We want to thank you all for your consistent encouragement and support in every way! We are so blessed how God has been providing for our every need in our daily lives. It’s always so nice to start a newsletter out with praises to the Lord. Praise to our Lord Jesus for how He answers prayer and His constant faithfulness even when we are faithless.
Weddings: Two of our friends just got married this past weekend on the same day. One Greek wedding and one Greek/Persian wedding….Opa! It was such a blessing and privilege to get invited to the reception of one of the weddings. We had such a great time seeing God unit two different couples as one!
Ministry Project: “Why Grace Changes Everything” by Pastor Chuck Smith is now available in Greek in electronic form on the CC Missions Translation Website. Suzie and I thank and praise the Lord for bringing this two-year project to completion. Lord willing the hard copy version will follow at some point in the future. May God use it to build His people and kingdom! Check it out here and pass on to any Greek friends you have! http://library.missioncalvary.com/
Catching up with Friends: We are grateful for our time we spent up in Thessaloniki, Greece visiting Mark & Celeste Yocom while they were there receiving Celeste’s next bout of chemo treatment. It took 6 hrs to drive up there but it was beautiful and well worth it. The four of us had a time of praying for each other, spending time together in fellowship and Suzie and I hung out with them in the hospital during Celeste’s treatment. It was a refreshing time for us all and we are so blessed to be part of this portion in Celeste’s & Mark’s lives and be whatever encouragement we could be. They even brought their daughter Isabella on this trip and it was a joy to see how big she has gotten since the last time we saw her. Please continue in prayer for Celeste’s healing!
Making Connections: Many of the other Christian workers here know I am a Calvary pastor and missionary and know that there are many CC’s throughout Europe and the world. Because of this on occasion we’ve been asked to connect new believers and seekers that have left Greece with churches and missionaries elsewhere in Europe. It has been a blessing to hear reports about either their salvations or growth in Christ from the other cc pastors we have connected them with. We thank God for the small part He has allowed us to play in their spiritual journeys. One specific man we are referring to is the cousin of one of our close friends here in Athens. He had a desire to know about the Lord and is living in Vienna. After writing my friend Ken Myers (a fellow CC missionary pastor, serving in Austria) about him, Ken began to meet with him regularly and eventually led him and his wife to the Lord. God is so good in how He works in such amazing ways!!
Discipleship & Training: I (Frank) have been so grateful for my time with a pastor (we’ll call him Peter for security reasons) from Pakistan who leads a fellowship here in Athens. He has a wonderful open door with this group of people, many of whom are Catholic. A while back they approached “Peter” and asked him to begin teaching the Bible to them on a weekly basis. Peter felt unprepared for this and asked me to help train him for this ministry. Over the last couple of months I have been teaching him the inductive Bible study method and how to prepare messages while walking him through basic pastoral leadership. A few weeks back he finally taught his first message inductively and he is beginning to teach through a book. I am teaching two more Sundays and finishing a series I have been doing and my heart is to see him do this every Sunday as I wean myself out permanently. He has really grasped this teaching method and is really doing so well during our times we meet each week. I thank the Lord for this opportunity. It’s so humbling.
Bible Studies: I finally finished the section of John that I was teaching at the Friday night Persian fellowship. Since then Arno has resumed the teaching and will continue in John. Blessed by this! Suzie and I have been so grateful to be part of this Bible study with mainly Persian believers. The warmth and love of this group is overwhelming. We’ll see how long God has us continuing to attend but we pray to be a continuous encouragement as long as possible. Also, Suzie’s women’s Bible study has come to an end for this semester. She has had a lot of physical issues with her back and health that have prevented her from taking part these last couple weeks but has gained so many friends and wonderful sisters in the Lord from this study.
Health Issues: When we visited Thessaloniki the other week I decided to ask the director of the hospital where Celeste Yocom was receiving her chemo treatment, about the possibility of back treatments for Suzie. This question led them to introduce Suzie to a neurosurgeon who ended up seeing her and giving her an exam for free. During his exam he concluded that her pain was coming from instability in her spine. In short this means that her spine is out of alignment and is moving a lot. This can cause the discs to worsen and cause major nerve damage, if not treated. He feels the best course of action is to do a surgery procedure that is still not as invasive as her last back surgeries. This will entail two small rods on either side of her spine that will keep it stable permanently. We are headed back up to Thessaloniki on June 29-July 3 for an MRI and CT on her back and then while there her new doctor will then evaluate how he wants to go about this surgery. We planned this at the same time as Celeste’s next chemo treatment so we will be able to spend time with her and Mark again. Another thing to add is this hospital is the only protestant hospital in Greece and was started by a mission’s organization and is directed by a pastor/doctor…God is good!
The plan is to have the surgery in the beginning of October. Suzie will be in the hospital for three days to a week and recovery will be a month and a half. The doctor has told her to continue trying to get into good shape and strengthen her stomach muscles before the surgery because the stronger her stomach is, the better her recovery will be. She has been swimming a lot, doing abs and working out on a stationary bike we bought her to prepare her for this. Waiting until October will give her enough time to prepare for this surgery both mentally and physically. Many of you know my wife well, and know what she has gone through physically since she’s been a kid. This will be her tenth surgery on her body and as you can imagine, it can be daunting and a bit depressing not having the strength after the surgery to do things for yourself. Although this is not great news physically, it is wonderful to see how God has been providing for this surgery and travel in every way. We know we have a faithful God who is able to accomplish all of these things.
Possible Summer Travels: God has provided for us to attend the missions’ conference in Austria in August and we are prayerfully considering this. We are also considering and praying about spending some time in England before and after the missions conference for ministry purposes. Bob Claycamp invited us to come out for a short season to help with the work that is going on in Exeter and their region in the UK. Currently Bob is pastoring two churches in the southwest part of England. There is great need right now for training men for pastoral leadership and for helping in some outreaches that are planned for September. We see it has an opportunity to serve directly with Calvary Chapel in a variety of ways and we are excited to do so. We also hope to help out during Creation Fest in the beginning of August. As the ministry in Greece is typically slower in the summer and all of our short-term commitments are finished for the most part we feel it’s a perfect time to continue to serve the Lord in a different environment. Of course this is all contingent on Suzie’s doctor’s appointment next week and the results of her MRI & CT. We are taking prayerful steps forward with this short-term ministry trip to England and believe that God has been opening the right doors so we want to go through them in faith and see what He will do!
1) Discipleship & Training: Pray for the Pakistani pastor I am training, code name Peter, that he would continue to grow in his ability to study and teach the Bible for the fellowship he leads.
2) Media Projects: For the final recording in Greek to be completed of, How Can A Man Be Born Again and that God would use it to reach many for the gospel. As we already mention in our update we also praise the Lord that we now have finished and posted online the Greek translation of, Why Grace Changes Everything on CC Costa Mesa’s Missions Website. Here is the link if you’d like to share it with a Greek friend. http://library.missioncalvary.com/
3) Medical trip to Thessaloniki: As was just mention in our update, Suzie will be having back surgery in the coming months as we have discovered recently she has an instability in her spine which has been causing the pain she has been having for a couple of months now. Please pray for our next trip to St. Luke’s hospital in Thessaloniki from June 29th –July 3 for an MRI, CT, and consultation with her new neurosurgeon. Also pray for all the preparation leading to and insurance coverage for the surgery.
4) Possible Summer Travels: We are praying about attending the mission’s conference in Austria as well as doing a short-term season of ministry in the southwest of England with Bob Claycamp from August through September after being invited by him to do so. We are also contemplating serving at Creation Fest. Our ministry slows down here in Greece for the summer and this is an opportunity that presented itself. Please keep these things in prayer and that God would lead!
5) Provision: That God would continue to provide for all of our needs and the things we mentioned above. Thanks!
Support Info: 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