Hello Friends and Family,
This is a long-overdue update and even with social isolation in Germany, things have not slowed down much for our family. However, there have been many new changes, praises, and prayer requests to update you on.
First huge praise, we just got a car! It is another “all glory to God” story, that we are so thankful for. Our neighbor Martin is part of a group (Brazilian drum circle), and at a meeting, the group leader said that they had a car that the old leader gave to the organization, but it was no longer being used, costing the group money in insurance, and they wanted to get rid of it. Martin suggested it could go to us, and nearly two months later we received the keys yesterday. It is a 2004 Peugeot 807, 7-seater, 200,000 miles, diesel car. So today as its maiden voyage with our family we got McDonald’s to go and went for a picnic. It was a fun outing in the midst of all the uncertainty in our world. However, our big prayer is that this car can be a blessing and tool in our ministry. Taking people home after Bible study, giving rides to church, or taking people meals to name a few ways. Next week we will be investing over a thousand Euro into the necessary repairs and the renewal of the TUV (like DEQ). We are so thankful that God has given us this gift.
Now back to the big issue of our day. The Coronavirus is disrupting life here just like in every part of the world. In Weimar all schools and kindergartens are closed, all non-essential stores are now closed, and it might not be long before all non-essential movement is “verboten.” There are two other families with small children in our building and we have a nice outdoor play area, so we have done a group “quarantine”, where we will allow the children to play outside together on our private play area, but not let the children go to each other’s homes. It has worked out so far, but another neighbor on the property but in a different house has let their children go to friend’s houses or let friends come over. So we are praying that the virus will not sneak its way in through an outside source. Our school has gone to online classes, where I am busy making videos for my classes and doing google hangouts with students who want to ask questions. Stanley and Holly have been busy doing their school work, and Heather has been busy with the little boys and doing homeschool with them. It’s a strange feeling working from home where you want to help around the house, but you still need to get your job done. Kudos to all of you who work from home full time. Sue (Scott’s mom) was supposed to visit us on April 1, and she was even in Europe when things started to go south. Last week we had to make the decision on whether she would come to Weimar early, or head back to the States. It was a hard decision, but we all decided her going back to Oregon and not coming to Weimar was the best decision. She is now safely back but unfortunately, we have to wait longer before we can all get hugs. Please pray for opportunities to share the hope we have in Christ even when the world seems to be falling apart at the seams.
With the social distancing, we have had to cancel our Sunday night youth Bible study, but on Monday we hosted a google hangouts Bible study, which worked very well. We were even able to have a few old friends who have moved or are normally not able to attend due to other commitments join us. Please pray that we can continue to encourage each other even when we are not able to physically meet.
At the end of January, we said goodbye to baby Leon on his 4 month birthday. It was a bittersweet goodbye. Bitter, because we invested so much into him and it was hard to see him go. Sweet, as we know he is with a loving couple who loves Jesus and will love him well. Also relieving as it was a very hard 4 months for our family and we are thankful for the rest. We didn’t get to see Leon for over a month after that. His new parents have successfully bonded with him. And when Heather did have a chance to see him again, the connection was no longer there, which was a little bit sad for Heather. Please pray that he will continue to grow and that he will know the love of Jesus and please pray for wisdom for his parents. Pray also for wisdom on when would be the right time to take another short term foster baby. We are waiting for after Easter before we will be ready again.
After we said goodbye to Leon, we took a special family trip to Disneyland Paris. It was our way to say thank you to the kids for their patience and grace in the whole process. We were able to use some of the money from foster care and some discounts with Stuart’s disability to make the trip very affordable for our family. It was a fun time as a family, plus our friend Anna came with us as Stuart’s personal helper.
Some other prayer requests
- Please pray for our church here in Weimar. We are going through a small crisis, as we are struggling to find new elders. Many of the people the church has approached have said no as it is too much of a time commitment. There are several elements in that statement that we don’t want to go into right now, but prayer for wisdom from the leadership that wise Biblical choices will be made.
- Prayer for our family as life is full and we want to be wise with our resources and time. There are always more good things to do then we have time for, but we want to maximize our effectiveness for God’s kingdom.
- Prayer for future planning wisdom. We don’t want to be jellyfish in life, coasting along life’s currents without a plan in mind. I have been thinking maybe it might be good to take a one-year sabbatical from work to focus on my German. We have been here for almost 9 years, and because I am so busy at work, my German hasn’t improved much. If I want to have more of a voice at church, then I need to be more fluent (or at least proficient) in the language. This would have a lot of implications, but when we are walking God’s path, he will make a way.
- Prayer for English camp this summer. The future is so uncertain, and we don’t even know if it will happen now. Pray that it can happen, the team from Garland Texas can make it, and it would lead students to Jesus.
Thank you so much for your prayer and support. Thank you for bridging the gap and interceding for us. Here are some pictures from our last few months, stay healthy, and know that God is in control in the midst of the world’s crisis.
Serving Him in Weimar Germany,
Scott, Heather, Stanley, Holly, Stuart, and Samuel