March 2015 Furlough Update

Hello Everyone,

LANDED & ROLLING

The first two weeks of our furlough have rolled by and so far it has been a busy, fruitful and overwhelmingly blessed time! One goal for the beginning of our stateside visit was to take care of as much official business and health needs as possible early on. With that we have been occupied by dental appointments, debriefing with some of the leadership from our sending churches, and whatever immigration issues we need to deal with that will allow us to continue ministering in the European Union. Along with these activities we’ve also been enjoying the opportunities that God has blessed us with to serve, speak and to find spiritual refreshment one on one with God and by attending our three main supporting churches frequently (CC Costa Mesa, CC South Bay & Newport Coast Lighthouse).

Sharing at CC South Bay
Sharing at CC South Bay

Last Thursday evening I (Frank) was blessed to share a field update with the body of Christ at CC South Bay during their mid-week service. Time spent with the staff and people at CC South Bay is always a joy to us, but this time around it has been on our hearts to an even greater degree in light of the loss of Steve Mays, the late senior pastor, whom we’ve known and loved for years as a personal shepherd and mentor. Last Sunday we were privileged to be present when news of the new pastor was shared with the church. We are excited for pastor Jeff Gill and anticipate great things to be done through him. He is a long time friend of the church, whom we have personally known for years as well. Our prayers will continue to go up for this dear body of saints during this time of transition.

Suzie’s second weekend back was spent with many of the ladies from CC Costa Mesa at the Calvary Chapel Conference Center in Murrietta as she attended the “When Leaders Lead” women’s conference and served by registering many of the attendees. Needless to say she had a wonderful time and is going back for seconds by attending a women’s retreat this coming weekend with Calvary Chapel Bible Fellowship Temecula at the Twin Peaks Conference Center. Opportunities like this to fellowship alongside other likeminded women are much needed for her spiritual recharging!

Teaching at CCSB School of Discipleship
Teaching at CCSB School of Discipleship

On Monday I taught the first of the three classes I will be teaching at the CC South Bay’s School of Discipleship. The class is titled, “The Holy Spirit & the Early Church” and covers select highlights from the Book of Acts. This first lesson was on “The Power of the Holy Spirit.” It was such a joy to share the word with this group of hungry and eager students and I am greatly looking forward to my next two sessions.

This Sunday, while my beautiful bride is away again at her women’s retreat, I will be teaching the word at Newport Coast Lighthouse for their Sunday morning service. NCL is one of our supporting churches and has been faithful through the years to be behind us both spiritually and financially, especially during times of great need. They are a wonderful body of believers and dear friends. We look forward to the times of fellowship we will be able to enjoy with them over the next couple of months!

Beyond all of the above mentioned activities we’ve been enjoying intermittent times of fellowship with close friends and family and anticipate much more of the same throughout our time here. Over the next couple of months we are also planning trips to San Diego, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, northern California and Arizona to spend time family, friends and supporters. As the days unfold we will continue to keep you posted on what God is doing in our lives during this season.

WAITING & SEEKING

As many of you know, our initial plans were to use this furlough as a time of transition to ministry in the U.K. It wasn’t until after we had bought tickets that we hit some of the roadblocks that have caused us to step back and re-examine everything. With that we flew back to the U.S. with a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions. Going on furlough under such circumstances can be a very challenging experience but the day after we landed I believe that the Lord spoke to me in a very clear way about our time here. As a result of that I quickly came under the conviction that it is God’s will for us to be here right now. He sent us here and is unfolding His plan in His perfect timing. I know that all of us know and believe that God is in control but sometimes we have to remind ourselves of this simple reality.

In our last update we mentioned how God had spoken to us quite clearly about our need to continue to wait and to seek Him and that through doing so the answers that we are seeking in regard to our future ministry would come. In Act 16:6-10 Paul and his team hit two significant roadblocks “6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” We see ourselves as currently being in Troas and are continuing to seek the Lord’s will. We both still feel very strong about continuing ministry overseas and re-engaging in pastoral ministry within the local church, but are waiting on the Lord for the details, and whether that ministry will take place in Greece, the U.K. or even elsewhere. At this point the clear answer has not come so we are continuing to wait.

GERMAN CITIZENSHIP

Introducing Frau Suzie (German Citizenship Certification)
Introducing Frau Suzie (German Citizenship Certification)

However, not all of our prayers have remained unanswered. A little over a week ago we had a significant need fulfilled that many of you have been joining us in prayer over for more than a year. As of yesterday, Suzie received her official certificate of German citizenship. She is now a recognized German citizen. If you were unaware, she applied for this last year as a direct descendant of a German national. Her grandfather immigrated to the U.S. back in the mid-1920’s but did not become a U.S. citizen until after Suzie’s mother was born. As a result, his citizenship was naturally passed on to Suzie’s mother, and subsequently to her. This answer to prayer has huge ramifications for us, as it will allow us to live visa free within any EU state. If the Lord keeps us in Greece, or if He leads us to another EU country, our need for visas has been satisfied through this citizenship. Suzie’s application was processed through the German consulate in Los Angeles. The fact that we “happened” to be here when they received her certification made obtaining it and her soon to be German passport much less complicated for us than had we been outside the U.S. God’s timing is amazing!

SO WHAT NOW? Some might ask, what this means in regard to our direction. Well, we’ll let you know as soon as the Lord makes it clear to us. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions and are continuing to do as the Lord has commanded and wait. So please continue to pray along with us that we would hear the Lord’s voice and have the faith to obey no matter what the call! We’re so grateful for the overwhelming amount of support that we’ve personally received during this time of waiting from the moment we landed from the churches and individuals who support us. Their understanding of our situation, encouragement to us and their testimonies of seeing God at work in this all has strengthened our hearts immeasurably. We are blessed by the way you all have continued to labor with us in our prayers and trust that it is not in vain!

PRAYER REQUESTS

1) TRAVEL: We have some trips planned for March, April and May to see family, ministry connections and fellowship with friends. Please pray for traveling mercies and God’s blessing on our time for each trip.

2) MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES: For God to bless the class Frank is teaching on Monday nights at CC South Bay, Frank teaching at Newport Coast Lighthouse on Sunday 22nd, and for the opportunities we have to share about the ministry and the field God has us in. Praying for the Lord to use each of these moments for His glory!

3) GERMAN CITIZENSHIP: Thankful for the answered prayer for Suzie’s German citizenship and now praying for the German passport appointment on April 16 and all would go smooth and Suzie would get that mailed to her before we leave at the end of May.

4) TIMES OF REFRESHMENT: For God to bless times of fellowship with people, at retreats we may attend and even give us a small time away somewhere together.

5) HEALTH: Suzie & I have been getting into a great workout regiment and are staying healthy thus far so please pray for that to continue for us both and for Suzie’s continued health with her back and feet

6) DIRECTION: Please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit’s direction as we seek Him on some specific things regarding ministry and location. We are truly overwhelmed by your support and prayer for this!

7) PROVISION: Continued provision for all our needs both physically and spiritually! So thankful for how God meets every single need in His perfect timing!

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!

Agape,

Frank & Suzie