Dear Family and Friends,
As you may recall, Christiana had a strange health incident last May that presented as stroke-like symptoms, but after some medical testing in Thailand, was diagnosed as a possible severe migraine. Since that time, however, Christiana has continued to struggle with various complications. One of the most significant changes has been her decreased ability to handle stress, intensified by the cultural and language challenges of living in Cambodia.
Because of this, our sending church and our ACTION Cambodia team have strongly advised us to return to the States this summer (2017) for a year-long furlough, starting in June.
What will we be doing during that year?
This year in the U.S. will be a time dedicated to seeking medical advice for Christiana’s health, as well as a time for healing and rest. Nate will be continuing ministry work, in translation as well as serving at our sending church. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord would use this furlough to restore and revitalize our family in His service.
What are some of our practical needs?
This is our greatest need, and we are leaning on the support of our Christian community to lift us up before the Throne. It will be a challenging transition for all of us, especially for our kids, who definitely call Cambodia “home”. Our prayer requests include the following: 1) Wisdom for decisions 2) Fulfillment of our practical needs
3) Spiritual, emotional, mental and physical strength 4) Extra grace in both our marriage relationship and in parenting our children through this time.
We hope to be in the Bay Area during this year-long stay, to benefit from the vital support network of family, friends and our sending church, but it somewhat depends on the availability of affordable housing. Our housing costs are relatively low here in Cambodia, especially compared to the Bay Area (around $500/month). There are missionary houses in the United States, dedicated specifically to such year-long furloughs, but we are not aware of any in the Bay Area. We would greatly appreciate any leads regarding housing for our family for the year, especially information regarding ministry housing that is subsidized. It would be from June 2017 until June/July 2018. We’d prefer a two-bedroom (or more) place if possible, with in-unit laundry. Desired locations would be anything between the San Jose and Gilroy areas, but if something is available beyond those cities, we may be interested.
We will also be needing a vehicle for the year. If anyone has a vehicle collecting dust that we could borrow for the year, we would be extremely grateful. We’d prefer a reliable vehicle, but we’re definitely ok with “vintage”!
There are many details to figure out, so we greatly covet your prayers and we trust the Lord is working all things according to His purposes, to His glory and our good. We don’t take lightly how God has so graciously provided for our needs these last seven years through His people, and we thank you for your continued support during this time. We love you all so dearly, and we are truly grateful to be blessed by such an amazing community.
Because He lives,
Nathan and Christiana
Ava, Paton, and John