Since our last letter, we have been in many churches and have been enjoying the sweet fellowship of Christ with other believers. We still have meetings planned into August with a goal of departing the US for the Czech Republic in September. Enough supporting pastors have asked whether any churches have dropped us, that I feel it is important to come out and say that less than a handful of our supporting churches have stopped their support. At the same time, I want to be clear that the Lord has maintained our support at a level which, according to our research, will permit us to serve successfully in the Czech Republic. It’s worth sharing that we have also had new churches take us on and some churches have even raised their support! Here’s the bottom line – we have some terrific partners in ministry!
We find that life on the road with kids can be a fun challenge. Abby has done a stellar job of keeping the boys in a school routine. Now that summer has arrived the boys are enjoying a little less school work during the day. While not traveling I budget most of my work day into language study. My goal is to be able to communicate at a basic level by the time we arrive in the Czech Republic. By basic level, I mean to be able to get directions, ask where the bathroom is, along with other critical questions, and introduce my family. The Czech language is filled with grammatical and pronunciation nuances, and a person can easily say something offensive by merely extending a vowel at the wrong place in a word. In many ways it is overwhelming if I focus on how deep and dark the water of the Czech language is; but on the other hand, it’s a language of precision, and I love being precise. The Lord has opened the door for me to take formal online lessons from a professional Czech linguist. These lessons have been exceptionally helpful in making sure that I am progressing in the language. All in all, I’m currently working through three different Czech language curriculums since no one curriculum offers a well-rounded scope of study. Right now, I can read in Czech at about the same level that Vince can read in first grade. He loves knowing that I’m doing school too and having to learn how to say and understand new words just like him.
Over the past few months, we have put a lot of time into getting all of our visa paperwork ready to be submitted to the Czech embassy in Washington DC. Most of our paperwork had to be sent to Prague to be officially translated into the Czech language and then sent back to us along with being apostilled (meaning internationally certified—not to be confused with anything related to apostolic authority). If anything were not right in our paperwork, the DC consulate would have rejected our application. Considering the small forest of paper that made up our application we are excited to report that our paperwork was received for review by the Czech Embassy. Our US passports are in the hands of the Czech government, and we are told to expect to wait anywhere between 90–120 days for our visas to be processed.
Please pray with for several things: 1) prosperous language study, 2) that there would be no complications with our visa applications as the Czech Government processes them; 3) for God to continue to impact hearts for His glory as we minister on the road. Thank you for loving and praying for us!