On a recent Sunday morning, the message was from Matt. 9:18-34 — amazing miracles of healing for Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter, the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, two blind men, and a demon-oppressed mute man! No question of Jesus’ absolute power over disease, death, demons . . . and yet . . . He didn’t grant physical healing to our 12-year-old grandson, Samuel. Through tears the questions come, the hurt remains, we have no easy answers. But we bow before our God and choose to trust Him because we know Him to be sovereign and always good. Throughout the whole journey with Samuel, and continuing now on the road of dealing with the loss, “His mercies are new every morning.”
J. C. Ryle says: “Trials are intended to make us think — to wean us from the world — to send us to the Bible — to drive us to our knees. Health is a good thing, but sickness is far better if it leads us to God. . . . Anything, anything is better than living in carelessness and dying in sin.” Do we believe this? Do we desire to be like Christ enough to follow Him into suffering?
We do want to learn and grow, to be purged of the pettiness of life, to focus on what is eternal. So please keep praying for us, and for Brent & Susan and their children as well. Emotions ebb and flow, moods swing unpredictably, sometimes we feel very weak. But they and we ARE experiencing the truth that Christ is our Refuge, our true Help and Hope. He is enabling us all to take the next step, to lean on Him for the strength needed to move forward. Thank you for being part of His comfort and encouragement as we walk through this valley.
Please pray also for Hal (George’s brother) and Martha and their family. In their 13-year journey with his cancer, he has come back from many crises and God has done some amazing miracles. But they are at a difficult point right now, and we ask prayer for God’s special mercy for them at this time.
Meanwhile, even as these serious family situations remain a high priority for our time and involvement, we are trying to keep in touch with our SIM team members scattered in various countries. Some of the needs they are currently dealing with include death of a spouse, breast cancer, need for financial support, Covid restrictions, difficult decisions about if/when to return to the field, confusion and discouragement. There are also joys and victories, and God remains faithful through it all. Those still “on the ground” in our country (of service) carry on with outreach to children, teaching English, ministry to street women, and administration. Pray for strength, wisdom, and daily grace for these friends and colleagues.
And there are other needs around us, some close at hand and some far away . . . marriages struggling, resigned to much less than God intended, some broken by divorce; a friend whose son struggles with suicidal thoughts; deep discouragement and depression; young people wandering, rebellious, trying to do life on their own. Pray for the Spirit’s filling in our own hearts and that His love will overflow to others going through deep waters.
What about our future?
We aren’t in a position yet to make a decision about when a return to West Africa would be feasible, but we look to the Lord to light the way. We are open to the possibility of ministry trips after the first of the year, but for now family needs, training, and helping others around us occupy us fully. We are in the midst of some on-line training and are signed up again for the workshop in Colorado for debriefing children and families in December (the same workshop we pulled out of last year because of Samuel’s condition and family needs). Pray with us for God’s clear leading and timing for what lies ahead.
Thanks for your prayers. We’ve struggled to put this update together, feeling like our thoughts are quite muddled but wanting to communicate with you who faithfully stand with us through thick and thin. One thing is clear — we can’t do this alone! We need the Lord, we need prayer, we need you!
“May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (II Thess. 3:16)
With love and thanks to God for you,
George & Kathy