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Washer Woes

Would you pray for and/or offer advise on the following situation:

Around AD 2000 we bought a new Kenmore front-load washer, model #417.41042000. Until very recently, it has served us quite well.

But now we have an unsolved problem:
The washer runs through the full cycle, but in the spin cycle it only tumbles (no spin). This leaves a soggy, dripping mass to transfer to the dryer for an extended drying time. And of course laundry stacked up through Christmas.

So far I have considered these theories:

• Washer Pump Plugged or Bad
I checked first and verified that the washer drains swiftly. No apparent issue there. So I moved to the next point below. When that didn’t fix things I opened the pump and found nothing significant jamming it. Probably not the issue.

• Door Latch Mechanism Failure
I read that failure of the secondary door lock or related sensor could cause our exact symptoms. I took the part out, hooked it up to AC and tested it. Everything seemed OK, but I still thought this must be the problem, and the one tech I spoke with supported this theory. So I replaced this part for $90 from a “local” store an hour away. But the washer still is not working, so after opening the pump I moved to the next item.

• Broken Left Lower Shock Absorber
I considered that some sensor register the broken shock and not allow the spin cycle. But I tested this by reversing the shock absorber and holding it to the washer frame through a spin cycle. The spin never attempted and the shock never flinched. This doesn’t appear to be the problem.

• Faulty Water Pressure Sensor
I pulled this sensor, blew through the tube and heard light gurgling. There is no obvious blockage in the line. I’m not ready to replace this sensor yet.

• Motor Speed Board
We are probably ready to buy a new washer before trying this item with no certainty of repair ($160 from Amazon).

• Repair Service Options
Sears schedule appointments about 10 days out, and won’t quote an hourly rate. It costs $80 (non-refundable) to get them to your door, but this can apply to the service. Another service in town was scheduling just a few days out and starts at $140.

Is it time to get a new washer?

Thanks for your prayers!

A new chapter began in our life when our oldest daughter Joelle began college classes in the Fall of 2012. This past February we moved to Mount Vernon to be closer to the college.

Since our kids were born, Jackie’s primary ministry has been in our home. The fruit of her prayer and effort is most evident in the lives of our daughters: Joelle (17) and Dana (15).

Their lives reflect the application of insights we gleaned in 2011from Jeff Schadt’s extraordinary seminar: Crossing Thin Ice: Secrets of Influential Parenting.
(See my separate assessment of Jeff’s insights on our ministry site.)

In addition to coordinating home life and changing schedules, Jackie also plans and manages the continuing renovation of the home (and yard) we bought in February.

Baptism in the Skagit River

Joelle skipped her last two years of high school (through “Running Start”) and has been taking courses toward a nursing degree at Skagit Valley College. Last year she was taking a full course load at the college plus half-time at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy (NWCTA), where she trained to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

She passed her CNA test last month. She has been heavily involved in the Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) since she started taking college classes, and is now a worship leader and vice president of CCF. Joelle is too young for most nursing jobs, but landed her first part-time job in early November at Michaels, and is enjoying both the work and the reduction in her financial stress.

Dana is too young for the CNA program, but would like to attend next year. In the meantime she is taking two other NWCTA programs—Culinary Arts and Veterinary Assistant.

She is also involved with a local youth group, and earning and saving toward joining them on an outreach to Mexico in February. And she is preparing for a speech competition in which she plans to demonstrate a simple and enjoyable approach to talking with Muslims about Jesus. (We learned and used this approach during seven weeks in Madrid and Morocco this past summer.) Dana also landed her first part-time job in early November, at Dairy Queen.

Our family finances have been very tight for the past four months, and our daughter’s jobs will help us tremendously by reducing their dependence on us.

(In recent years I have been researching and exploring solutions to the limitations of “donation-only” missionary funding, and realized the importance of imparting an entrepreneurial spirit to our kids, and learning together how collaboration and teamwork can produce value for everyone involved.)

Wahi joined our family unexpectedly for the current school year. He is a Muslim high school exchange student from Yemen, and attends a local high school where his courses included advanced Math and AP Physics. We celebrated his 16th birthday last month. He is a joy to be around, and a great help in landscaping our new back yard. God is also guiding us in learning how to talk together about Jesus.


IMG_0439Wesley (12 with Down Syndrome) is a bit more challenging. Jackie has found home schooling him unexpectedly difficult, as he often resists the educational assignments she gives him. But his speech has improved significantly since we took him out of public school. And he can be very cooperative and helpful at times. We are trusting God to help us lead him to realize his full potential, and especially to know, trust and obey Jesus fully. Since his speech has improved so much, we decided to explore whether some public schooling would be helpful for him. We found a situation we are very happy about, and he is too. He has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, but eagerly runs to the bus when it arrives and comes home excited to read books with us, etc.

Robby is always thinking in bigger terms, both about how to advance Christ’s global cause and how to impart skills and perspective to our kids.

Since its founding eight years ago our ministry has mostly involved researching and reporting on paradigm shifts which have resulted in fruitful breakthroughs in “difficult” fields. The resulting insights have been shared with friends who lead a wide variety of mission agencies, and led to significant roles with Mission Frontiers as guest editor, assistant editor and contributing editor.

Recently Robby has observed that collaborative learning and action appear to be the greatest catalyst for such paradigm shifts. He has begun exploring how current and developing technology could be applied to accelerate the pace at which missionaries decide to learn and act together.

This has led to considering “What would it take to develop a growing on-line community dedicated to learning and acting together to finish discipling all nations?” He is now researching appropriate on-line tools and looking for others interested in working together toward this end.

Robby has also been exploring how to facilitate more constructive interaction over issues which divide the mission community, and envisioning this as another aspect of this on-line community.

The result of our season of research and reporting is that we are constantly challenged with how to steward “too many” significant opportunities and insights.

Out of this we sense God’s leading toward a transition

  • from Robby’s focus of the last eight years—on research, reporting and consulting,
  • to working with others to build a growing, collaborative on-line community.

We count on your prayers, collaboration and donations to empower us in “the good works God prepared in advance for us to walk in” (Eph 2:10).

If you resonate with our vision and calling, please email or call me: 360 420-5634.

We also count it a privilege to pray for you.
Email us, let us know how you are doing, and tell us how you would like us to pray for you.


Waiting for lunch in the medina (city center) of Fes.

Waiting for lunch in the medina (city center) of Fes.

Thank you for your prayers for our ministry in Europe and Africa.

Following is an abbreviated report.

— Answered Prayer

The day we flew to Spain we requested urgent prayer for a missed FedEx delivery of training materials we were to bring with us. That morning FedEx agreed to hold the box for our pickup at their office, which would have involved an hour detour for us. Then they said the books accidentally got on the truck with no way for us to get them. We finally left  this in God’s hands and headed for the airport.

Then moments after we left home FedEx reached us, and a 5-minute detour connected us with the driver and the box! (The friend we carried these books to in Spain is the same one who brought my computer to Greece last year after I left it in a rental car at the Denver airport!)

Praise God with us for His faithful answers to prayer!

— First Leg in Spain

Our first three weeks in Spain was a whirlwind as we worked with two short-term teams from the U.S. (one Hispanic U.S. immigrants). On the ground long-term are already several expatriates collaborating to launch disciple-making movements in Spain, representing Greater Europe Mission (GEM) and Wheaton Bible Church, a non-denominational church, and the Assemblies of God. Should God ever open the door, we would love to be part of a well-informed front-line effort such as this.

We also had a great week interacting with Fouad Masri, founder of Crescent Project, which provides excellent orientation for sharing the Gospel with Muslims in a respectful and loving way. Fouad came to provide training for more than a dozen ministries working in Spain, and the second team came with him.

Pray with us for lasting fruit

– in Spain through the team on the ground,
– in Spain and the U.S. through those who came to learn and help, and
– throughout the world through Crescent Project.

— Morocco before and during Ramadan

This past Friday our family flew to Marrakech for 3 nights, where the temperature rose to 50C (122F) before we left. From there we traveled by train for 2 nights in Fes and two more in Tangier, where we are now. Throughout Morocco we have found friendly, helpful people, a rich history, and a few Muslims with enough English to enjoy “Any-3 conversation” (including a clear gospel presentation without tension or awkwardness).

Pray with us for the continuing work of God’s Spirit in those we have shared the Gospel with here: Rashid and Ali, Balil, Sala, Muhammad, and Omar. (Omar is Muslim, but his wife is a Southern Baptist from Savanna, GA who works as a translator for the U.N. He requested 10,000 copies of the Bible to give out in Berber villages. Sala is a city planner who had tried reading Arabic and French versions of the Bible but found them both too difficult to understand. He was delighted to learn about Bible.is, which offers free access to 100s of languages. Hopefully one of them will speak his heart language adequately.)

A few years ago the government expelled all registered missionaries, but some are still finding creative opportunities to be here through tourism, business or study. The sight from our train travels of 1,000 minarets stretching across the horizon has stirred additional thoughts about how contemporary mission insights and experiences can be adapted to accelerate the spread of the Gospel throughout the house of Islam. Yesterday was the first of 30 days of Muslim day-time fasting called Ramadan.

Pray with us and many others (especially this month) for Muslims to have dreams and visions of Jesus, for Muslims to read what they consider to be “the rest of God’s word,” and for God to raise up laborers to share the good news with them.

— Second Leg in Spain

Next week we head to the coast of Spain for some overdue relaxation and debriefing as a family. Then on 7/20 we return for another whirlwind time time of ministry, joined this time by leaders from GEM’s ministry throughout Europe and three church teams with up to 50 total participants.

Pray for God to refresh and prepare us for more fruitful interaction with leaders and learners in this next period in Spain.

— Mission Frontiers (MF) on Movements and Translation

Before coming to Spain I gathered and edited the main content for the MF which went on-line July 1st. This issue was aimed at motivating and equipping local Christians to start disciple-making movements among their Muslim neighbors. This has sensitized me to the attack on Wycliffe over the past couple of years, through which nearly 2,000 translations have suffered, and the variety of barriers which remain to making accurate and readable translations available to a number of large language groups. I am now in conversation with leaders of Wycliffe and other translation efforts about producing an issue of MF aimed at stimulating global collaboration for more rapid progress in translation to aid in bringing new movements to maturity in Christ.

Pray for God to accelerate the availability of accurate and readable translations for everyone, especially in major language groups and religious blocs.

— More Any-3 Impact

Just before this trip I gave copies of Any-3 to a variety of friends and mission leaders. One wrote back: “I was very encouraged by the book, and had an excellent conversation about Jesus with Hussain, the Kurdish owner of the pizzeria in my town. He listened very carefully when I spoke about salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice. The book was incredibly encouraging.”

Step one in Any-3 is “Get Connected” by building rapport.

Step two is “Get to God” by asking a person about their religion.

Step three is “Get to Lostness” by asking questions about how they atone for the wrongs they do, leading them to express their lack of assurance about what will happen when they die. (This creates a non-confrontational, conversational context for Step Four.)

Step four: “Get to the Gospel.” We lead into this by asking, “Can I tell you why I know what will happen to me when I die?,” then present the Gospel in a culturally relevant way, concluding with our testimony of how God has changed our own life. (Visit our ministry site for more about Any-3 and the Muslim-relevant Gospel presentation we are adapting.)

Step five is “Get to a Decision” by asking “Does this make sense?” and “Do you believe this?” This provides helpful information about how the Lord is working in a person’s life, leading often to either immediate fruit or Bible study together.

Pray for Any-3 to spread widely, and help many believers learn to enjoy guiding conversations to a clear Gospel presentation.

— Engaging National Churches in Spain

The Any-3 step of “Getting to God” has helped open other doors. In Spain we met a born-again Filipino Christian whose pastor wants help to train his 80 members to share effectively with Muslims. He has invited us to provide two hours of training for his English-speaking Filipino congregation on July 21st: one hour before the service and another during the 3-hour service (that will be 7:00am and 8:30am Pacific Time on 7/21). Rather than do this training myself, I am involving long-term workers here who can provide continuing coaching after I am gone.

Pray for God’s spirit to empower those who receive this training, and those who provide it. Pray also that this will be just the first of many local Spanish churches to catch a vision for launching disciple-making movements among their Muslim neighbors.

— Other Matters for Prayer

– Jackie’s mom: We had a wonderful time with Jackie’s mom the day we flew to Spain. She was interactive and in good spirits. However in the past few days she has stopped eating on her own and is unresponsive in conversation. Pray for God’s grace for Jackie, her sister Joanne, and their mom Eva.

– Our Health: Jackie developed a sore throat on our flight to Spain, but recovered swiftly. Joelle had a mild lung infection after our flight to Morocco, but also recovered quickly. I had an intense but brief bout of food poisoning in Fes, but am almost fully recovered. Thank you for your continued prayers for our health.

– Our Faith: Before we left, God provided just enough funds to cover our planned expenses by draining all our normal reserves. Two generous electronic gifts since our departure encouraged us and relieved some of our temptation to worry, but unplanned expenses have more than consumed these. Please pray that God will increase our faith and give us victory over the temptation to worry, and for God’s provision in whatever way and timing will bring Him the greatest glory.

Thanks again for your prayers. Let us know how we can pray for you!


All Things Work Out…

After last minute packing and trip preparations, we pulled out of our driveway about 10:30am on June 18th. We probably brought more than we needed to, but the box of books we were planning to bring for a mission seminar in Madrid next week didn’t arrive at our house in time. After many phone calls trying to find them, we decided we couldn’t take the time to track them down to bring them. Fedex messed up twice on having them delivered to us. But we had put out an appeal for prayer that morning about these books, and amazingly, right after we left our house we got a call from the Fedex office requesting that we meet the driver in the delivery truck “on the road.” The driver called us and we ended up meeting her, getting the books and saving about an hour of time not having to go to a local airport to pick them up where they were suppose to be held. It was a very convenient “coincidence.”

Time in Vancouver

Our flight was scheduled to leave from Vancouver, Canada at 8:40 pm, so our plan was to spend the afternoon with my mom and my sister (Joanne) before heading to the airport. It was a beautiful day so we enjoyed the outdoors, having lunch on the patio and taking mom out for a walk to a nearby park.

My mom had been in Spain over thirty years ago, so she was excited for us to have the opportunity to go. She was trying to recall her time there and remembered she kept a journal of her trip. It was one of the best visits I’ve had with her in the last few months, she was alert, engaging in conversation and on topic. Physically, she is really declining, so it was great to see her happy and engaging in conversation.

Our Flights

Our flight left Vancouver at 9:20pm and we had hopes of sleeping most of the way to London. We all got a couple of hours sleep on the plane to London, cramped and uncomfortable, but none the less a little bit of valuable sleep. They had a few movies I had wanted to see: Oz, Les Miserables and Jack and the Giant Slayer. I enjoyed Oz (a prequel to the Wizard of Oz), but neither Les Mis. or Jack was engaging enough to keep me awake. The kids did well on the plane, the girls are very self-sufficient and Wesley was great too, although we did have to quiet down his excitement and cheering somewhat when the plane took off and landed–but it is a positive noise, so I don’t think anyone was bothered by it.

Our flights were great, even though the first one was delayed about 40 minutes. We made up about 20-25 minutes of the time, which was necessary because we only had 1:40 layover in London and barely made it onto our connecting flight. The kids and I ran ahead when Robby got stuck with security doing a thorough check of his bag; good thing we did as they actually held the bus for him which took us to our plane headed to Madrid. The flight from London to Madrid was about 2 hours and the plane was not even half full so we were able to change seats and avoid cramped seating, which was a great relief after about ten hours on a full plane.

Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) is the area where we are staying.

Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) is near the area where we are staying.

The terminal in Madrid is huge, and it was almost deserted. We got in about 6:45pm and stopped off at the restrooms after getting off the plane. As a result we lost the other passengers from our plane that would have led us through customs and to baggage claim. After wandering around a bit we found a lady who worked there that was escorting an elderly couple out, and she led us to customs—a 10-15 minute walk from exiting the plane. After we left customs we had a five minute train ride to another part of the airport to get our bags. From there, it was more straight forward–signs and reasonable distances to get our bags and exit.

Interesting architecture in Madrid near our apartment.

Interesting architecture in Madrid near our apartment.

We were grateful that Javier met us at the airport. We loaded our bags into his tiny car, and he took Robby and Wesley and our bags to our “apartment.” The rest of us couldn’t all fit into his car, so Javier gave us instructions on what train to take and Joelle, Dana and I took the train to the station near our apartment. After Javier dropped off Robby & Wesley, he picked us up at the station.

My first brief impression of Madrid is that it is very modern and clean. It has some amazing architecture. And it was only about 20°C, so not too hot.


Six Weeks in Spain…

or “What are the Butlers doing this summer?”

Joelle & Dana with some Afghan women we met in Greece.

Joelle & Dana with some Afghan women we met in Greece.

After a wonderful experience in Europe last summer, especially the time we had meeting and befriending Afghan refugees in Greece, we are excited to be going to another European city this summer. Last year most of our time was spent researching anything and everything we could learn about Afghan refugees, in order to help long term workers reach out to them.

This summer most of our time will be spent in Spain, assisting the long term team members there in reaching out to North African, mainly Muslim, immigrants. In between the two teams that we will be working with in Spain, (one the end of June and the other the end of July), we are planning to venture south to Morocco for a week to experience a Muslim culture and a taste of Ramadan. And, we will also have some time to explore the southern coast of Spain where there is a strong Islamic history.

Basement Completed

Thanks for your prayers!

After running through the funding we had set aside from the sale of our last house working with a contractor and his team to get the walls in place (including power, water, gas, insulation, etc.), we switched to working on our own on evenings and weekends, with power tools loaned by our new contractor friend Russ, to do nearly everything else ourselves.

With his great coaching we had a great result.

Here are a few photos (click any one to zoom):

Living area with kitchenette

Living area with kitchenette

Living area

Living area

bathroom entrance

bathroom entrance


bathroom sink


Dana’s room

Joelle's room

Joelle’s room

Looking ahead to the day when our daughters would be in college, we began in 2010 to explore alternate home locations to facilitate God’s purposes in and through our family. As Joelle skipped out of high school to began college last Fall through “Running Start,” we found open doors to work with local ministry leaders at our community college to build disciple-making movements among international and other college students.

Since receiving an offer on our house on January 4th, our life has been a kayak ride through swift rapids. In the five weeks following this offer, we researched and settled on a smaller, 3-bedroom home with an unfinished basement. This leaves our family one bedroom short, with Wesley sleeping on a mattress on our bedroom floor. So we began checking into building bedrooms for Joelle and Dana in our unfinished basement.

A couple we worked with to run the first Perspectives class in Mount Vernon introduced us to Russ Rehm of Doulos Construction, who teaches a Sunday School class at Bethany Covenant Church (which hosted the second Perspectives class in Mount Vernon).

We felt led to involve Russ in our basement project for several reasons:

  • He lives just ten minutes from our home.
  • He invited us to work with and learn from his team so that we could later borrow his tools and finish the rest of the basement on our own.
  • He and his two Pentecostal Russian laborers do all their own work (no subcontractors).
  • He had room for us in his schedule right away.

Russ and his crew started framing at 7:30am on Tuesday, March 19th, and we worked with Russ’ team each day and carried the work forward on our own into the night. Ten days later  we helped Russ’ crew finish applying the first coat of mud on the freshly hung drywall.

Along the way we learned and involved our daughters in framing, electrical switches and outlets, installing ceiling can lights, hanging insulation, carrying and hanging drywall, and taping and “mudding.” I accompanied Russ for most of the lumber purchases, and Jackie drove Russ’ old manual transmission pickup to Home Depot for drywall and other supplies.

With Russ’ orientation, I did most of the duct work and trained our girls to install electrical outlets and switches while Jackie put in ceiling lights, and Jackie and our girls installed all the insulation. We left Russ’ team to install a window, break into the sewer line, install water lines, add gas for a fireplace, and reroute our hot water line (so that the heat it loses goes into the basement instead of underground).

When the shower we bought wouldn’t fit through the basement door, we realized the window we were putting in would be just big enough to bring the shower in that way. (This gives new meaning to the popular saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”)

To Russ’ amazement, our involvement kept the cost to date down to $12/sq ft, and we now have the skills and confidence to bring the rest of the basement to the same point in coming years.

We already have some prior experience in painting, installing cabinets, and other aspects of finish work, and plan to do most of the rest of the work on our own at a more sustainable pace as additional funds become available. Please pray with us for God’s timing and provision for finishing the first half of our basement.

See pictures of the project unfolding over ten days.

A 40 sec panorama of the bare basement prior to construction.

A 1 min 40 sec walkthrough after the first mud on the drywall.

(6/13 update: See Basement Completed)

Our youth long for relationships, adventure and significance. If we don’t lead them to find these things in pursuit of God’s Kingdom, they will seek them out elsewhere.

Yet too often we cling to safety and security, and impose that on those we love.

Jesus did just opposite.

Jesus gave His disciples relationships, adventure and significance. He took them amongst the very kinds of people that we would avoid (and tell others to stay away from).

He didn’t just send them; first He led and went with them into such circumstances until they had the skills and confidence to work with the Holy Spirit. And that is the benefit of “on-the-ground” involvement in multiplying discipleship under experienced coaches—gaining the skills and confidence to work with the Holy Spirit.

This summer we invite you to join us in Europe for an experience which will

  • increase your understanding and boldness to multiply disciples right where you are,
  • equip you to guide others into effectiveness and boldness in witnessing and discipling, and
  • give children or young adults you bring a Kingdom adventure to make them want more.

We are coordinating this experience over two 10-day sessions:

  • June 23rd to July 2nd, and
  • July 24th to August 2nd.

For more background see these related posts:

If you sense God’s Spirit stirring you in this direction, use the contact information at right to let us know.

Jackie on our trip

Our 2012 ministry among refugees

What a gateway this country is to the nations! In just over two weeks here, we have met people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Egypt, Eritrea, Comoros Islands, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Afghanistan.

Some had been here for ten years, others for only a few days. But the religious freedom in Greece meant open doors to tell everyone about Jesus, whereas in many of their countries we would not have such opportunity of find such openness among the people.

Our main role here was to gather information on the Afghan community there, but we had plenty of opportunity to interact with many wonderful people, and it was a pleasant surprise to discover how God is bringing the unreached peoples into places where we can reach them for His kingdom and glory. There are roughly 400 Afghan refugees entering Greece each day, more than 100,000 each year. Many hope to get to another country in the EU, but one source said that only 30-40% of them are able to leave Greece.

Before we left for Europe, I knew there were a lot of Afghans in the city we’d be in. But it’s a big city, could we find them?

Yet God put His people Israel in the perfect place to interact with the peoples from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. And He had no problem bringing Afghans and many other refugees and immigrants from closed nations to a country where His people are free to share His love for them. Although some may be scattered, many congregate in public places with an openness to learn and make new friends.

These are people in need. Some might have some money, but most have left their homes and everything they knew in search of a new life.

And what a great opportunity this creates for God’s people to walk them into the new life God has planned for them!

They need to learn about Jesus and be discipled. Ninety-nine percent of the Afghans are Muslim, but most seemed more culturally Muslim than religiously committed.

They need teachers. They want a future and hope for their children, but many don’t have the proper papers to attend Greek schools.

They would love to learn English. Most of them are hoping to leave Greece, and English can be used all over Europe.

They are eager to work. But the unemployment rate is 25% for Greeks, and over 60% for the refugees/immigrants here.

They need food, clothing, and shelter, as they were only able to bring what they could carry.

They need faith in Christ as they lose hope. Some have lost their life savings to dishonest smugglers, and Greek citizens generally resent them, the Greek government can’t help them and other European countries don’t want them.

I am so grateful for the Afghans I met; they are wonderful people facing an incredibly difficult time.

Most walked to Greece from Afghanistan, sometimes with long stays in Iran, although many now are being smuggled in by boat. This as far more dangerous, as boats designed for 5-6 people are often dangerously stuffed with up to 15 people and lives are lost in boating accidents as smugglers seek to evade detection.

I spoke to a lady who walked from Afghanistan with her 4 & 8 year old children—across three mountain ranges, one in Iran, one in Turkey and another to get into Greece.

I visited with a 16 year old girl who came  into Greece from Iran with only her younger brother. She said her dad was gone and her mom stayed in Iran. She is currently studying Greek in the mornings and English in the afternoons, she is very sharp and resourceful, but it is definitely sad to see her being forced to grow up quickly.

I enjoyed the company and warmth of so many of women that with could only communicate with by our smiles.

I was surprised to hear from a nineteen year old girl that her husband is an alcoholic and she was forced to raise her kids without him. She live with her parents, and has their help and support.

I enjoyed listening to some of the older Afghani ladies tell Joelle she is at an age where she should be married. One of them kept bringing a young man around, but he didn’t speak much English and Joelle doesn’t speak Dari, so it didn’t work out too well. (Joelle thinks she wants to get married young, so she enjoyed the encouragement.)

And what a joy and surprise it was to see Dana so comfortable being with the Afghan people. She made many friends and continues to email a young Afghan girl about her same age who speaks very good English (as well as Dari, Greek and Urdu). She told me she loves watching Indian movies on TV, and that’s how she learned Urdu.

The Afghans are very appreciative of the handful of churches and ministries here which are helping them with food and clothing, and in whatever other ways they can. And these Afghans are open to relationships with believers and with Jesus. God has led them to a place where they can be reached for His kingdom and glory, but there are so many of them and so few workers. Please pray with us for the Afghans, for those working among them, and for those God is raising up to go and work among them.


Our 2012 ministry among Afghans refugees in One of Europe’s “gateway” cities

When I found out we were going to Europe I was really excited about going sightseeing. As time drew closer for us to head to Greece all I wanted was for that time in Greece to be done with.

The first few days in Greece were better than I expected but I really changed my attitude after my first time of going out with some of the interns. After that all I wanted to do was spend time with the interns.

During this time I spent with these interns God taught me a number of things. One of the things that God showed me was the interns’ passion to serve him which made me want to have that same passion. I also discovered what it meant to be in an actual relationship with him instead of just knowing him, and what it meant to trust him with every aspect of your life.

When the time was nearing for us to go my attitude had changed significantly and I was not ready to leave.

I am very grateful for everything that I have learned while I was there. I also got to figure out and refine my testimony.

If you ask me what my favorite part was about this trip I would say London but this was the place that I had a big Spiritual growth and I hope that we can to to Spain or Germany next year cause of this amazing trip and the way that God worked things out.

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