An Update From Janice / April, 2020
I am sitting here looking at the date…April, 2020…and wondering how that is even possible. The two months in between this and my last email seem like a blur of events I am still trying to sort through. I pray that you are all staying home and wish I were there to drop off groceries, pick up medicine or help in some way. Despite the tragedy of this awful disease, I can think of no better time for the church to rise up and be God’s hands and feet. How encouraging it has been to see the creativity of the Body in connecting safely with one another, in serving one another and being a blessing in this present darkness.
Here is an update of the last two months on my end. I came back to the States for my youngest niece’s wedding in Virginia. What a blessing it was to see two people who are completely sold out to Jesus come together in love to serve God better. There were testimonies of God’s faithfulness and work in lives because of these two. Tears joyfully flowed, people were both challenged and encouraged and God was truly glorified and lifted high! We drove back to Illinois and I began preparations to head off to Budapest and start Member Care ministry in Central Europe. My first obstacle was difficulty with my visa. It began to look like my early March date would need to be moved to early April. As I began to gather more paperwork for the visa, I was informed that the Hungarian border closed and only Hungarian residents were allowed to enter the country. Then the US border closed to European flights. I kept my suitcases packed until this past weekend as it finally settled in that I would not be going any time soon.
I met virtually with my team of 6 yesterday and we spent time in prayer and catching up. One team member had gone back to Brazil in concern for her family. Food is very scarce thereand because the value of the dollar dropped, it had a terrible rippling effect on their economy. Food was becoming scarce and the disease was fierce there in the capital city. She struggled to feed her siblings and parents, and was very discouraged. Her name is Sondra and could really use your prayers.
Another teammate, Carolyn, who lives in Romania with her husband and 5 children was unable to return to the States in time. The couple work in a city among the Roma (Gypsy) population who normally beg for a living. With no people on the streets to beg from, and absolutely no social distancing among them, they have become desperate and the disease has spread among them. They have begun aggressively pounding on their door for food and medicine for the virus and she no longer feels safe. She is keeping the children inside and she is deeply stressed and concerned about the growing aggression. They also need your prayers. Leaving only 4 others to do any Member Care, the team shared that they are getting calls continually from around Central Europe, from desperate YWAM missionaries. They have asked me to join them in Skyping workers who feel trapped or stressed offering debriefing and a place for them to share their fears and concerns. So from this point on, I am debriefing from my sister’s home in Illinois and trusting God to help me to do something that I feel very unqualified to do.
I am reminded how incredibly blessed we are in the States. We may struggle to find toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but we have food. We may not have masks, but we have medicine. We have clean hospitals. And many of us have beautiful homes with yards and it is safe to go out and walk. My encouragement to you is not to feel guilty for these things, but rather take time every single day to thank God for His many blessings in our lives! As you list them and thank Him, our joy increases and our perspective changes. We will be better able to serve our neighbors with joy and be the light He wants us to be.
A few of you have been so faithful in financially supporting me. If your finances have been hurt by this pandemic or you have to pull back, please know that I completely understand but
would still love to have contact with you. Your prayers are what I most value! I am eager to get back overseas where I can help people face to face but am thankful for Skype and God’s great provision of technology. I pray that you will take advantage of the access we have to send notes of encouragement and hope to those you know who are likely feeling isolated and discouraged. God has given us this unique, great opportunity to serve like never before and love our neighbors and bless them.
God bless you and keep you as you find your strength and hope in Him alone.
Much love, Janice
PO Box 446
Dundee, OR 97115
Hello, dear Friends!
Finally I am back in the States and eager to see as many of you as I possibly can! April was a busy month finishing the book, writing a proposal and presenting it before the class, potential marketers, and literary agents, editors and wrapping up this last portion of the 6 month journey.
The last two weeks of May have also been quite busy flying back to the States, getting doctor appointments, physical therapy and tests set up and begun. I have had the joy of sharing with several people in Central Illinois
during the past two weeks, this week will travel to Southern Illinois and will head up to Chicago to share with others next week.
I look forward to visiting my church family in Florida (hopefully in June) and precious friends in California (hopefully in July). In August I am hoping to head back overseas but am still working on and praying into that. I would appreciate your prayers for clear direction as I proceed with YWAM Member Care and writing.
I have been asked by a German worker in Bosnia to write about his work with the Roma (gypsies) in Sarajevo. Reinhold has been working with the Roma for at least 25 years and was one of the first people I met in Bosnia almost 20 years ago. As he and his wife near retirement, it is Reinhold’s desire to educate newcomers who plan to work among the gypsy population and I am honored to partner with him in this through writing his book. I will also be traveling to Budapest, Romania, and Croatia to gather information with workers there who have successful ministries among the Roma and interview Roma leaders in the church.
Thank you so much for your love and support over the past 6 months! I couldn’t have done it without you!! It has been pure joy for me to observe some of what God is doing in different parts of the world and in His Body of believers. One of the biggest “take-aways” for me is that missionaries are in dire need of prayer and encouragement. I am more excited than ever to enter Member Care ministry in an effort to help preserve and restore workers through encouragement, support, listening and offering tangible help in any way that I can in order to keep them on the field longer. I have seen how the smallest bit of encouragement can help carry weary workers a long way! Your own correspondence with me has certainly been a help to me during these past 6 months!
I will let you know when I will be in your area and if you are free to meet, I would love to hear all that is happening with you and share some of what has been happening to me. Words cannot express my thanks for all your prayers, texts of encouragement, phone calls and financial support. May God bless you and keep you as you look to Him for all of your needs and cares. See you soon!!
Much love and a big hug, Janice
PO Box 446
Dundee, OR 97115 www.armmin.org/donations
Much love, Janice