August/September 2021 Update

June was a traveling month and had a few family highlights. One of those highlights is that we finished traveling the equivalent of taking a lap around the globe (24,901 miles in 6 months). During our travels, Clark and Jake rode a bicycle without training wheels and can now state that they have thrown a rock into all five of the Great Lakes. We have also been in 47 of the 50 states, with South Dakota being the only state we have not been in the lower 48. In July, we were able to have a few moments around the fourth with family. We were glad that our children are now old enough to stay up to enjoy fireworks. A special blessing in July was when Clark prayed to accept Christ as his Saviour. We rejoice with him in that decision!

We are now entering the final stages of our departure to Finland. The visa process is starting, and we will be making a few trips to the Finnish Embassy soon. Andrew mailed out a letter to our supporting churches and individuals in the last few days detailing our expected long-term stay in Finland. (If you expected to receive a letter and did not, please reach out to us.) While we would have liked to be in Finland by now, unforeseen events and travel restrictions caused a delay to our initial plans. However, we are thankful that COVID-19 did not take God by surprise and that all is going according to His timetable.

We will be in Michigan in August for a few meetings; then, we will travel to Tennessee to complete an exit interview with BIMI. Finally, September will have us in Minnesota to complete the necessary errands before heading back on the road to finish a few meetings. Would you continue to pray with us that God will raise the necessary churches and individuals to give financially to send us to Finland?

  • Praise: 12 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are receiving 77% with an additional 13% possible.
  • Praise: We are aware of another individual called to Finland. He is starting Bible College in the fall.
  • Praise: Clark trusted Christ.
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and no mechanical issues
  • Prayer: To have 6 to 12 more churches take us on for support
  • Prayer: Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by mid-November

June/July 2021 Update

Deputation has certainly been a faith-building experience. We have seen God orchestrate events and outcomes that only He could accomplish. We have seen souls saved as a result of our ministry efforts, we have seen God miraculously create an open door to Finland, and we have seen God do it all through the midst of a global pandemic. From the start of our deputation journey, we were told to expect at least 3 years on the road, but we asked God for it to be no more than 2. We have 3 months remaining until our 2 year deputation anniversary, and it appears God has been orchestrating an answer to that request as well. Our arrival in Finland by the end of summer would allow us time to get settled and enrolled in the fall language courses. This translates to our needing 22 more churches or individuals to take us on for support by the end of July. We ask that you would also intercede in prayer on our behalf that God would move those churches and individuals to begin supporting us.

As we, by faith, anticipate God to work on our behalf, we are making preliminary preparations for our departure. We have begun to participate in the Duolingo Finnish learning to get acclimated with basic Finnish words and phrases. As stated in our last letter, we have all of our children’s passports ready. The process to apply for residency permits is 1-4 months, but we know God is able to expedite that. (We are waiting until receiving 85% support to begin that process.) Finland requires a residency permit and 14 days of quarantine, 2 negative COVID-19 tests, the vaccine, or proof of recovery upon arrival. (Finland has dogs trained to smell out the COVID-19 virus in the airport as they screen incoming arrivals.)

May 21st marked the end of school for the children. Nicole was able to take Pre-K/K-5 graduation pictures with Clark and Jake. When Jake saw the graduation cap on Clark, he said, “Clark you have a square pizza cap on!” June and July will have us bouncing between Minnesota and Pennsylvania with stops in between.

  • Praise: 8 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are receiving 68% with an additional 9% possible.
  • Praise: School is on summer break
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and no mechanical issues
  • Prayer: To have 22 more churches/individuals take us on for support
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by the end of summer

April/May 2021 Update

As spring is gently making its way into view, we are excited as to what this season might hold. As our prayer card supply is running out, we are thankful that we have given over 1,000 of our prayer cards to individuals. So many have responded to our prayer letters through notes, and we are thankful for each one who dedicates their time to God in prayer for us.

By the time you read this, we should have our children’s passports in our possession. These are a prerequisite to obtaining a residency permit for our family in Finland. The Lord has been working behind the scenes and I look forward to sharing what He is currently doing in the days ahead. Finland has just ended their third lockdown, but we believe God has already provided a way for us to obtain entry without too much difficulty. We also have a plan in place that will ensure longevity as to our staying in Finland.

It was nice to have all of our February meetings in Virginia. (Andrew got used to driving short hours and then being done with travel.) Our next few months will have meetings a little more spread out with 6-8 hours of driving time between meetings. April will have us visiting churches in the Upper Midwest and in May we will be in the Lower Midwest and Northeast.

The Lord has given us a burden to reach the lost in Finland and provided for us an open door into the country. All we are waiting for now is for the remaining 42% support from churches to push us through the door.

  • Praise: 8 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are receiving 58% with an additional 11% possible.
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and no mechanical issues
  • Prayer: Fill July (3 slots left) and August 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by the end of summer

February/March 2021 Update

It seems just like yesterday that we sent out our last prayer letter. As we eagerly waited for 2020 to come to a close, this year already seems to be off to a great start! We had 17 days between our last 2020 meeting and our first meeting in 2021. During that time we were able to ensure our children had their physical and dental check ups, turn in the paperwork required for the children’s US passports, and have both of our vehicles serviced for routine maintenance. We were also able to spend two days and a night away from the children in celebration of an early 10th anniversary (March 19) and Nicole’s Birthday (Dec 27).

Our meetings will take us to Virginia for the whole month of February, and we will slowly make our way to the midwest by the end of March.

As we are now in 2021 and have been requesting prayer for a departure to the field by the end of the summer, a common question we get is: “What happens if you do not have full support by the end of the summer?” The short answer is that we will wait until the funds are there; however, our God is still able to meet that deadline.

Thank you to all who regularly pray for us and our vehicles. We recently drove our van 3,000 miles on a round trip from Florida to Minnesota to handle many of our errands – including the children’s passports. On our way back to Florida, several instrument panel lights came on. When we got it into the shop (we had a 2 day window in which to do this before our next meeting), our serpentine belt needed to be replaced and three wheels needed new bearings. If any of those had failed in the 1,300 miles we traveled after the lights came on, our situation would have been dire. We truly do rely heavily on your intercessory prayers for us. Please continue to pray for our family as we seek to be a witness while on deputation. Recently we were able to pass a tract to a man who responded, “I need hope like this right now.” We realize many who are searching for the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

  • Praise: 6 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are receiving 47% with an additional 11% possible.
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and no mechanical issues
  • Prayer: Fill July 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by the end of summer

December 2020/January 2021 Update

As the year comes to a close, we are thankful that we can look back and see how our God has been faithful. In the midst of a global pandemic, God prepared our calendar to be scheduled at a church in Oregon which had full hookups for our motorhome. Beyond that, God allowed campgrounds to open prior to our re-starting deputation after the lockdown. This ensured our travel from Oregon to the east coast was a semi-normal experience. We look forward to what 2021 will behold and are making arrangements accordingly.

October was a special month for us as we were able to visit our sending church’s world impact conference. It was quite an experience as churches in California are still technically not allowed to re-open. On the sunday evening service, Andrew was ordained into the gospel ministry along with three other men. We also were able to allocate three days to spend with our family to celebrate Meg’s birthday – who is now a whopping 7 years old. Clark is looking forward to turning 6 in December and Jake will turn 5 in January.

December will be a busy month for us as we complete our BIMI year 2 candidate school – which was postponed several times due to COVID. Our meetings will end on December 20th in Texas and will begin January 8th in Minnesota. While in Minnesota, we will be doing clerical work such as renewing registration on our motorhome and trailer, getting our children’s passports, and keeping up to date on all of our dental, medical, and optical check-ups. We hope to experience at least one snowfall prior to our return back to the south where we have meetings in Georgia and Florida.

  • Praise: 7 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are receiving 40% with an additional 13% possible.
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and no mechanical issues
  • Prayer: Fill June and July 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by summer 2021

October/November 2020 Update

September marked the beginning of school. We are glad that the children had such happy attitudes when it came time to starting back up. Mollie is now in 3rd grade, Meg is now in 2nd grade, Clark began Kindergarten, and Jake is extremely happy that he gets to spend an hour each day alone with Mom in K-4.

Meetings have been going well. It appears the threat of additional state COVID-19 lockdowns have fizzled as the majority of Americans are tired with staying at home. As we attempt to be sensitive to different community restrictions, we get excited when the Pastor at the church where we are at has a regularly scheduled outreach opportunity. It is a joy when we get to expand our outreach from Walmart clerks, gas station attendants, and drive through windows to actual homes.

I must admit, I wrote the last paragraph at the end of August, sighed, and thought if only we could expand our outreach opportunities. It seems as if the Lord heard that sigh and granted the outreach scope. While driving through Texarkana, the fuel pump on our RV broke and we spent the next 2 weeks (two conferences and weekend meeting) living from either a hotel room or a church family’s home. We were then able to add hotel staff, a pizza delivery guy, and restaurant waitresses to our scope. While we did not have a reap experience, we did have evident seed watering experiences.

In October, we will be at our sending church to present the need for Finland as well as in a few other churches in California. By November, we will be back on the East coast in states ranging from Florida to Pennsylvania with meetings in between. This will mark our first Thanksgiving away from friends and family. Andrew is praying that a restaurant will be open so we may eat there on Thanksgiving, but with COVID restrictions, Nicole might have to prepare a meal in her 4 foot by 2 foot RV kitchen.

  • Praise: 3 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are now at 29% coming in.
  • Praise: Our motorhome is repaired and the bill has been paid
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings
  • Prayer: Fill 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by summer 2021

August/September 2020 Update

May 11 kicked off our travel from Oregon to the east coast. It took us an entire week to get to a previously scheduled campsite. From the campground, we began our first virtual mission’s conference on May 17. From there we started attending in person services. Two revivals and several meetings later, our children began their day asking, “Is church today?” or “Are we driving today?” The first time after we said ‘no’ to both of those questions, we received a puzzled look and a new question: “Then what are we doing?!?”

September will mark the beginning of our second year of deputation (although we had two meetings prior to September 2019). After living in an RV for a year, we have come to the conclusion that this way of living is not for us and look forward to the day when we can live in a house or apartment in Finland.

We are unsure as to what our next two months will look like. We have meetings scheduled, but with COVID-19 spiking, some states have decided to limit in-person gatherings once again. We are thankful that with as much traveling as we have done, we have remained healthy. Even a recent blood donation has return negative on COVID-19 antibodies – although it does not necessarily mean that we did not have it. While we try to remain vigilant about our health, we realize that safety is of the Lord. Thanks to the many who have faithfully prayed for our family’s health.

It seems like the world lives in constant fear – fear of catching COVID-19, fear of being mistreated, and fear of dying. We are thankful that we do not have to live in fear as God – the sustainer of the universe – is our Father and knows our every need. We have been actively sharing the hope of the gospel through our sending church’s COVID-19 tract and have seen a good reception from those who accept it.

  • Praise: 6 new supporting churches since the last letter. We are now at 25% coming in.
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings
  • Prayer: Fill 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by summer 2021

June/July 2020 Update

Wow, what a change two months can make! We are happy to report that our RV Windshield was fixed a day after we sent the last prayer letter update. We were excited to get back on the road and resume deputation May 11. We left Salem, OR on a Monday and arrive in Pennsylvania on Saturday, May 16. We were able to be part of a virtual mission’s conference the following week.

In June, we will be in Georgia and heading to Wisconsin and Michigan later in the month. July will have us in Minnesota and North Dakota and will end with us in Tennessee for our final BIMI training camp week. Our few 2020 slots have been filled and we look forward to filling up our 2021 calendar.

Originally, we placed a goal to be in Finland by June 2021; however, COVID-19 seems to have altered this plan. While it took us by surprise, it did not take God by surprise. One item that has recently developed is that it will be required to take a COVID-19 vaccine prior to applying for a residency permit (that is, after one becomes available). We are now praying that we can be in Finland by summer 2021.

Mollie, Meg, and Clark completed their school year on May 22 and already look forward to starting their next school year. Next year will be quite the task as all four of our children will be in school: Mollie – 3rd, Meg – 2nd, Clark – K-5, Jake – K-4. While at a shopping center that required masks for entry, Jake informed us that he needed to remove his mask because he could not see his mouth.

  • Praise: Safety as we traveled to the Northeast from the Northwest
  • Praise: Good health during the flu/pandemic season
  • Praise: Financial provision during COVID-19 lockdown
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings
  • Prayer: Fill 2021 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by summer 2021

Easter 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Lord has blessed us in that He has provided everything we may have ever needed during this time – even with finances. While it was physically impossible to stockpile supplies in our RV, the Lord has allowed us to find paper goods and other necessities in stock when we needed them.

Our meetings for April have paused and it seems like we will do the same in May. It is still uncertain if that will be the case as we await on the official mandates from the White House. During the stay-at-home order, we have been staying at Salem Baptist Church in Salem, Oregon where they have full RV connections – Electricity, Water, Sewer – which have been a huge blessing. They also have a nice, big parking lot where our children can ride their bikes and scooters. I have also been participating with their livestream services and helped get them situated with proper software to do the job.

I can recall a time similar to this COVID-19 panic when a missionary came to our church to speak in 2008. His words were, “I have heard many say that we are in the midst of a recession. I am here to inform you that I am not going to take part in this recession. The Bible says, ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ I am not going to take part because I am also going to increase my contributions to world-wide evangelization. The Bible also says, ‘He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.'” God used missionary Don Sisk to challenge me that I can trust Him even in the midst of uncertainty.

While we may be living in uncertain times, we still have the same certain God who never changes. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow.

April/May 2020 Update

The Lord allowed us to arrive safely in the Northwest for our meetings in March. A few circumstantial items did occur such as driving through blowing snow from Topeka, KS to Fort Collins, CO (a trip that should have been 8 hours took 13), a cracked windshield, and the RV’s cruise control stopped working. None of these are too critical, and our insurance should take care of the cracked windshield – the difficulty being scheduling a time to replace it.

While in Canada, we were able to go out on a regularly scheduled soul winning time. Andrew was able to speak to a self proclaimed atheist and asked him the question, “What has the God of heaven done to make you to choose not to trust in Him?” The man responded, “Nothing. He has done nothing to show me that He is real.” While Andrew did not think of it at the time, the reality is that the God of heaven scheduled that day 4 months ago, caused him to be outside, and brought along someone who could tell about how much God truly loves him.

We thank the Lord that our 2020 calendar is nearly completely full. We have 4 Sundays and 7 Wednesdays left to schedule in 2020 until we can focus on our 30 remaining slots in our 2021 calendar. If we can schedule those meetings and our tentative meetings become confirmed, we would be on track to visit 150 churches on our deputation journey and on schedule to depart for Finland with full support by June 2021.

Recently, Clark (5) has informed us that he never wants to get married because he does not want to share his Legos. Mollie turned 8 on March 22 and broke up the sequential ages. Jake (4) likes to play cough and seems to cough at the most inopportune times in public (with the COVID-19 scare, we are trying to curb this). Meg (6) is ready for school to be over as she is bored with first grade and ready to begin the challenge of second grade.

  • Praise: Safety as we traveled to the Northwest
  • Praise: Good health during the flu season
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings
  • Prayer: Fill 2020 meeting schedule
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by June 2021