Since our last update some things have transpired that we need to make you aware of if you don’t already know in order to ask you to pray.
Most importantly, the Calvary Chapel in the UK that has been sponsoring the majority of the CC missionaries and pastors serving there recently lost it’s visa sponsoring license due to some changes that the British government is making. The British government recently sent notices to 19 different families serving in the UK, many who are pastoring churches, giving them 60 days to either find new sponsorship or leave the country. In addition to those who are currently in the U.K. this news obviously affects us too. This same situation has also befallen other Christian groups in the U.K. but please note that this is not a direct attack against the church. In fact this is the government’s way of trying to combat Islamic extremists without looking like they are targeting them by making the same stringent rules for all religious groups across the board. We’ve been incredibly blessed to witness how our friends and fellow missionaries serving in the U.K. are handling this situation by humbly trusting God to work it out for His glory and will.
Because of this recent development and some other unexpected roadblocks, our plans to go to the U.K. are being put on hold. Because of this we are taking a step back, to pray and discern what the Lord is doing with us. We are very confident that we heard from the Lord but believe that we need to take time to review it all. We trust that if God wants us in England that He will make a way and clear all obstacles. If He has other plans we know He will guide us and trust that He has that right place for us to thrive in, where we can both use our gifts and continue serving Him according to our calling. At the very least, we know that He wants to change some major things up in our ministry and is leading me to focus more on discipling, teaching God’s word and pastoring in a local church setting.
Unfortunately the visa issues in the U.K. are not uncommon within the E.U. There are several countries that have increased restrictions for one reason or another. As we’ve shared in previous updates Greece has it’s own troubles when it comes to visas of all types for all foreigners. Many laws are changing continuously in Greece, which has put many missionaries at risk of losing their visas or giving them no way to apply or reapply. Missionaries here have dealt with this situation in different ways. We know some families after being denied several times have chosen to come back anyway convinced of their calling, whereas others have seen these restrictions as a closed door from the Lord, accepting their denial and leaving Greece. Nevertheless it is our conviction that God is able to make a legal way to stay for those whom He has called to serve in a foreign country. Following the laws of the land like this help us to be above reproach with those we are ministering to. We look at the situations in England, Greece and elsewhere where missionaries are having difficulty finding legal ways to stay as opportunities to trust that God is able to open the doors that He wants His people to walk through if He has called them. We know that God is sovereign and not limited by bureaucrats no matter how powerful they think they are.
This news that we’ve shared might have left you asking what our next step will be. Our only honest answer is that we truly don’t know. However we do know that God knows exactly what He is doing and is in complete control. As you can imagine this all has been very hard to swallow. We don’t deny that it has taken us back quite a bit. We are thankful that our supporting churches are aware of our situation and are trusting that God will work it out and are being supportive. But the fact that there is nothing we can do at this point but wait on the Lord to see what He will do has brought us to a new place of deeper reliance.
We are still planning to be in the U.S. from March 3-May 26 as we bought our tickets before any of these roadblocks popped up. This time back in our own country will allow us to continue seeking the Lord through various means and hopefully share about what we hear from the Lord.
With that we ask that you pray with us for God to shed light on the situation, to speak to and lead us, as we walk through this time of uncertainty and challenge. We will keep you updated as we hear from the Lord.
PRAYER & SUPPORT INFORMATION
The greatest way that you can get behind our ministry is to join in the battle through prayer. Please consider the following urgent needs:
- ENGLAND VISAS: For God to clear up the visa issue for all the missionaries serving in England and that through this we would see God work it all out for His glory!
- LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: For God to show us His will and open the door He wants us to walk through.
- MISSIONARIES IN GREECE: Please pray for those missionaries that have had difficulty in recent months with their visa renewals like our friends the Coleman family on Crete who are CC missionaries that have been church planting for the last 6 or more years.
- FURLOUGH PLANS MARCH 3-MAY 26: That God would provide all that is needed while stateside and provide an abundantly fruitful time!
- BOOK PUBLISHING: Please continue to pray for this project we have been working on for the last year. And for God to use the Greek version of, Why Grace Changes Everything, for His glory and to bless every Greek that reads it! So grateful He allowed us to finish it!
- SUZIE’S GERMAN CITIZENSHIP: Pray that the certification will be finalized soon as it will make all of our visa issues within the EU go away!
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 by following the link.
Thank you for standing in the gap with us!
Frank & Suzie