It's been an eventful few months, and it's hard to believe we have just six weeks left before we return to the States... and then a month after that we get married!
This will (by necessity) be a long email, so feel free to fast forward to the Short Version at the end...
In September we sent our seven Discipleship Training School students and two staff leaders off to Ukraine, where they have been ministering among orphans, in schools, teaching English, speaking in churches, and generally loving on the people they meet. Since then, Geoff and I have been busy hosting friends from the States (such a blessing!), resolving visa issues, and praying about direction for the next couple of years.
Geoff's visa expired earlier this year, and two applications, a considerable amount of confusion, and about $1000 later, we're hoping things have been smoothed over. He currently has an application in place for a visa extension of 2 years, which would give him plenty of time to fundraise and apply for residency here in the UK (a long, drawn-out process, which is why we weren't able to do it this year).
Once we got everything sorted out with his visa, Geoff and I were blessed by our base leaders with the chance to take a couple of days away at the other Scottish YWAM base, a beautiful mansion on the west coast of Scotland. We did puzzles, walked on the beach, explored castles, read books, and had hours of face-to-face time to talk and pray about our future. At the end of it, here's what we decided:
We are committing to two more years here at YWAM Paisley, living in Stanely House and investing in the base during this transitional season. We've been given a couple of rooms to turn into an apartment that will allow us some privacy for these first couple of years of marriage. There are quite a few reasons why this seems like the best choice for us (feel free to ask if you'd like to know more!), but suffice it to say we are confident and excited and at peace about this, and we are looking forward to growing together and with the base in this next season.
The specifics have yet to be hammered out, but some possibilities on the horizon are: discipling young people on the yearly DTS, leading worship and teaching at our church and at the base, Geoff will continue with the men's group he has started, I'm looking into investing in chickens and a garden here at the base for a more sustainable food source, partnering with a nonprofit that mentors young artists and musicians in the community, growing in our own musical gifts, and much more!
And hopefully hosting many more of our dear friends and family when they come for a visit? We have plenty of room...!
At any rate, we're excited, thriving in our relationships with each other and the Lord, looking forward to coming home and celebrating with all of you, and looking ahead with expectant hearts to see what these next few years will bring. Bless you all!
The Short Version (or Please Pray):
- Geoff has applied for a visa extension. Please pray that it comes back with a yes on it by November 19 so we can travel home!
- We have committed to 2 more years here at YWAM Paisley, living at the base. Please pray for finances to make over our little apartment, for vision and direction for which ministries to invest in, and for wisdom in setting boundaries and living our first years of marriage well in a community context.
- Finances are still a bit tight. We have been so blessed in our support-raising, but we're still about $160/month short of our (conservative) monthly support goal. Would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis, no matter how small? In addition, this visa renewal just about drained our bank accounts. Would you consider a one-time gift (or a wedding gift) toward our honeymoon or the renovation of our apartment?
Checks can be sent to:
PO Box 1016
Walla Walla, WA 99362
with a note specifying that they are for me/us.
Again, bless you and thank you all, and we hope to see many of you this Christmas!
Molly and Geoff