Like us, you’ve no doubt watched the increasing intensity of reports about the Coronavirus Delta variant that is leading to higher infection rates throughout the US. This is worrying, to be sure. Unfortunately, it is also worrying to the rest of the world. Indonesia and Taiwan are both dealing with outbreaks.

As such, entry to these countries remains impossible. Not even with proof of a Covid vaccination would we be allowed to enter the countries right now, and more importantly, they are not processing work visa requests. Things are at a standstill for the time being. There is no certainty from anyone in LCMS OIM when the borders will open again or when visa applications will start to be accepted and processed again.

So we wait. In some ways this is easy. Your continued prayers and encouragement and sharing the story with others and financial support ensure we have what we need to wait. In that respect we are blessed beyond belief, considering how many others right now – particularly the owners and employees of small businesses – are struggling to make ends meet.

In other ways of course, waiting is hard. We had hoped to be farther along in the process of deployment by now. We all had hoped Covid would be receding and no longer as big a concern as it has been for the last year and a half. For all of us, continuing to deal with the reality of this pandemic is taking an emotional toll it will take decades to quantify and qualify adequately.

We want to go, but we can’t right now. Our attention turns for the time being to how to best use this time of waiting. Our family continues to study the Bahasa Indonesia language and continues to make progress in memorizing vocabulary and short phrases and sentences. We continue to visit with congregations and pastors and individuals to share the story of LCMS global church work with as many people as will listen. In August we are staying local in Arizona rather than going farther afield. I have the opportunity to visit and/or preach and share in the central, southern, and northern parts of the state this month which is exciting. September is also filling up with opportunities.

God is good. Always.

Please continue your prayers for our family, and know they are felt and appreciated and needed. And we continue to give thanks to God for our partnership with you, and pray you are all holding steady during these uncertain times as well.

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