In August Paul and some of the guys from Tucson went down to Mexico. The trip had multiple purposes like most of our trips. One of our ministry partners was making a flight down to meet with his team so Paul and Tony joined him to spend some time working on the hanger and an airplane. At the same time we had an eye-clinic happening out of our medical base. What’s that? Well, a medical group came down from the US and for a week, performed checks and surgeries on nationals experiencing eye problems. This involved many trips to and from villages transporting nationals to the clinic and then back home. There were over 80 surgeries done in that one week. The neat thing is that while they are waiting for treatment, the gospel is being shared with them! Not only are we assisting with physical sight, but sharing the need for spiritual sight as well. God knows the hearts that were changed and the hearts that are still pondering His shared Word. We just continue to do what we are called to do. Thank you for prayers for our team as we work to share Christ.
We survived two weddings in the same year! Matthew and Karizma had a beautiful beach wedding on October 16th. The weather was perfect for this day! Not only did we get another daughter but we also were blessed with her family as well. As parents, we pray continually for each of our kids to find a spouse who loves the Lord with all their heart. I am so thankful that God provided Karizma for Matthew and Filipe for Bethany! What a huge blessing it is to have them as family!
UIM Aviation has an audit next month. Mission Safety International will be here to check out all the nooks and crannies, making sure we are performing safely and professionally. Not only do they evaluate the technical aspect, they evaluate our team dynamics and strive to help us improve in areas where we are weak. Every inch of the hanger, the planes, the flight program, and the team will be carefully scrutinized. Even the wives fill out in-depth questionnaires and have interviews with the MSI team. While this is stressful, it is a good thing that keeps everyone on their toes, and gives MSI a look at UIM Aviation from many angles. This is basically a health check up for us. A clean audit by MSI enables UIM Aviation to have insurance for the next three years, so this is very important. Please pray with us that the audit goes smoothly.
Gabriel has big things ahead! In January he will be flying to Cote d’Ivoire on a 3 month mission trip. While we are very happy he can go, I (Mom) am already missing him! He will be working with Joan & Dan Cuthbertson (my sister) who are church planting missionaries there. He is very excited to go as he missed out on his Senior mission trip when he graduated a year early! He is sending his own newsletters, so if you want to be on his mailing list, let me know and I’ll make it happen. He has already been accepted as a counselor at Merriwood Christian Camp next summer, and then is planning to start at Word of Life, Hungary in September! Busy year ahead for him!
This next bit is awkward… it always is. We have had many ask about our finances, so briefly, this is an update: our account is very low. Some of our supporters have retired or passed away so that has dropped our income somewhat. We are doing ok, but on top of the lower support we have furlough coming up next year. That will cost quite a bit, and it’s just not there. We do know that God supplies where He leads. Thank you for your faithful giving and praying for our family to serve here. Would you pray for more people to come alongside us in this ministry? Do you know someone you would like us to meet and share with next summer? Let us know and we will be happy to arrange a meeting.
A pressing request…we are looking for housing for June and July in the Winston-Salem area. We have contacted a few churches but it seems mission places are full. Please pray that something opens up where we can base for those months as we visit the surrounding churches and supporters. (From there we travel to TN, VA, WVA, SC, and GA.)
We have housing for June and July 2020! Thank you for praying since I sent out that letter …was it just yesterday? Wow! Isn’t it so cool to see a result so fast?
I need to wrap this up! I do hope you are well and in a sane mind as this Christmas season brings all the Christmassy busyness… making cookies, writing cards, shopping, attending programs at school and church, and all those fun parties. By the way, Jesse for years called our White Elephant Party the “Gray Hippo Party”! Still gives us a good laugh remembering. It seems that December is so full, that we have to work extra hard to focus on the true reason for the holidays! Every year as I prepare and direct our Living Nativity, I refresh my mind on the coolness of prophecy coming true in so many ways to bring Jesus to earth! While His birth is the reason for the celebrations, the culmination is the EMPTY tomb. We serve a God who is ALIVE and seeking a relationship with us. Wow! When you think about it, does it give you goose bumps? Ok, I need to quit, but just want to say that as I write many of your faces are in my mind and I am so thankful for you! Merry Christmas from our home to you!
Laurel and Paul