As you know, Louise and I have been trying to get all our documents ready for submission to the Ethiopian Embassy for authentication...well, it would be an understatement to say that it has been an interesting journey through a proverbial maze of bureaucracy.
Most of what we now know has been gained through trial and error, but we do believe that we have crested the hill and that the end is in sight. A good African proverb says it all: No journey is ever ended without persistence.
Thank you again for your prayers, for your encouragement, and for your support. I thought of you as I read Paul's words to the Ephesians this morning. "...the whole Body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth in the Body for the edifying of itself in love."
The call to serve the people in the Horn of Africa is not ours only...it is yours too. It is as much the call of the sent as it is the call of the sender. We believe that as God made His call clear to us, so He will make His call clear to you and others in the Body as He raises us up to do the work of the ministry in this particular part of His vineyard.
May was quite a busy month filled with everything from learning opportunities to doctors visits to clergy gatherings to presentations in homes and in churches to getting more (yes, more) shots to saying goodbye to friends in various parts of the country we may not be visiting again any time soon. Baroness Karen von Blixen once said that she was better at hello...I couldn't agree more.
This past weekend, we met with Bp. Grant and Dr. Wendy down at Camp St. Christopher to touch base and to chat about various things we still need to do prior to our departure. We met with quite a few old friends and met new friends at the Church of Our Saviour on John's Island. All in all it was a very uplifting and encouraging time.
As the song goes, June is busting out all over, and we have become more aware that the clock is ticking away. We will be taking the remainder of our belongings to our children in Mobile, AL, finishing up all the rest of the paperwork, applying for visas, attending the ACNA Assembly in Latrobe, PA, and, God willing, buying our air tickets.
SAMS has just told me that we are at 55 % of our total pledge need. This means that, together with the emergency cash fund, we do not yet have enough to cover our first year in Ethiopia. Please pray with us and for us about this matter. At present out plan is to leave the US by the end of August or the beginning of September.
Finally...there are two prayers we would ask you to pray for us, both of which come from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. The first comes from 1:15-23 and the second from 3:14-21. Without the Lord's daily enlightenment and strengthening and constant reminder of the width, length, depth, and height of His immeasurable love, we will not be able to do what we believe He has called us to do.
You are always in our prayers.
Johann and Louise