Updated: Jul 11
Here it is! We have been in our new host country of "West Africa" for exactly 1 month!!! I (Stefan) have typed, deleted, and retyped this 3 times the past 2 weeks. I am not even sure how to start... so let's just start with the biggest news we found out once we got here...
We found out we were pregnant the DAY we landed in West Africa! After a long and exhausting day of travel and new smells, people, language, and culture my wife took a pregnancy test and she came into the living room, "I am pregnant!" 🤰 We were/are overfilled with joy and anticipation awaiting the arrival of our new son or daughter. We wanted to wait to announce until we had a chance to tell our supporters, family and to go to the doctor and receive our first ultrasound. Our baby is due in September of 2021!
To get out ahead of the questions... we will NOT be coming home to deliver the baby 👶. We believe God has called us to our new host country, and out of obedience to Him we will stay here to deliver so we can continue our acclimation process and language school as long as possible.
Are we aware of the risks? Yes.
Are we aware that family will miss out on the occasion? Yes.
Are we saying that other missionaries who deliver at home are bad? No.
We are saying that, for us, we feel the need to stay in our host country to deliver our new baby and trust Him in this process.
Psalm 127:3-5 (NASB) 3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed
with this ⬆️ verse we are reminded that children are a gift from the Lord to be used for His glory (as all things should be). They are arrows to be aimed and SENT by the hands of the warrior (mommy and daddy). We are excited to be able to raise another child in the mission field so they can see mommy and daddy living recklessly abandoned for the call of Christ. It is important that our Children (both yours and ours) see us as warriors! Putting everything on the line for our Lord. We are all but simple vessels to be used as God commands for His glory!
In our last month we started language school, Kathryn started school, Shawntel started seminary, I (stefan) started another semester of Bible College, and Bubby started full time with his nanny while we are in school. It is a lot of changes all at once, but we are trusting God for His continued help in managing our schedules and especially sleep. Shawntel has been insanely sick the entire month so that has been a challenge for her. Between the food and morning sickness it has proved to be hard for her. However, she continues to trust and lean into the Lord's embrace greater and greater each and everyday.
PEACE: continued peace as we meet with doctors that we do not fully understand
LOVE and RESPECT: Bubba's (our 1 year old son) Nanny. She is so good with our kiddos and are continuing prayer for our children to love and respect her
PATIENCE: as we are continue our language school (8:30am - 1pm everyday) and learning a new host language/culture
SUPPORT: we are still praying for funds to help us obtain a vehicle, secure permanent housing (currently living in another ministries apartment)
BOLDNESS: continuing the bold proclamation of the Gospel
p.s. we love you. thank you for taking the short time to read our updates. We pray that you seek the Lord if He is calling you to a greater level of dependence today through financial giving while we are in West Africa. If you feel so called click here.
If you would like to contact us directly you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.