BUSY AND HOT! These words would be the apt descriptor for our summer! We were blessed to have Ryan with us twice over the summer months, once in Costa del Sol, Spain and then in Bratislava. We are so grateful for the extra time we’ve had with him since he’s been living in Europe. We’veContinue reading Late Summer 2019
Grandparenthood is the best! We had such a wonderful time taking care of and loving on our new granddaughter, Kate Evelyn Atkins, for 10 unforgettable days in March! Other grandparents have told us how wonderful it is to be a grandparent and that there is nothing like it. Well, we are here to tell youContinue reading Spring Edition 2019
BEYOND THANKFUL! Thank you so much for your prayers for us and the ministry God has blessed us with here in Slovakia and throughout Central Europe. You may not have noticed, but Elise has not done a good job sending out newsletters; yet, God continues to provide for us because of His unfailing love! ThanksContinue reading Winter 2019
Lots of water under the bridge…
May Day! May Day is now most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labour movement. The holiday may also be known as Labour Day or International Worker’s Day and is marked with a public holiday in over 80 countries. The 1 May date is used because in 1884 the American FederationContinue reading May 2018
New Churches in Slovakia Thank the Lord with IMB colleagues in Bratislava, Slovakia for the many opportunities 2018 has brought for ministry and networking with Slovaks and GCC (Great Commission Christian) partners. There are three churches beginning new church plants in the coming few months and several others considering it within the next year! PrayContinue reading March 2018
Preparation and Positioning
We are happy to report that God seems to be preparing and positioning Slovakia for a spiritual awakening! Just as preparation and positioning are so important in photography, history proves that these things are essential for any great movement of God. We are pleased to report that one of the mission leaders in Slovakia has asked us to be a part of a church planting team in Bratislava! Join with us in thanking God for this wonderful opportunity as well as for the International Baptist Church’s desire to sponsor this work. Ask for God’s wisdom as we seek to further build this team and lay a strong foundation in preparation for this church plant that is girded in prayer. Also, our church, Palisady Baptist, has been without a pastor for over a year and we have just received news that our church overwhelmingly voted to call Danny Jones to be our pastor! He was a former missionary in Slovakia for 14 years and member of our church for 4.5 of those 14 years. We are thrilled beyond words and ask that you pray for Danny and his wife Clara as they make preparations to return to Slovakia. Pray that our church would be positioned and prepared to become the Bride of Christ and be willing to be led by Danny as our pastor.
THANKS FOR PRAYING!
Dear Prayer Partner,
The missions conference in Slovakia this past weekend was great. Thanks for praying for us and those attending. We expected 20 – 40 in attendance, but there were about 55. The best thing was all the wonderful relationships that were begun. Springing out of that came an opportunity for a couple of volunteers to serve in Slovakia this summer:
We are thankful for the many opportunities God gave us in the month of March and April to share the good news that Jesus is risen. Elise was able to connect with a young woman at McDonald’s who is very open to learning about faith in Christ. Trey has been able to connect with two high school students who are also interested in the gospel. Pray that God would continue to work in the lives of those with whom we have been able to share the message of hope and ask that they would desire to know more about God and His love for them.
Remembering a Life Well Lived…
(This is the Atkins’ December letter with an update for January at the bottom)
SPOTLIGHT ON SLOVAKIA
Praise God for an amazing visit with the Missions leader and his wife here in Slovakia last Sunday! At his initiative, we are now actively pursuing a true partnership in the gospel in the coming year. Pray that each of us would be sensitive to the Lord and His leadership in how we can most effectively partner together for the furtherance of the gospel and His kingdom here in Slovakia. Ask that God would prepare the hearts and minds of those whom he would want us to influence for His kingdom. Also, please pray for our church, Palisady. The church voted to not give each of our pastors a vote of confidence and we are now in search of a new pastor. Pray that God’s man for our church would be found and lead this flock to become all that God would desire for it to be.
BACK IN THE SADDLE
It is hard to believe that we have already been back in Europe for almost 3 months. I guess it is easier to believe, however, when considering we have moved 11 different times and lived out of suitcases for two months! Due to the length of time it has taken to secure an apartment contract (September 1, 2016), we are having difficulty getting our visa extended in time for Elise to have the freedom to travel out of Slovakia in October for a business trip on October 2nd. Please pray the Foreign Police would process our paperwork QUICKLY.
Back to Bratislava
Hello from our Airbnb apartment! We had hoped to be writing from our new place, but we will not move in until September 2nd, though we just heard the date could be as early as August 26th. We had no idea we would be met with a housing shortage when we returned from our eight month stateside assignment in Shreveport, Louisiana. It did make it easier, though, to choose from the only three unfurnished apartments we saw and that out of six realtors we contacted!
We would appreciate your prayers as we adjust back to life in Slovakia, consider how we can effectively communicate the gospel to Slovaks, who and how to partner with in the task of extending God’s kingdom in Slovakia, and how to continue providing leadership for our IMB Colleagues in the EURO Central cluster.
Old and New Friends
It has been so much fun to reconnect with old friends and make new friends. We have not seen some of these friends in over 12 years! It’s been wonderful to make new friends in the churches that we have visited and spoken in as well. Not only have our travels enabled us to see family and lots of basketball games, but have also afforded the luxury of us being able to get in touch with these friends once again!
Dear friends and family,
We hope all of you have had a nice celebration of Jesus’ birth this Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year of 2016!
Dear friends and family,
Pictured above is our first worship service at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Thanks so much for your prayers for us and our family. It means so much to know that you are praying, and God is faithfully answering your prayers!
Although the reason for us getting together again was a sad one, we all so thankful to be with each other in our time of grief as we mourned the loss of Elise’s Dad, Kenley, but rejoiced in heaven’s gain! Thanks so much for your prayers as we continue to walk this road of grief.
Dear Prayer Supporters,
Four weeks ago, Elise’s dad was playing tennis. There is doubt now whether he will live through the day. Disease can take us quickly.
We are very sad and grief-stricken over the rapid decline of Elise’s dad’s health. What began as stomach surgery, quickly changed to cancer. to widespread cancer, to hospice care and terminal illness.
Dear family and friends,
Well, time definitely marches on and, unfortunately, I haven’t gotten a newsletter out for awhile. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it or thought about you – the hands just haven’t hit the keyboard to make this happen!
Dear friends and family,
We hope this year has already been filled with many blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ! Ours sure has been and we are so thankful for God’s gracious hand, His satisfying presence, and meaningful purpose that He brings to our lives.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Let the season begin! The Basketball season, that is! We’re looking forward to the holiday season as well, but we are REALLY excited about Bret’s new Basketball season at ETBU!! The first game is on November 15th and we will be watching at 11 pm that evening! Just look for Michael Jordan’s number and you’ll see Bret! (www.etbusports.com) Pray that Bret will be able to keep up with the rigors of both studies and basketball as this will entail a lot of travel. (Oh, and a girlfriend is in the mix now, too!) Ask for an injury free season as well.
Dear friends and family,
It has been awhile since we have caught you up on our family and ministry news, so here goes…!
Thanks so much for praying for our sons and daughter-in-love as they have all undergone much transition in the last few months. Ryan and Summer have found the learning curve for Chinese culture and language to be quite steep! Ryan is teaching in two Universities approximately 15 hours a week and Summer is doing well with her online classes through CBU (California Baptist University). Pray for their continued acculturation and specifically for a girlfriend for our daughter in love.
Dear family and friends,
Greetings from Central Europe where we are already experiencing a crispness and coolness in the air! We enjoyed a good month in July of local ministry and preparation for our annual meeting for our colleagues in Oberweisenthal, Germany. It was good to ‘stay put’ for a whole month, meet with national friends and co-workers, and be able to attend our local Baptist church regularly; this also helped us gain a better grasp on the Slovak language.
I hope all of you are having a great summer! We are thankful for a cooler summer this year as it makes it much easier to work and enjoy life in our apartment. There were several days last summer when we felt like we were working in a sweatbox! We enjoyed our very informative visit to Germany with the European Leadership Affinity Team as we went on a Reformation Tour and had the privilege of having our cousins come for a visit from Phoenix to see us in Bratislava last month!