It’s been a couple months since our last update and we’ve now found some time to update you on what God has been doing in our hearts and ministry. We’ve just returned to Greece from a two-month furlough that kept us busier than normal. The last couple times we did make it to the States was because of family issues, first Frank’s dad passing away in 2010 and then 2012 for Suzie’s dad’s cancer that he is still struggling with today. However, this time around our focus was on accomplishing a list of things we needed to get done such as sharing about our work at different churches and groups of people, we both had invites to teach at different church meetings, we attended the missions conference in Murrieta in January, we were able to attend the pastor’s conference at CC South Bay in February (wives were invited), medical appointments, German citizenship stuff for Suzie and worked on things for us to stay legal in the E.U. and last but not least we had ample time with family and close friends and even made some new friendships along the way. Over all God blessed our trip abundantly, provided for all our lodging, transportation and provided for every need we had and even some wants 🙂 We truly have a loving, merciful, and gracious God! We’d like to give a special thank you to the Pero, Gipe and Schorr families for opening their homes to us and allowing us to live with them for extended times and for adding many fun moments along the way. We are truly blessed by their friendships and kindness.
Slideshow Below… We have also included a slideshow of our recent furlough experience as captured on camera. Be sure to check it out at the bottom of the page in order to get a birds eye view of our time in the States and how God blessed it 🙂
Upcoming Season Of Ministry…
Something that we gave a lot of time to as well while back in the States was praying about what this new year will bring for life on the mission field and what and where God desires us to spend our hearts, efforts and energy. It’s very easy to stay “busy” in a city like Athens but we don’t want to stay busy for busyness sake, we desire to put our hands to what has become the theme of our hearts, efforts that will produce lasting fruit. We have always learned and desired since being on the field to not take the place of the locals doing the work of the ministry when it’s them we should be raising up to do it. The couple things that we see as a calling for us personally and a need in any city and stands out to us in Athens is training and equipping. In the last three years we’ve had more opportunities then we can count, to train, teach and equip others to teach and learn the word of God. As a Calvary pastor and missionary, yes, it is hard to not desire to see a new church begin. This is especially true when there is such an apparent need for churches that emphasize teaching the Bible verse by verse through whole books of the Bible, with the goal of giving a well-balanced biblical diet to the people. The evidence that we’ve seen throughout the Calvary movement and with likeminded churches is that teaching in this manner builds a healthier body of believers, who bring their Bibles to church because they are expecting to dive into the word and want to follow along. Healthy believers will also naturally share their faith and invite family and friends to church because they know those they invite will be welcomed and embraced. This is unfortunately not the norm in Greece and it hurts our hearts knowing and seeing this with our own eyes. We know that not everybody will agree with this but we cannot help but be honest about our observations. But at the same time we’ve learned from our time on the field these last ten years that it can be fruitless and some times counter productive to try to convince people to see things like this when they are completely unaware of the need in the first place. So rather than trying to convince a church to have expositional teaching we are and will continue seeking to make as much of an impact as possible by being healthy influences through teaching, training, and equipping others. We pray that these efforts will eventually bear fruit that will lead to the birth of healthy churches and existing churches becoming healthier.
In this New Year we hope to continue doing this in ANY forum God gives us whether it is in a local church that’s open to us or with different local ministries. We know our calling and need to fulfill it with honest and transparent hearts in whatever country we are serving.
Continued Ministry Focuses…
Media Projects: First off, we have now finished translating into Greek the book, “Why Grace Changes Everything”, by pastor Chuck Smith. It was finished while we were in the States. So grateful for our friend Vicky and fellow sister in the Lord here in Athens for translating it! We are sending it now for proof reading and then will begin the publishing as soon as the funds for this are fully supplied. Lord willing very soon! The second thing is the CD with the message, “ How Can A Man Be Born Again” and the two songs by Scott Cunningham that have already been translated and are being recorded now and are almost finished. Lord willing by the end of this month we will be sending it to the organization, Firefighters For Christ. They in turn will be making copies of the cd for FREE and then sending them back to us so we can begin handing them out to any one that speaks Greek here in Athens. We know that we have been writing about these projects for two years now but things take time especially in Greece. We’re just happy that the completion of the projects is in sight!
Friday Night Home Bible Study: It is in our hearts to continue to be a part of this meeting for the time being to make ourselves available as listening ears and helpful influences when needed, as well as to be encouragements in any way God leads. There is a possibility that Frank will resume teaching John on occasion and pick up where he left off last year. They are praying about the month of May but it is something that our friend Arno is still praying about but we are supportive to what he sees God doing with he and his wife’s Farsi study.
Women’s Bible Study: Suzie is back for her Tuesday women’s study. She will be teaching again at the end of this month so please pray for her as she begins studying for that. They are currently in the book of Matthew. She still feels led to continue on in helping teach but will be praying about continuing on after this season is over.
Men’s Discipleship: Frank is resuming this joint ministry effort with himself, and two other ministries in Athens, Helping Hands and Hellenic Ministries. Together they are discipling new believers who were saved out of Islam that we all have contact with on a weekly basis. They are nearing the end of 1John and are praying about another book to do afterward.
Possible Personal Discipleship Opportunity: While we were in the States a refugee believer who is a friend of ours that Frank has worked with in the past here in Athens (we’ll call him Joe), recently started a Bible study for people of his specific language and ethnic group. Frank spoke with him recently and proposed the idea of training him for pastoral ministry (inductive Bible study, message prep, what a biblical church looks like, leadership, etc.). We all see a calling on his life for pastoral ministry and want to do all we can to help equip him. To date, no one has really spent time training him like this. This is something our friend is very open to and desiring so we are praying for it to come together. Frank hopes to begin this soon.
Open Doors of Ministry This Year: We’ve had a couple things presented to us for prayer to maybe have a hand in both here and abroad. Please pray with us for God’s leading as we seek Him for clarity and clear leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t like to jump in to things with out adequate time in prayer and making sure the Lord is in it.
Language Study: We want to resume our studies of Greek and want to continue to progress in our speaking skills as we are using it every day. God has been very gracious in this area.
Transportation: Now that Frank has his motorcycle license we are looking into purchasing a scooter or motorcycle in order to get around town more easily and cheaply. Gas is between $8-10 a gallon here so needless to say we don’t always want to drive our car. We also need a relatively new car as our current car is a 97’ and just down right old so we are still praying for the Lord to provide a more economical vehicle.
Marriage: Just celebrated 12 years a couple months ago and are so blessed to have God in the center of it and we want to continue to keep it sharp in every way, including the romantic parts 🙂 We can get so busy here with ministry that we can find ourselves neglecting simple things like date nights. So with that we are planning to make a great effort to have at least one date a week even if it’s a simple walk on the beach or cup of coffee in a local café. The important thing is for us is to spend time together, alone and outside of the house just hanging out.
Health: While in the States Suzie was finally able to have some exams done and a test to figure out why she keeps getting sick so easily (coughing, bronchitis, and sensitivity to certain foods) and why her immune system is not very strong. Even though God has been really blessing her last couple months and has kept her from sickness. We had some ideas on what it could be but do not have definitive answers as of yet. She did get a cystic fibrosis test done and they think she could be a carrier but does not have the full-blown disease. Her doctor asked her to treat each case quickly as it comes, try to stay away from those that may have colds/flues and begin eating a little bit different of a diet. Meaning, more organic foods and fewer sugars, which if you know Suzie, she’s a salt nut so that doesn’t bother her too much 🙂 Also we will be getting a CT of her chest done in the near future to make sure there is no scaring like what was found in her nasal area. We are still digging for answers but getting closer. Please keep praying.
God blessed our furlough, He blessed Suzie’s time at the pastors’ wives retreat in France right when we returned back to Greece, God has been giving us good health, providing for every need and giving us open doors of ministry we least expected.
1) Making An Impact: That God would use us to impact those around us that believers would become hungry for the word and stirred up to serve the Lord effectively with all their hearts, and that non-believers would be moved to receive Jesus.
2) Lasting Fruit: That our Spirit led efforts would lead to lasting fruit in people’s lives that will continue to grow and bear greater fruit even after God leads us on from Greece whenever that might be.
3) Media Projects: The completion of “Why Grace Changes Everything” –now in its publishing stage, that God would provide the finances and publisher; “How Can a Man Be Born Again” CD finalization and that God would use these tools to encourage and reach many with the gospel in the Greek language.
4) Effectiveness of Our Ministry Activities: Bible studies, training and equipping others for ministry, men’s discipleship, evangelism.
5) Leading of Spirit: God to show us which doors of opportunity to walk through and which to not.
6) Greek Language: That God would bless our study efforts and give us the ability to converse more effectively.
7) Health: Continued good health for both of us and answers to Suzie’s ongoing respiratory and digestive issues. Her immune system has been stronger but in general isn’t strong. Need to take more tests in the coming weeks.
8) Marriage: God would continue to bless and protect our marriage and provide for us to be able to enjoy times together out and about and that Christ would continually be at our center!
9) Transportation: God to provide a new economical car, and a scooter as gas is extremely expensive here ($8-$10 per gallon).
If you are a church or an individual and would like to learn about partnering with us financially with either a one time gift or regular monthly support you can visit our “Becoming A Sender” page or click here.
Thank you for standing in the gap with us!
Frank & Suzie