Reasons for Prayer and Praise

Sunday Evening we received a phone call: Greg’s Mom passed away. It wasn’t a surprise. She’d told us she was ready to go. Now ninety, it had been some weeks since she’d been comfortable to converse over Skype. Anxious to join the family to remember, and celebrate her life, we left SA last Tuesday evening for services this weekend. We’re thankful for her legacy of love and are confident that joy flowed heartily from her life because she lived the unconditional love and grace that Jesus modeled. Accepting people as they are, and enjoying what life would bring each day was Grandmother Seghers’ specialty. She will be missed. Pray for peace, joy, and love that continues to unite us in times of grief. We have joined Greg’s family in Mississippi for her funeral tomorrow.

Short-termers, Howard and Lynn Swank, arrived at Sunbury in March to help us, while Dan and Beth Hoffman are in the USA on furlough. The Swanks have assured us that they are trusting God as they unexpectedly “man the fort” in our absence. Pray for health, strength, and wisdom.

Two weeks ago, before any of this could be foreseen on our timeline, a long time co-worker and African pastor came to us for prayer and asked to stay at Sunbury. He needed space and divine protection to evaluate and respond to spiritual warfare happening at his homestead. Experiencing symptoms of a migraine, sordid body pain and immobility that medical doctors could not diagnose, there were other unexplainable happenings directed at discouraging him when in the region of his home. As a final impetus, his brother had spoken to him of spiritual curses on the family immediately before his sudden death weeks before. Before our departure, we had been praying with our friend daily, and we continue to seek God’s protection and sovereignty in this situation. His physical symptoms are still undiagnosed, slowly improving, but still present. He is trusting God and continuing to seek direction. He will stay in our home in our absence. 

We’re thankful and praise the Lord that our last minute flight to the US was relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive. Though upon arrival we did have ONLY 15 minutes of panic at 10 pm Wednesday night. We had lost our passports at Chicago’s ORD curb-side pick-up and were thankful when our late-night call to ORD Dispatch promised a quick recovery. They had already been turned in and awaited our reclamation at the Airport Customs Office on Thursday.

Birds-eye view of Chicago’s skyline taken from our plane on Wednesday.

Last minute preparations for travel included interacting with Greg’s doctor’s office and ascertaining a medical certificate to clear him should his radio-active state set off alarms at airport security. We were thankful to learn that PSI levels are in rapid decline, and we continue to trust God that they will continue to decrease to levels that indicate his cancer is cleared. 

Please be in prayer for our sister-in-law Jennifer as she also works through her journey with cancer. Pray that her next stage of treatment will be less intense and debilitating than the first stage has been. Pray also for Carlene’s brother Rick and their children. Having lived the journey ourselves, and with co-workers, Mark and Barb Hugo, we know the diagnosis of cancer for any one family member challenges and changes the whole family. May they know God’s peace and love in the midst of this trial.

Carlene has occasionally been in communication with a published author regarding the Bible study we are writing, Redeeming Sexual Love. On Monday, while packing for our trip, she heard from this author. A known publishing house has expressed a willingness to look at our proposal for publication. We are confident that all things happen in God’s time, and publishing our Bible study will be accomplished as God directs and not before. 

Greg’s responsibilities as Field Director include never-ending cycles of administrative communications between ZEMA’s SA missionaries and the USA office. This new role challenges us to navigate life and ministry in new ways. Traveling more, we find respite in the established routines of the past. We continue to mentor young couples, missionaries, and national pastors, and enjoy developing these relationships. While simultaneously, we are challenged to learn new technicalities required by the position: organizational policies, developing procedures, and figuring out what is required to facilitate growth and leadership that will move ZEMA forward with millennials and generation Z at the helm. 

I don’t have the time to update our Prayer Requests page today. In this little narration of “Reasons for Prayer and Praise,” we hope our prayer requests and items of praise are self-evident. I have italicised certain phrases to facilitate your thoughts in this regard.  Pray as the Lord leads you. And may He bless you, as you are a blessing to us in your faithful support of our family and ministry.