"For my name will be great among the nations, from the rising of the sun to its setting." Malachi 1:11

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our journey continues, but in a different direction ...

As I sit to type this, I still can't believe all that has taken place, and what is about to happen next. We are writing today to update you on our current situation, and ask for your prayers. As most of you know, Lisa's Dad suffered a stroke this past April, and has been in rehabilitation care centers since then. Due to insurance limitations, he will be returning to his home on August 3, 2009. He has been classified as homebound and will need care providers 24/7, as well as Home Health visits to continue his rehab, and prayerfully his recovery. After much prayer, we feel that God is leading us to return to the States now to care for her father.

We are in the process of making plans to return, and should arrive back in Charlotte early August. We will return to Marshville, NC, and be moving her parents into our home there. As you remember, we have had this home on the market to sell for the past year. Now we know the answer as to why it is still ours. God's plans are perfect and we are so thankful for His faithfulness, and for your prayers in this situation. Please remember our family as we prepare to say goodbye to our wonderful team here, and the many Swazi people here we love. As a family, we would also covet your prayers as we begin another new chapter in our lives. Please pray for direction and discernment in all aspects of life as we return, from packing and saying goodbyes here, traveling, moving logistics, preparing our house to handle Dad's special needs, along with placing the children back into school and finding employment again. We have been experiencing such a range of emotions this past week, but we know that God is in control and has everything in His Hands. He was the One who brought us from North Carolina to Swaziland, and provided in such amazing ways that ONLY He could put into place, and we know that He will never leave or forsake us. We will rest in His mercy and promises.

It's hard to believe, but August marks one year of service with the International Mission Board. We are so thankful for the opportunity to have served the Lord here in Swaziland through the leadership of this organization, and the support of our Southern Baptist Churches. We can't tell you how much you have meant to us over this past year, and how thankful we are for all of your love, support, prayers and partnership in sharing the Gospel. We have been so humbled to be a small part of the Lord's work here. We will hold close in our hearts everything He has taught us, all that we have learned, experienced, and seen ... and we are deeply thankful to Him. "The harvest is plentiful," we've all read and heard these words many times, and it is so true all around this world! Please pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His fields. We ask that you please continue to remember the Swazi Team as they faithfully continue to serve the Lord, and share the life-changing message of the Gospel with those who have not heard, and others who are steeped so deep in traditional beliefs. You can visit the team website or blog for weekly/monthly prayer requests and updates, www.swaziprayerbytes.blogspot.com or www.swazimissions.org.

Thank you for joining us in this journey, and know that we would love to continue hearing from you and how God is working in and through you. We will continue to use our family blog to share how God is working in our family as well.

Again, please know how deeply thankful we are for the many different ways you have ministered to our family and the people of Swaziland, and how YOU have impacted lives for an eternity!!!!

We love you all!
bert, lisa, jessie, matthew and sarah

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