We returned to Columbus, Ohio, on July 5th, 2006, just 10 days before our eldest son, Joel, married Jim and Kathy Radcliffe's daughter, Bekah. It was a lovely wedding at Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and it truly honored Christian marriage and the Author of it. We were so thankful for the many friends and family that came to make this celebration even richer. Joel and Bekah are living in Steubenville, Ohio, where Joel is studying for a Master's Degree in Philosophy. It is a joy to be around them as their love for each other continues to grow.
Jeffrey and Wesley are both studying at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Jeff is in his second year and Wesley is just finishing his first semester. It has been such a delight to see them getting involved in ministry at their home church and in various ministries at the university. We praise the Lord for His bountiful provision for the school fees this year. Jeffrey received a scholarship that was awarded almost the very day that we went to pay his bill. That scholarship and others made it possible for both boys to attend this year without taking out a loan! We thank Him for His abundant goodness in our lives!
It has been our delight and privilege to be the first Nazarene missionaries to share with churches across North America the news of the Lord's work in Vanuatu. Our travels have taken us to Nazarene churches in Florida, Ohio, Washington, California, and Ontario (Canada). We've delighted in the beauty of God's creation as we have traveled this fall. We praise Him for protection all along the way. We haven't had to miss a single service because of weather or car problems. In January of 2007, we will continue sharing what the Lord is doing in Vanuatu with Nazarene churches in Olathe and Gardner, Kansas, several churches here in Ohio, and finishing up in San Diego, California. The Lord has richly blessed the services and God's people have responded generously in supporting His work in the South Pacific. As we shared the needs in Vanuatu, we asked God's people to be praying for revival. Special services were held in Vanuatu (November 3-5) with the four congregations fasting and praying in preparation. Here is a small note from Pastor Peter Isaac regarding the outcome of those revival services:
"We passed out invitation cards to our neighbors, families, friends and those for whom we've been praying. All of the church family gathered together praying, fasting, straightening-out our problems and differences, crying together and working together. Pastor David Tasso and Pastor Merriam Naunga led the worship services and Pastor Jenny and I preached the Word. God visited his church and we were all in tears. The flood gates of heaven just broke and blessings were flooding all over. Many were converted to Christ and many Christians recommitted their lives to Christ. Praise God!"
We praise the Lord for the Isaacs and the others who continue to minister in Vanuatu. Pastors Peter and Jenny Isaac arrived in Vanuatu just a couple weeks before we departed for the States. God is enabling them in this huge assignment. Please continue to pray for the anointing of the Lord to be upon them.
We thank the Lord for the opportunities that He has provided to be with family members throughout this furlough. Our Christmas plans include a trip to Colorado Springs to see David's family, and a trip to Michigan to see Sylvia's family, before returning to our mission home in Coshocton, Ohio. We praise the Lord for continued healing for Mom Potter who suffered a massive stroke a year ago after open heart surgery. We've been blessed to visit her several times during our deputation travels. She is still not able to speak or move the right side of her body. We are praying that this Christmas will be a sweet time of fellowship for her as we all gather to celebrate with her. Sylvia's family will be celebrating her parents' 50th wedding anniversary (actually 51 ½ years now) as they gather for the holidays.
We are scheduled to depart from Columbus, Ohio, for Port Vila, Vanuatu on February 11th. When we return to the field this time we will be trusting the Father to provide for our children while they all remain in the States. We would appreciate your prayers as we enter this new chapter of our lives. Please continue to pray for His sustaining grace. Also pray that we will be keenly aware of His presence with us and His enabling power as we go.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have opened your homes and hearts to us during our travels. Thank you to all those who have sent us encouraging words through notes and cards. You have been a blessing to us. Your prayers and encouragement have strengthened us in times of weariness.
May the Christ whom we celebrate be at home in your hearts this Christmas!
Living In His Joy,
David & Sylvia - Wesley, Jeffrey, Joel & Bekah
Wishing all of you a very joyous Christmas!
But as many as received Him,
to them He gave the right to become children of God.