On the Road
Our furlough was probably one of the busiest, most stressful, and most blessed seasons of our life as a family. The first 2 ½ months were absolutely packed with meetings, speaking engagements, photo presentations, church services, Bible studies, small group meetings, outings, and seminars (with plenty of family fun along the way).
Thanks to some good friends in Maryland we were able to borrow a minivan and go on a road trip through Pennsylvania and New York. We met up with old friends and made many new friends. Through a church connection in New York we received over 1,500 pounds of incredible education material for Africa!!
Helping Zambian MothersAshley received a scholarship to attend a nutrition and behavior conference in San Jose, CA. This is an area in which she’s developed a growing interest.
Aside from 3 kids to feed and care for, Ashley is often approached by the African mothers for advice on health concerns and nutrition.
While Dr. Google has become a close friend of the family, it was a very real blessing for her to be able to gather information directly from the experts.
Enjoying Stateside Family
In December, we took a short break from the furlough schedule to enjoy a very special Christmas week. It was a wonderful time for the children to create memories with their grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins.
In the New Year our family was not dismayed at all to hear that we postponed our departure. We were grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with them… but we were confused about the Lord’s timing with the funding.
We were to learn over the ensuing months that God always knows what He is doing and His timing, unlike ours, is always flawless.
The Reason God Delayed Our Return to Zambia
Nanny with OliviaIn late February our world was rocked when Ashley’s grandmother, a dynamic part of our life and ministry, unexpectedly died of heart complications. It was a shock to the entire family and her loss is felt deeply.
I’m grateful that we were able to spend so much time with her before she passed, and that we were with Ashley’s family after her departure.
“Nanny” was a committed daughter of God, and because of His sacrifice on the cross we look forward to seeing her again one day.
Just a few weeks after that, I received a call from my mother’s doctor. With the few details they were allowed to share over the phone, I gathered that her condition was serious.
On Good Friday I drove 5 hours to Payson, AZ and was able to spend that precious holiday weekend with her in the hospital.
In the days that followed she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. She is now undergoing chemo, radiation, and (hopefully soon) surgery.
I covet your prayers for her, as this is a difficult time physically and emotionally. None of our family lives near her so she is not able to see her children or grandchildren very often. I’m very, very glad that we were able to spend several days with her before we returned to Zambia.
I’m so glad we were with our loved ones during this time. Even though it was one of the harder seasons of our life, we wouldn’t trade being with our families through the grief and sadness. We can clearly see God’s hand and His timing making it possible for us to be in the States when we were.
Return to Zambia
With just two days to spare after sealing the container, we finally returned to Zambia on April 25th (talk about God’s timing!) where we have eagerly jumped into life and ministry.
I love being in the States, spending time with family, eating great food, and sharing about the work we do with the people like you who pray for and support our family.
However, it feels good to be home. God has called me to this continent and I love my work here whole-heartedly.
May the Lord continue to richly bless your faithful service to Him.
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