Well, we are about to begin our trip!! Super excited!!! That is after the packing is done!! LOL! Looking forward to all of our visits with family and friends!! Tony leaves for the Center of Intercultural Training where he’ll be doing a school on church planting. Then the girls and I will join him later in the week and begin our travels!
Please keep us in prayer for safety on the road for the next 4-6 weeks, Gwen and the girls as we continue home schooling on the road, and also for Tony’s dad to stay as healthy as he can so we can have a good visit with him. Pray for fruitful visits as we go and for the opportunity to meet and share with new people who will be interested in our mission in Sweden.
As always now, raising our financial support is very much on our minds and in our prayers. Please keep praying that our support increases and we’re able to return by the new school year for the girls in mid-August. Thanks!
Well, this has been a very different spring from what we expected. For those not on Facebook, I, Gwen, have been sick quite often and in the hospital a couple of times. We hope we are soon at the point where the doctors will be able to pinpoint the problem and begin treatment. We do believe we are almost there. Please keep us in prayer for wisdom and God’s healing!!!
Tony and I have graduated from Svenska för invandrare (Swedish for Immigrants)!! YEAH!!!! Now comes the harder part of continuing to practice what we’ve learned and become fluent! Jensina & Jiana have also finished their school year here and are glad for summer vacation!!
We’ve turned our house church over to new leadership now!! Anders and Sarah have been such a great help to us, especially this spring while Gwen was sick, helping us lead the group and ministering to us personally. We’re so thankful for them and others here who have helped us out during this difficult time. We know our house church is in good hands as they start up again in the fall and continue to grow in God!!!
We are now beginning to prepare to come home on August 17 for 6 months to raise more support. We are glad to have housing set up for us at Cedar Lane Mission Homes in New Jersey. Now, we need to pack up our apartment and store our things, a humongous job, plus find a car to use in the States (if you have one we could borrow, please let us know), and begin planning to meet with family, friends, and churches. Please feel free to email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a time we can meet with you! We’d love to spend time with you!! We hope to be able to return to Sweden by March 2013, but we can only return when we have raised the needed support. Please keep us in prayer for this need so we can continue our ministry here in Luleå, Sweden!!
Gwen's nephews, Joshua, Jonathan, & Caleb
We wanted to pass these 2 prayer requests along for our nephew, Jonathan, and our sister-in-law’s brother, Frank. This is from Jonathan’s Caring Bridge Website.
“What a day! Jonathan is now throwing up and lethargic. Will open eyes but then goes back to sleep. Not sure what is happening. Then (or earlier), Lois’ brother, Frank, went in the hospital late last night after falling and throwing up. He was eventually transferred from Bennington Hospital to Albany, where they are still trying to figure out what is up. He is not very coherent at present. So, Lois was on the phone a good bit of the night, much of today, and emotional stamina is running low. Been there before … not easy. What a way to conclude the year!! But others have it worse and God is still on the throne, so keep us in your prayers as we all move forward into a new year for God’s glory!”
Thanks for your prayers. Gwen & Tony
We ask that you would pray for our missionary friends, Jim and Lynne Head and their 2 daughters, living in North Carolina. Saturday night, their 16-year-old son, Andrew, was in a tragic car accident and died very suddenly. Jim and Lynne named Andrew with the hope that he would bring people to Jesus like the Apostle Andrew. They ask that now we pray God will use him in his death to draw people to Jesus. Today is the viewing and tomorrow they bury their son and brother. Please pray for God’s comfort for them today, tomorrow, and throughout the coming months of grief and adjustment. Thank you so much. Gwen
A new week now begins. We’ve had a lot of rain the past week so we are beginning to feel the cloudy side of Luleå. Our neighbor tells us that this is the end of sunshine till next spring. Now also begins the cozy inside time in Sweden, lots of small lights and candles.
We are doing well. The girls are enjoying school and we are all enjoying new friends and learning how to be “Swedish”!!!! So what will this week hold? For the kids, Swedish school, a little American school and playing with their Swedish friends. For Tony and Gwen, figuring out how to accomplish their various tasks Swedish style. Tony’s involved with helping set the foundation for a men’s ministry in Luleå and making contacts with some students at the university. Gwen is studying Swedish (& trying to remember to talk in Swedish), going to a Swedish speaking small group, doing American school with the kids, continuing to unpack and set up, meeting with people (of course, over fika!), and keeping the home going! All sorts of new possibilities are out there!!! Stay tuned and we’ll let you know!!!
Some prayer requests:
- that our person numbers (Swedish version of SS#) will come very soon. (We’ve been waiting over two months and in Sweden, you don’t really exist until you get these. It’s beginning to hinder things we need to do, i.e., opening a bank account, starting Swedish language classes for Tony, seeing if we can get on the Swedish health care system for renewing our prescriptions and other things.),
- that an electrician will hook up our washing machine that a friend gave us (this was a special prayer request of Gwen’s) about a month ago (2 electricians have been here, but they didn’t have the proper approval to hook it up!),
- that the problems with Gwen’s computer and our printer will be resolved (ugh!!),
- that the claim on our damaged shipped belongings will be resolved.
Thanks so much for your prayers. We’re counting on them!!!
Blessings, Gwen 🙂
Check out our new page on Facebook called Martin Ministry and click on “Like” to help spread the word!
Our friend’s (Brian and Linda from the Lancaster area) son Charles was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident Wednesday. The doctors have had to amputate his right leg below the knee and he will need some major surgery to save his arm. Please pray for Charles and the rest of family – Brian and Linda, along with their other children David, Brian Jr. and Debra.
Just 11 days till we leave for Luleå! We continue to pack (is there no end?) and get a bunch of other things done. Spent yesterday saying goodbye to great friends in New Jersey. I know it’s part of being a missionary, but I REALLY hate saying goodbye to people we love!
Our goal is to have stuff being shipped to Sweden to be totally packed today, then call for shippers to come. Other friends coming tonight to help pack stuff going into storage. Feel free to stop over tonight (or any other time) to help – we’re pretty overwhelmed right now! Thanks for being part of our lives!