February 2010

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,

Thank you for your interest in our ministry and in seeing others receive God’s Word in a language they can truly understand.  Krista and I appreciate your prayers and therefore we would like to share this news update with you so that you can pray effectively.  This update is a bit longer than our normal monthly updates, but we wanted to include some important news that you can pray for.

This week I am participating in the Check-IT-Out conference being held at JAARS.  Wycliffe hosts a number of these seminars around the USA each year as a way for people working in IT / Computer related fields to see how their skills can be used in missions.  I only wish they had something like this when Krista and I were investigating how our skills could be used back in 1996!  This time we have about 50 participants who have traveled here from places local and far away including Texas and South Korea.  About 30% of the past attendees have ended up going into missions work using their IT skills.

I am involved with helping out behind the scenes and on Saturday I will be sharing a presentation titled “Security Challenges in 2010”.  This is to give the more technical participants a glimpse into some of the more advanced things that we deal as IT professionals in missions.  It is fun to see others’ eyes just now being opened to the possibility that God has gifted them with technical abilities which they can use directly in His work!

If you happen to read this before Saturday afternoon, I would appreciate your prayers that God would enable me to speak effectively and that He would be glorified in this conference.  After Saturday please pray that the participants would clearly sense the Lord’s leading in their lives.

Kids News
Our kids, Nick and Amanda are both doing well in their classes in high school and in college, respectively.  It’s hard to imagine that in just a couple of months Amanda will be finishing her freshman year of college!  She is hoping to find work this summer to generate some income.  Please pray that the Lord will lead her to the right job.

Nick just had his 17th birthday this week.  Krista and I are planning a surprise birthday bonfire for him this Saturday night at our house with a lot of his buddies here.  We often have two of his close friends stay overnight on the weekends and sometimes we take them to church with us on Sunday.  This is an unexpected ministry for us and we enjoy seeing Nick and his friends move toward their potential as they grow in the Lord.

Krista’s Work & Finance Update
This week Krista took two days of substitute teaching jobs, working with special needs kids at the local high school.  She has not done any substitute teaching this school year until now.  There was not much of a call for it in the first semester and she was not feeling up to it health-wise.  But lately she has been getting a lot more calls to teach, sometimes 3 or 4 days per week.  Since our income has been running short $1,000 per month for quite a while our expenses have been building.  We need to generate more income to pay off debt before it gets out of hand.  Substitute teaching is one temporary possibility to help bring in a bit more funds.  It will not be enough to pay down debt, but at least this might prevent further bills from building up.

Bills, Bills, Bills
During this month we received unexpected bills totaling $3,100 which were not part of our budget!  One bill was for over three years of medical care that the doctor had been lax in billing, despite our requests.  Another bill was for repairs to our furnace which broke in December.  The third was an exceptionally high propane bill due to the extra cold winter here this year.  Please pray that some extra gifts would come in to cover these abnormal expenses.   We exhausted our reserve savings months ago and there is no room left on the credit card, so we have no way to pay these bills.  If you would like to help meet this need with a one-time gift, please let us know so that your gift can be handled in a special way in order for the maximum amount to be applied to these expenses.

Still Raising Support
We have been actively working on raising more support.  Praise the Lord - within the last couple of months some financial partners have committed to increase their regular gifts, bringing us $100 per month closer to being at full support.  It seems like the remaining $900 per month is still a long way to go, but the Lord knows our needs and He is working in people’s hearts to lead those He calls to partner with us financially.  He has always faithfully provided for our needs, often in unconventional and unexpected ways!

In March I will move from spending one half day per week to a full day each week to focus on developing further financial support.  Be praying with us that those whom He prompts to become financial partners would hear His calling and take action in this area.  With the lagging economy this is even more of a challenge than during good times, but we trust the Lord and He is able to provide for us.

Normally we do not share a lot of financial details in our updates.  Nobody likes to receive letters asking for money, and we always want to focus on what the Lord is doing, and not on fund raising.  Anyone who knows us personally knows that Krista and I are not comfortable talking about financial details with others.  Considering our current needs though, we felt it was important to share this news today so that you can join us in praying specifically.

Therefore let me again express our appreciation for your support in prayer.  It is very reassuring to know that so many people are lifting us up before the Lord.  Many people are still faithfully giving financially too.  While we are running short on support, we also are humbly blessed to have so many consistent donors – we just need a few more of them!  Despite life’s challenges, it is truly a privilege to serve in the Lord’s work and to be obedient to His calling in our lives!

Because of Christ,
Hank and Krista