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

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

February/March 2020 Update

Our Family enjoyed a restful holiday season. We were able to get a few more meetings scheduled as well as spend time with friends and family in the area. December marked the time for us to update our family photo – a new habit that we are trying to implement. For those not viewing this on the website, the image to the right shows that Andrew is still the only one who can sit still for a photo 🙂

January got us back on schedule with a meeting the first Sunday in Maryland. It was a great start to our calendar year as the church voted to take us on for support. January also was a time of spiritual renewing for our family. We were blessed to take part in the Conference on Revival and Evangelism in Raleigh, NC which allowed us to strengthen our passion for souls.

February 5th marks a new step in our direction toward Finland. Andrew will have completed his freelance work tenure and will be back down to one vocation. At the end of February, we will be traveling towards the Northwest as we have meetings in Canada, Washington, and Oregon until mid-April.

  • Praise: We are at 16% support coming in
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings and clear weather on the trip to the Northwest
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by June 2021

December 2019/January 2020 Update

It is hard to believe that 2019 is nearly over and 2020 will soon beginning. It seems as if we have been on the deputation trail forever, but it has only been a few months (we are counting our official start date as Sept 1, 2019). November brought us back to Minnesota for a few days to get some DMV items settled, doctor appointments, and to enjoy a few inches of fresh snow.

Recently, while at a restaurant, Jake was so inclined as to want to try a Jalapeño pepper. While we were not able to get the first taste on camera, the refusal to re-taste was captured. (Pictures best viewed on website.)

We have a few meetings left this year and then will spend the Christmas season in Florida with Andrew’s sister. We will also celebrate three birthdays this prayer letter – Clark (Dec 15; turning 5), Nicole (Dec 27), and Jake (Jan 27; turning 4). Meg already had her birthday (Nov 7; turned 6) and has already begun losing her teeth. Our first 2020 meeting will be on January 5th. From January until May 2020, there will be only 6 gaps in our calendar where we do not have a scheduled meeting (several being holiday weekends).

We have been able to see 2 salvations so far this year and help in outreach for a new church plant in Portsmouth, VA. We are also at 10% support coming in. This is keeping us on track to be on the field by June 2021, but will gladly go sooner when full support is reached.

  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings (and no more mechanical issues or popped tires)
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by June 2021

October/November 2019 Update

Time seems to be picking up as we are headed into a full October and November schedule. August was a month of decompression time. We stayed in Ionia, MI with family and Andrew was able to pulpit supply for Trinity Baptist Church in Farwell, MI for three weeks. We were able to see one soul trust Christ as Saviour during those 3 weeks. September marked the beginning of school for Mollie (2nd Grade), Meg (1st Grade), and Clark (K-4). This is the first year where we are having the girls go through a video school program.

Every day we are continuing to adjust to RV life. We are thankful the Lord has blessed us with a temporary deputaion home. One neat experience that we have had with our RV is attempting to sleep with a thunderstorm overhead. The loud raindrops and thunder make it nearly impossible to speak to the person next to you. During a strong storm, it makes us very thankful for a roof that does not leak. It reminds us of the covering that Jesus offered as a covering for sin. Unlike an RV roof which has the potential to leak, the covering Jesus provides will never leak.

A few people have commented that our email newsletter is hard to print and display properly. Andrew has fixed this, but to get a copy that is easy to print, visit our website and click the print button at the bottom of the prayer letter.

  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings (and no more mechanical issues or popped tires)
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: To be on the field by June 2021

August/September 2019 update

…And away we go! We are officially on deputation to be missionaries to Finland! It seems like it took us forever and a half to get to the starting line, but it was well worth the wait.

We had several exciting events occur on our trip down to California, a few more while we were there, yet our God was able to answer prayer. God kept us safe, God allowed us to arrive on time for Nicole’s sister’s wedding, and God allowed us to accomplish other needful tasks that were unexpected.

One night on our trip to California, the RV would not start up. Thankfully, the Lord allowed us to be located in the driveway of the campsite we were staying at when it stopped working. The owners allowed us to hook up there for the night. After a good night’s sleep and looking at several causes of what the issue could be, a loose cable was properly re-attached and we were able to leave without too much time wasted. Tightening the cable also seemed to fix an electrical issue we experienced with the RV.

Our first Saturday back in California was a Summer Outreach Spectacular at Lancaster Baptist Church. I was able to share the gospel with a man. While he did not trust Christ that very moment, he said something very peculiar that stuck out to me: “I have to think all of this through a bit more. I am not going to give my life over to Jesus and immediately turn around and do something that He will not like.” He obviously appeared to have an understanding he was not only adding Jesus into his life, but also subtracting sin from it as well.

With our time in Lancaster completed, we were looking forward to adjusting to deputation life. As soon as we left Barstow, CA city limits (en route to our first meeting), we had a double tire blow out on our left rear axle. Praise the Lord for insurance and roadside assistance. The blowout happened at 9pm and we were back on the road by 2am. The frequency of these mechanical issues happening have prompted Nicole to write them in a journal to log how God has protected us.

As I finish writing this update, I am reminded of God’s presence – even in the midst of difficulty, God’s power – to keep us safe, and God’s provision – even with travel difficulty, God already had the plan to sort everything out.

  • Praise: Safe trip to BIMI May 31-June 1 (and return: June 8-10)
  • Praise: Safe trip to California (July 8-10)
  • Praise: Vacation Bible Time at Northstar Baptist Church went well
  • Praise: Safe trip to Michigan for our first meeting
  • Prayer: Safe travels to meetings (and no more mechanical issues)
  • Prayer: Clark’s and Jake’s salvation
  • Prayer: The man I met in Lancaster to be saved
  • Prayer: To be on the field by June 2021

June/July 2019 update

April and May are now behind us and we have just begun to experience a 10 day streak without several inches of snow fall. Andrew has already begun letting the majority of his clients know that he will be ceasing work relationships in the coming days. It was amazing to see God provide sustained freelance work while assuming the Bi-Vocational Assistant Pastor role at Northstar Baptist Church. Only a few clients will be kept until we can transition into full-time deputation.

In June, we will be attending BIMI Candidate school year 1. We have already been approved BIMI missionaries since December 2018, but now we are attending the first of the two weeks of training. After this training week is over, we will return to Duluth, MN to help out in Northstar Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible Time. We will be canvassing our town for a week and then see how God will work in the lives of these children who attend. Last year we saw 120 children in attendance and 10 made a public profession for salvation.

In July, we will say goodbye to the friends we made in Duluth and head back to California to attend a wedding. While in California, we will have time to visit both of our families for a few days. We will then head back to the north for our first meeting on July 28th in Michigan.

  • Praise: Meg was baptized Apr 28th
  • Praise: Steve completed discipleship
  • Praise: Our car tow dolly arrived before our trip to BIMI
  • Prayer: Safe trip to BIMI May 31-June 1 (and return: June 8-10)
  • Prayer: Safe trip to California (July 8-10)
  • Prayer: Vacation Bible Time at Northstar Baptist Church (June 17-20)