Well, Alan and I have spent the last ten days with his mom and dad in Chester now that Simona and Mihai have returned from Romania to rent our house. We were so pleased they could use the house and are able to enjoy it. I feel more comfortable for them there than I did when they were in Birkenhead. Birkenhead is a scary place sometimes and Moreton seems just so much safer. I think they are pleased too that they no longer have the police visiting their apartment every night due to their neighbor downstairs that had many issues. Scary!
Anyway, as I was saying we've been staying with Margaret and Alan and they've taken excellent care of us, catering to our every need. It's sort of strange giving up a lot of your independence to move in with your in-laws but we just kept reminding ourselves how blessed we were to be saving the money on the mortgage while still having a place to stay and be fed.
On Friday morning we leave for a week in Germany. I haven't really allowed myself to get too excited about the trip because of everything going on in our lives. Support raising and the new pregnancy, health insurance, visas and living as nomads. At least life isn't boring! Fortunately we serve a big God who has never let us down before and as David says in Psalms, he has never seen the righteous go hungry or beg so we should be ok :).
One thing that has been a bit depressing this week is watching the EURO rise against the dollar. We thought we only had $12,000 remaining to raise so that Pioneers would give us the green light to move in Germany but instead we now have $22,000 to raise due to just a weaker dollar. UGH! We remain optimistic though that God has a stronger currency than even the EURO and that He will provide for us. We did have some good news about the health insurance although my confidence level is still only about 75% about it. Supposedly we will qualify for the public insurance but it will more than likely still cost around 200GBP per month for us both and the baby. This is something we would still appreciate your prayers for.
Speaking about the baby... if I weren't pregnant I'd think there was something really wrong with me. I only have about 6 hours of energy a day now compared to pre-pregnancy 12-14 hours. After that I just have to lay down I'm just so incredibly tired. People have been asking me if I've gained any weight or if I've had any cravings and the answers are no (thank God for that!) and yes. I've discovered a craving for popsickles and literally could probably polish off a box right now. Just ice and juice though - no ice cream. The thought of ice cream makes me cringe lol. Weird.
I'll be looking forward to updating my blog if at all possible during my trip as we interact and fellowship with the members of Victory. We're staying with a lovely couple that are from Georgia that were introduced to us via Facebook by the pastor and his wife at Victory. We feel very blessed to be able to stay with them and learn as much as possible about Heidelberg and the German culture. When we get back we have about a day and a half before we go to orientation with Pioneers at Bawtry. We're both looking forward to that and to getting some much needed encouragement to keep going toward our mission.
Surely other missionaries have felt discouraged as the recession and falling dollar have affected their support raising. Sometimes I wish every person I knew that really considered themselves our friends would pick up the phone and send $5 or $10 a month to help us make this move. I feel like saying, it's the same as a cup of coffee at Starbucks or Jittery Joe's so that two people can go and share the gospel with people that really need to hear about Jesus. I feel like saying that but I don't. I just pray God will say it for us and not just for us but for countless other missionaries out there that need to worry less about finances and more about reaching people for the kingdom of God.
I know personally I have not given enough to support others in the past and I look at myself now and I wonder why. I think my primary excuse is just plain laziness and apathy and I honestly don't think I'm being too harsh on myself when I say that. I saw people that were doing good work that needed support and I just left it to the next guy to give and then I wondered why I wasn't being blessed as much as others. I'm ashamed of that now and think God has taught us a lot through the fundraising we have to do. I've learned not to underestimate people. I've learned not to overestimate too.
I think the bottom line is that we're working for Jesus here. Not Microsoft or Save the Family or any other organization. And Jesus likes surprising us and showing us that we are so off the mark sometimes when we plan things out and try to figure things and people out on our own. I keep wondering where I drop off and Christ picks up and I think the answer is... when I have done everything I can think of to do and utilized all the resources and friends at my disposal and still I come up short, that is when Christ takes over. IF we are in his will and IF we are trusting Him for it.
May everything we do and say be only for the glory of Him who has called us to this work and may you be blessed as you serve Him wherever you are around the world. For my friends that don't know Jesus... I pray the blinders that have been placed on your eyes for so long by the enemy of your soul that wants nothing more than to destroy you and keep you from your purpose and lasting joy and happiness will be removed so that you can finally see truth. We love y'all and are praying for y'all!