A Personal Update from Jeff:
We have much news to catch you up on—we apologize for the tardiness of this newsletter, but hope you will understand once you have read it fully.
First though, we want to thank you for your support, both financial and prayerful. Your prayers have been more effective than you can actually realize on this side of things. I believe that when we get to heaven, God will show you exactly how your faithful prayers and encouragement kept us strong in the midst of some very draining struggles. You have been amazing and we love you dearly!
The picture above was one Angie took when I was asked to preach at a church we were able to help build, as we partnered with two of our West Florida District Churches. What an amazing time we had—seeing how the children had grown and we were thrilled when they remembered us being there for a week in 2014 to build.
When you build a church—you are also building a community! The house was full!
As you may remember the year we itinerated, Angie had breast cancer surgery, six months of chemotherapy, followed by 36 radiation treatments (every day except weekends), which left her less than her physically strong self. Her determination, however, was strong. She still testifies today of how the Holy Spirit was and is her constant Companion.
After eight months in Costa Rica learning culture and beginner’s language, we came home for Visa preparations then left for the field—arriving in January of last year to our destination, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We settled into a routine of home life— with visiting schools and preaching in churches as much as possible, while growing more accustomed to some of the differences in the culture.
It may sound easy on screen or on paper but let me assure you—it was far from that.
Now that we were in the place we had first begun ministering in 2011, the enemy launched more attacks. Spiritual warfare began with a vengeance.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, agains mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:12 NLT
Angie called on various prayer warriors for specific prayers—and she continued her early morning time with God- praying for the LORD to continue to reveal our next steps.
The medical crisis that she went through, taught her how critical it is for every believer to establish and keep time with God as a priority. When I had to go to meetings with other pastors with my language limitations, I could trust she was home praying for me.
Life changed again for us in July of last year, when she found another lump. The enemy attacked full on with fear. When she let me know what was going on, we began to plan for her to come home to see her doctors. She arrived mid-August and I followed just a week later. They ran tests, scans, and bloodwork. Some of the scans had to be done 6 weeks apart because of the dye they put into her system.
The lump was determined to be a fibrous cyst, which we give God praise for—but they found a thyroid issue that was causing many other things to go “haywire”,to use her term. It’s enlarged, but no cancer has been found—again, we praise God! They have started her on medication and are increasing it slowly. She has to be monitored closely so that her doctor can get the levels right.
I have been back and forth to Bolivia, completing a couple of different projects we had going at two of the schools we work closely with, but I’ve also had the privilege of working again in our district in needed areas after the hurricane.
Angie’s doctor has recommended that she remain here for three more months to get her thyroid levels corrected (it was damaged during the radiation), and that will actually come to the closing of our current term in Bolivia. Spending just 16 months of what we had planned to be a 24-month term was disappointing and unexpected by us, but it was fully known by God-and we have to remind ourselves of that. We fully trust His hand in this situation.
The national office has now changed our medical leave to a new stateside assignment to finish out this term, which we will gladly share with you in person- all that involves. We are blessed to be part of the Assemblies of God–and the Latin America Caribbean work endeavoring to reach the unreached, helping to meet the needs of the many children in the schools (where we began working in 2012, in Don Lorenzo, Bolivia).
We would like to ask that you please continue to pray for us both as we transition into what God has next for us—both of us desire to serve Him by serving others.
We want to thank those who are continuing to support us until we finish our current term in April, but we do understand for those of you who are unable to do so. We both realize that many of you were hit hard by the hurricane, and we are praying for you—for God to bless and restore back to you all what the storm destroyed.
Again, thank you from the bottom of our heart—we could not have begun this journey without you! God is using you to make this possible for us to do more than we ever imagined! Please let us know if you would like to have us come share anything in a brief window with your congregation—we would love to reconnect with you all!
With love, deep appreciation and gratitude,
Jeff & Angie