May 23, 2005
Hello…we must be going! I couldn’t wait to send out this update to let you know that we have our plane tickets in hand; our Nigerian visas are being processed, and, if the Lord allows, we are officially departing for Abuja on June 4! Though not everything has worked out as we’ve wanted it to, Sabrina and I are still very thankful to be headed for the place to which God has called us.
My wife and I, along with Joseph, are actually traveling on 90-day tourist visas. I received word recently that we would not be able to work on our resident visas until September. Since we do have the funds to go to the field, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to be in Nigeria and work with a veteran missionary, Bro. Ron Gensaw, and stay with his family for three months. Actually, the timing is perfect because we also learned last month that we are expecting our second child! Sabrina’s due date is December 16th, so she would not be able to travel past the middle of September. Because of the complications experienced when Joseph was born, we have been recommended by several missionaries to return home for this baby. Please pray for the health of my wife and our little one to come.
When we return at the end of August, I should know more about what my options are for staying in Nigeria more permanently. If I can secure an STR (subject to regularization) visa, then that would allow me access to work on resident visas in Nigeria for our family. Regardless, I will be home (Lord willing) for the birth of our baby.
Because of adjustments in our plans, we are delaying the shipment of our container until after the first of the year. Though this is disappointing, we can look forward to January when we will hopefully be able to make plans for years in Nigeria rather than a few months. Sabrina and I greatly appreciate all the responses we received and contributions that were sent after we made known our needs while preparing to move. We are planning to store all that we have packed for our container, so what has been donated will definitely be used. Thank you for your understanding during these many short-notice changes.
As for our travels, since Easter Sunday, we have not had a meeting where we needed to stay overnight except for a missions conference that turned into a mini-vacation, thanks to the First Baptist Church of South Brevard in Florida. During that four-day trip at the end of April, we left Joseph with some happy grandparents and received some rest and relaxation after several weeks of cleaning out and packing up. Practically the whole month of April was used to get prepared for our first term in Nigeria, and on the 10th, our home church planned a special commissioning service. On that Sunday night, I excitedly showed pictures of our survey trip, and Faith Baptist gave us many gifts, prayed over us, and voted to be the official sending agency for our work as missionaries. They are definitely looking forward to receiving a prayer letter from us soon that’s actually from Nigeria!