with friends: “Without my faith in Jesus, I would have no hope, and I would still be depressed. . . . My prayer is that God uses this situation to bring someone into a relationship with Him. That they would come to know His love and peace and the hope we have in Him.” (Crista) / “We know God has a purpose for this, and we long to see him glorified even in the midst of our pain, confusion, and yes, anger.” (Jeremie)
George’s brother Hal has a recently-discovered tumor on the base of his spine causing lower back pain. He will continue the immunotherapy treatment he has started for now. If at the next scan there is no progress against the tumors, they will discontinue the therapy. We appreciate your ongoing prayer for the whole family facing this long-running crisis. Again, remember the “hidden sufferers” – his wife Martha and their teen-aged children.
Thank you to so many of you who have reached out to us with friendship, prayer, encouragement, a listening ear and caring heart. We are strengthened by your support.
One of our “golden nuggets” of Scriptural comfort . . .
“‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,
BUT My steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,’
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isa. 54:10)
May you be blessed as well by our Faithful God,
George & Kathy
P.S. Our activities these days have included a fair number of virtual meetings, and many phone calls, WhatsApp calls, email messages, etc., reaching out to teammates and others, some with serious needs. We’ll be hosting a meeting for our team soon, hoping to reunite those who have been scattered, for a time of sharing and prayer. Thanks for praying.