It’s been too long; we know that. These last 6 months have been a whirlwind. So many awesome things have happened and God has been so faithful and so good. We have been reminded at every single step that He is worth proclaiming and exalting, not that there was ever any doubt.
So, here is a list of updates…for those who care. Many of these are a matter of prayer and we would ask that you pencil us into your prayer journals with these requests in particular.
Update #1 – BABY!
We are pregnant! Yes, it’s true, God allows the Burkholders to continue to grow. He is a gracious God indeed. Jenny is 14 weeks along. Many of you are on Facebook and were privy to this information already. Aside from me (Justin) being a little bit bummed that Jenny’s post got more likes than mine, we are absolutely ecstatic! The prayer requests here are obvious, I think.
1. Pray for the health of the baby.
2. Pray for Jenny’s health.
Update #2 – Training and Transition
We spent the week of July 22-July 26 at TEAM for our Phase 4 training. It was fabulous. Jenny and I had a great time meeting with other missionaries, and it functioned as a time of forging for our marriage before we depart. We learned so many things and had so many discussions. In particular we had great discussions on the transition process. There are many good-byes, visas to acquire, living arrangements to be found, plane tickets to be purchased, and in all reality it is the epitome of chaos and disorganization and the unknown. Your prayers during this time are appreciated.
1. Pray for authentic emotional strength and fortitude as we say many good-byes (though not for the last time) We know that we will see everyone again. We don’t want to hide our emotions, equally we don’t want to be driven and controlled by them.
2. Pray for us to find suitable living arrangements. One that is fitting to our needs, and appropriate to our ministry context.
3. In many ways we are starting our lives over. Pray for patience and strength in our marriage as we start into such a chaotic and unknown phase of our lives.
Update #3 – Have the plans changed?
The plans have changed a little bit, however, not as drastically as one might think. Initially we were planning on going to Honduras first. After extensive conversations with our mission board and sending church we have decided to go directly to Guatemala. At this time, the plan is still for us to depart this fall (probably October). We have lots of things to think about with the arrival of the baby. We have the opportunity to stay here in the USA until the baby is born, however it will be at great cost (Cobra, delay in ministry etc.). If we stay, we would depart in Feb/March of 2014. We really are anxious to arrive and begin establishing ourselves in Guatemala. At the same time, we want to be sensitive to our family so that they also are able to enjoy the arrival of our first child as well. It is a difficult decision.
1. Pray for wisdom, knowledge, and discernment as we examine all of the possibilities.
2. Pray that everyone involved would be understanding with whatever decision that we make.
Update #4 – What will you be doing?
The exact nature of our day-to-day work is still up in the air. We know that I (Justin) will be heavily involved in discipleship and evangelism as we seek to gather groups of believers in biblical community. Jenny will be involved in some teaching roles (still unsure how the baby adjusts things). We are still in discussions with our mission board and others in Guatemala City as to what the best day-to-day fit will be for us at the very beginning. Of course, much of our time the first month or so will be in adjusting our living situation.
1. Pray for clarity of vision and unity among everyone involved.
Update #5 – Lots of Travel
On Sunday, August 4th, we are departing on a 2 weeklong road trip down to South Florida and back. We are going to be making lots of stops along the way to see people, and will be spending a lot of time with family. I (Justin) am speaking at one of our supporting churches (Hollywood Community Church, YEAH!).
1. Pray for safe travels. Being a pregnant lady in a car for that long won’t be fun.
2. Pray for lots of good conversations. Jenny and I will get to spend so much time chatting and in prayer. We haven’t had enough of that time lately.
3. Pray for Justin as he speaks at HCC on Aug. 11th
4. Pray for an enjoyable time with family and friends.
Update #6 – Funds
We have arrived at the amount that TEAM has recommended for us to raise in monthly commitments. We are still waiting on some people that have committed. If you have committed to giving we would ask you you begin doing so by August 15, that way we have sufficient outgoing funds. There honestly is always going to be need, so if God has called you to partner with us financially and you have yet to do so we always welcome it.
1. You can always pray that God provides for our needs, however, we trust wholly in His character that He will provide for us as He has promised to.
What about you?
We want to hear from you. What is happening in your life? How can we be in prayer for you? We are honestly so grateful for every one of you. We are grateful for your support, encouragement, prayer, and love as we enter into this next phase for His name’s sake.