Sunday, September 12, 2021

July prayer letter

Happy late 4th of July.  No matter where you roam, AMERICA is still the greatest nation in the world and a great place to be.

On the road again, that is where we are.  It is great to be at the computer while we are driving. Some have asked our schedule; we are not sitting idle.  We left NC in the middle of May, and went up to MI.  We enjoyed living with Dan's 91-year-old mother Ruth, while we were having meetings in the MI area—or not so much the area, like meetings over in IN and IL. It is well worth it to see old friends and to make new ones.  I hope that our friends PRAY for us in the ministry. Josiah has his permit and has been getting lots of practice driving up and down the highways and through Detroit.  Joan has gotten more practice and growth, praying and trusting God for our safety.

At the end of May, Dan made a quick 12-day trip (that includes the 5 days' worth of travel) back to Cote d'Ivoire to help successfully settle some problems that had come up. He enjoyed seeing Seth and Paige and Eden and Zion again and being there for their first service in Sassandra at their church plant.  THANK YOU to all who prayed for their health; they are all back to great health.

From MI, we also went over to IL for Stephen and Martha's wedding on June 19.  Praise God for another beautiful wedding. Stephen was able to get his braces off for the wedding; we are still figuring out the jaw surgery that he needs.

Also, it was like a mini family reunion; fun to be with all our stateside kids.  Please pray that Ruth's pregnancy and delivery will continue well.  

We went to Schaumburg, IL again for the 4th of July weekend, then back to MI and over to OH.  We are now up to PA and will head back to NC on July 19.  Praise God for the hospitality shown us; cups of cold water are never given in vain. The kids just had lots of fun riding 4 wheelers.  May God bless each of you.  We are SO happy to arrive and sad to leave.  Sorry that we can't spend more time with each of you.  Thanks for your prayers; that is what is the most important.  Get God's power on our labors of love.  Thank you for your faithful financial support; everything takes money to do.
Many blessings on you.

In His grip,

Dan and Joan, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon

May prayer letter

Besides visiting our friends in our churches, one of our goals is to make more living space.  Dan and the boys (all the wonderful young men who live around us - smile) have been working hard doing house repairs; they have built some decks together, some bunk beds, and a screen door to prevent the flies from living with us. 

Mainly on May 15, Richard and Ruth moved out of our house into their own double-wide mobile home.  Praise God that they are now home in their own beautiful spot in the forest, thereby freeing up a lot of space in our house.  Praise God for His blessings. They continue to wait for Madagascar to open. Ruth's pregnancy is going well.

Matthew and Susanna's wedding on April 10 was a beautiful, modest wedding.  Praise God for children who desire to walk in Truth.  God's Word is Truth. Being GOD's Word of necessity makes the Bible perfect, authoritative, alive, and much more — wow.  I love to dwell on the Truth. John 17:17 is one of my favorite teaching verses.  

We have visited with many wedding guests; so sweet to see family and friends again.  I FORGOT who bought us some flatware last furlough, but it was nice to finally put it in the drawer right before our wedding friends arrived.  Rebekah had fun putting it in the drawer; silverware that matches!  Thank you.

I, Joan (Though my name is spelled "Joan," it is pronounced "JoAnn."  I do not mind either way), had fun helping with Daniel and Azariah at the BWM conference at Camp Joy.  What cool weather we had, even snow! 

Isaiah, Stephen, and Martha graduated on May 7.  They were all happy to be finished!

We leave for Michigan on May 14 looking forward to preaching and visiting with all our friends in the north. 

Stephen and Martha's wedding is planned for June 19 in Illinois.  From Illinois, we head back to Michigan.  Please continue to pray about Stephen's jaw surgery. For now, we are exploring other insurance options.

Thank you again for praying for us.  Pray much for our road safety, especially for our new drivers.  I just heard a drama presentation:  For Teenage drivers: 'Please, God, I'm only 17.'  I think all permit drivers should read this.  The other drama which is very convicting is Amy Carmichael's dream, The Cry of Blood.  Rebekah just memorized and presented this for a class.  I hope you will look these up.

Many blessings on you. 

In His grip,

Dan and Joan

February prayer letter

How has furlough been treating us? We have been enjoying a change of pace and scenery.  We HAVE been cold. Besides visiting our friends, family, and church families; our goal is to fix up the house to be more livable and have more space for all. 

Traveling without babies is VERY easy (smile).  We are making trips out and back to the Winston area and North Carolina churches up through April 10, which is Susanna's wedding. We will be back in Michigan during the months of May and June.  If we leave the kids home, Dan and I can borrow a small car and have a "date." 

In December, Dan was able to participate in the ordination counsels of seven Ivorian pastors via FaceTime.  Steve King, Seth, and Dan are the only three missionaries ordained and able to conduct an ordination service.  Praise God the technology worked. Dan was on the computer for hours. 

We plan, Lord willing, to go back to the Ivory Coast in October of this year.  Seth has been taking care of the churches, leaders, and school in our absence.  There are a few national leaders who are helping Seth with the preaching and teaching.

Praise God that Eden just came through a serious bout with malaria and seems to be back to normal...she's smiling, talking, running, and playing.  Praise God for the great outcome to our desperate prayers!! 

Our BIG news is that Ruth is pregnant.  The Jertbergs are still waiting for Madagascar to open and have meanwhile bought a property and a mobile home to fix up and live in.  It has needed more work than was anticipated, and they are living with us until they can move over there.  We will not begin to tell each step; that is very difficult for me.  Every step of the way, there is another inspection to pass. During this time there are 19 of us living in cozy harmony.  Do you see the need to help build more space??

The other BIG news is that Stephen and Martha are now engaged.  They don't have the date set yet but are planning to get married later this summer.

Our puppies have sold fast. That was encouraging.  It is SO easy to sell dogs here in America...just advertise them online and people come and get them.  This will help a lot with Rebekah's schooling and Susanna's wedding in April.

Hannah and Nathan were in town.  It was great to see them as well; they have many meetings lined up and much traveling ahead.

We are staying busy with meetings, witnessing, and giving a helping hand.  A 10-year-old boy got saved while we were doing visitation. Praise the Lord for that; that encourages my heart more than anything else can.  I can see how it is hard to do visitation here in America.  I was walking around and COLD for sure. Here in America, it is more pressing a need to MAKE opportunities to give out the Gospel.  See the need and go there.  No one will get saved if we pass our time in our bubble of Christian friends. 

Thank you for your faithful prayers.  Pray for Ruth's pregnancy and delivery to go well. Pray for safety on the roads and the work with chain saws, hauling logs, building, etc. (God has already so blessed and protected from accidents.)  Pray that when it gets time for us to go back to Ivory Coast, we will not have to deal with a mandatory vaccine. The test is already required at $150 per person.  We pray that all these restrictions will be lifted by October.  Please pray that we can find someone who will do the needed oral surgery on Stephen's jaw.  After multiple appeals, our insurance continues to deny coverage for him.  We have been searching for an oral surgeon for almost 2 years now.

May God bless YOU! 

In His grip,

Joan and Dan