A New Season
By The W* Family, Missionaries to Eastern Europe
We want to take a moment to sincerely thank you for all your support during our 4-year term as missionaries to New York City and Eastern Europe. We are keenly aware that without your encouragement, prayers, and financial support, we would not have been able to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
We were blessed to learn and implement incredible church planting strategies while working in the Bronx. After that, because of your continued belief in what God does through simple people like us, you sent us on to Eastern Europe. There we saw how God used the strategies of disciple making we learned in New York to get us into the unreached people’s houses.
How gratifying it was to see little kids celebrate Jesus’ birthday for the first time in their lives! Through weekly Bible lessons and daily interactions, those children are now growing up with the knowledge and belief in Christ. Others began asking about Jesus, too, and in our broken speech we began to use the skills we had to begin Bible study groups over coffee.
And then, God did the unbelievable. He used the miracle of healing a lady’s hand to convince the first adult in this community that He was the true God. And we got to see the Lord begin to break down barriers that had been in that community for decades. She began to tell other women to come and listen to the stories on her audio Bible, and she would recount the ones she learned from Mrs. W. Praise God!
We both began to train believers in the skills we learned in New York. A good friend of Mrs. W.’s began to soar. Her heart began to beat with love for the unreached people, and she took over discipling the first convert with such passion (and still does to this day!). At the same time, we saw 5 men Mr. W. had been discipling in a different community all come to know Christ together, and they began to meet regularly, even without him, to praise the Lord and evangelize others of their people!
Then, COVID-19 unexpectedly entered the scene. We evacuated, leaving behind all our possessions. Since March, we have been left with many questions. Why did we have to leave when we did? What should we do next?
The last nine months have given us a lot of time to reminisce about our 4 years of ministry. They have been so full of God’s faithfulness. We are grieving the obvious, which is that there is not a clear path to our going back to Eastern Europe right now.
Since being in the States, there have been more issues arise, including some issues with our family’s health. The health care system in the country where we were serving is very poor, and Europe has more cases of COVID-19 than ever before. Additionally, we know that once our adoption from Liberia goes through, we will need some strong support systems in place for a child that potentially has a history of trauma.
With this knowledge, we have decided to put some roots down in Missouri for the time being. While we have a peace about this, we are still very sad about losing our home. We are grieving the loss of our ministry, our friends, and the stability our lives had there. We are working through what ministry can look like here, and we are thinking through how to teach the strategies we’ve learned about speaking about Jesus in our everyday lives, discipleship, and going to those who would never step foot inside the church. These new ministry opportunities excite us!
Our account with our partnering organization is no longer receiving donations. After Nov. 30, our account will be closed, although our employment with them will be put on hold for 5 years as we listen to the Lord for guidance about our possible future in another field of missions with them.
Thank you again for all the ways you have been with us through this. We love you all so much. We have been an extension of you.
The World Mission Board deeply appreciates the W family’s years of service, and we are proud of them, knowing God has used them in amazing ways to spread the gospel with their unique ministry. We support them in their decision, and they remain in our prayers. We look forward to working with them again in the future as the Lord may lead.