First of all, THANK YOU all so much for your prayers and support. It has been a crazy couple of months, but I am so excited to share with you all that I am currently at 73%!! I know many of you have been praying with me for a long time and I am so grateful. God has been and continues to be faithful in His timing and provision.
My prayer is that I would be able to leave soon after Christmas. I am eager to serve in Slovenia and join the team in Maribor. It would also be fantastic to be there in time to participate in Fusion training at the end of January, as JV Slovenia has been praying to be able to launch Fusion ministry in Maribor early next spring. In order for me to have an official departure date, I am still in need of pledges totaling $900 a month. I am asking God to raise up 20 people who will give $25 a month and 8 people who can give $50 a month. Will you please pray this with me as well?
I would also appreciate prayers as I begin the process of applying for a long-term visa. I have started looking in to what I need and it is exciting to be at this point, but also quite overwhelming.
Thank you again for your love and prayers and support on this journey. I am so thankful to experience and participate with the body of Christ in fulfilling Christ’s Commission to go and make disciples. I’m privileged to be so loved and encouraged by you before going, in order that I am able to do the same to those in Slovenia. Thank you for being a part of that!
Have a very blessed and pie-filled Thanksgiving!!
I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. -Psalm 108:3-4
Since last winter God has been continually teaching me about full reliance and trust in Him. In May I went for two weeks to Slovenia, to visit Maribor (the city where I will be moving) and to meet the missionaries that I will be serving alongside. It was a great spending time there and meeting many people, but inwardly the battle of letting go was raging as I spent time in Slovenia and when I came home.
It is very easy to say and think we trust God. But it is an entirely different thing when we have to actually do it. Completely submitting to God, fully leaning on His plan, moving forward in full faith and trust in Him, knowing and believing that this is His good plan, is really quite hard. As I have struggled through these thoughts and feelings the past months, God has enabled me to say with full confidence that I am submitting and being obedient to His plans, because I love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to entrust my future to Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” To be honest, sometimes when I hear and read Scripture that is often overused or used as a friend said, “ a spiritual band aid” in the Christian community, I get angry. Many times I dismiss wonderful passages, saying that they apply only to the original audience, not me. But God does have plans for our future, and I desperately needed this reminder. As I re-read recently this well-known verse in Jeremiah, the Holy Spirit lovingly and tenderly reminded me that the promise of hope and a future is not for Israel alone, but also for all believers. The near future for me involves ministry in Maribor. I can rejoice with hope and great joy because God has good, although probably not easy, plans in store for me in Slovenia. And for this, I really am very excited and grateful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul. And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. -Psalm 103:1, 4-5
One of my favorite verses in Scripture comes from Hosea. In 6:1, Hosea states, “Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.” Over the last four months, I have experienced a tearing and severing of my plans. Where I thought I would be and when I thought I would be there were ripped away last November. But, God does not tear us and/or things in our lives apart without reason. As the verse says, it is so that He may heal us and bandage us. I have experienced in the last few months a deep awareness of God’s sovereignty and trust in His plans, that I would not have known had I been struck down and bandaged up.
My plan was to go to Croatia. God has other plans. (He and I definitely had some words about this!) But now, I am pleased to announce that after a lot of prayer and working with Josiah Venture, as well as my church’s missions board, God is leading me to serve in Slovenia! I have been officially invited to join the Slovene team. I will be joining those serving in Maribor, Slovenia and will help launch the music ministry Fusion in that town. I will also be helping with a church plant there. I am excited to be serving there and am looking forward to moving over soon! God has already provided all of my start-up expenses needed to move to Slovenia. But before I can move, I am in need of more monthly supporters. Only $1,300 more a month is needed and once I have this, I am free to move!
I am deeply indebted to you for your prayers and support throughout this journey. Thank you for allowing me to share what God is doing and where He is sending me.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers;
As the spring rains that water the earth.
Every week I get the privilege of teaching three year olds about stories from Genesis at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Each week there is a home training lesson. This week, as we studied Esau’s unwillingness to wait for food and Jacob’s unwillingness to wait for the blessing, the theme to study at home was, “Teaching your child to wait.” Well, I’m pretty sure it could aptly have been called “Teaching Katie to wait.” As I read through the lesson, I was reminded that even in God’s natural laws there is a time of waiting required–in the change of seasons, birth of a baby, healing, and cultivation of crops. A period of waiting is needed in order for maturing. If any of these growth times are cut off prematurely, it is disastrous.
After almost four months, I find myself continuing in a season of waiting. I am still working with Josiah Venture leadership and we are getting close to knowing the country and people I will be going to serve with. But there are still a few details to figure out before I can know 100% and share with you for sure where I will be going. (Thank goodness Josiah Venture is only in Eastern Europe, so I know that I will at least be staying on the same continent!) I know that while this seems to be taking forever from my point of view, God is in completely sovereign and in control of this entire situation. And I have to trust that it would be disastrous if this time of waiting were cut short early.
Thank you again for all your prayers, encouragement and participation on this journey. Grace and peace to you.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end…The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:21-22, 25)
Late this fall I began attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). This year the study is the book of Genesis, and when I joined they had just began studying the life of Abraham. I could not have timed that more perfectly even if I had known that is where they were in Genesis. I am pretty sure that I will not bear a child in my old age or become a great nation, but I find myself being able to identify a little bit better with Abraham these days.
The first thing that God ever says to Abraham is to leave and go to a country that He will show him. I too find myself going to go to a country that I do not know yet. The Josiah Venture leadership and myself are still praying and asking God’s wisdom and guidance to where He would have me serve in Eastern Europe. I find the waiting excruciating. It is hard to be still, listen and wait for God’s direction. Abraham had to wait over 20 years for his promised son (and I think two months is awful). Romans 4:20 tells us that Abraham did not waver in unbelief to this promise, but that he even grew strong in his faith. This was quite convicting to me as I read this verse the other day. I often have days of wavering, doubting that God will show up and make it clear to me where I am supposed to go.
But despite my lack of faith, He is faithful. During this interim period of waiting, God has provided all of the start up funds that I need to move overseas. And my monthly support continues to grow. I am only in need of raising $1,300 more a month now. It has been so encouraging and confirming to me to see the way in which God has provided these past couple of months.
Thank you for all of your prayers, support, encouragement and love during this time…I am truely blessed by you all.
The other week, I pulled out A.W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy to read a couple of chapters on the sovereignty and wisdom of God. I read a few pages and then put the book down. At that moment I felt God saying that, “Katie, you don’t need someone else’s writings about My sovereignty and wisdom, because right now you are experiencing it for yourself.”
The past couple of weeks have been a constant struggle of doubting God’s faithfulness and goodness to me in this process of moving overseas, and I am being forced to trust more than ever in His goodness and wisdom. I found out two weeks ago that Stevo and Sarah Vuletić and their children will be taking a leave of absence from serving in Croatia and will be returning to the States for at least a year. Since there is no one else serving in Croatia, Josiah Venture leadership has decided to forego sending Lucka (also raising support for Croatia) and myself alone down to Croatia. I am in whole-hearted agreement with this decision. But this also raises the huge question of what Lucka and I are going to do?
I am so glad that we serve a God who is sovereign and for some greater purpose has allowed this to happen. Lucka and I have been in contact with the JV leadership and are working on what is next for us. I am hoping to have some answers for you all by Christmas.
Please be in prayer for Stevo and Sarah, Croatia, Josiah Venture, Lucka and myself. I specifically ask that you would pray that I would discern clearly what and where God may be leading during this season.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts…
For you shall go out in joy and be lead forth in peace.
-Isaiah 55:8-9, 12a
“We are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
This past Sunday, I had the privilege of joining with Katrina Welch, another young lady raising support to serve with Touch Global, in hosting a soup fundraiser at Lakewood E. Free Church. I read the above passage of Scripture this morning, and as I reflected on this past Sunday I saw first hand the Body of Lakewood growing up in Christ. I feel so unbelievably blessed and encouraged by the way Katrina and I were loved and supported on Sunday. Thank you so much to all who made soup, helped us set up, and came out to fellowship and eat with us!
In other news, last week I returned from Colorado, where I spent five weeks at the Missionary Training Institute. Now, all training has been completed and when I receive all of my funds I can leave right away for Croatia! It is my prayer to be in Croatia before Thanksgiving, so if you are interested in helping me get to Croatia, click on the link to the right. Thank you for your prayers and generosity on this journey!
Grace and Peace!