Monday, June 15, 2009


Dear friends,

We cannot quite believe it, but we are writing this from Omaha, Nebraska. Through a lot of prayer, hard decisions, and tearful good-byes, we decided to leave Slovakia two weeks early to return home to the States to be with my family during this difficult time.

As you know, David, my older brother, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He will be in a lot of important tests this week at the Mayo Clinic and, hopefully, will be having brain surgery this week; his tests Tuesday will tell us more.

Though it wasn't easy, we feel at peace about this decision, which was made over a lot of prayer. Of course, my immediate desire was to return home, but it just didn't seem logistically possible. We couldn't see how we could work out all of the details on time. Still, I couldn't get it off of our mind. I spoke with our old boss, Barbara, who recently moved to TWR in the States. She traveled extensively with David and Amy in 2006 for the Epic Stories and is lifelong friends with our own, the Amstutz family. We felt she would be a good person to speak with, knowing both the TWR side and the family side. Her words of encouragement were so helpful. We called the travel agent to see if a flight-date change was even possible. With only two seats left on any possible flight from O'Hare to Omaha, she could book them if we told her right away. Yikes!

That night, Mike and I talked things over and went straight to prayer asking God what on earth was the right thing to do. God knows our past and present and future like it is all on the same page; we serve a loving God that cares about these details of our lives because He is absolutely crazy about us. After praying, Mike said, "I think we should pack." Heck no, I wasn't packing only to unpack after we decided to stay--that would be so hard! But I felt like God was asking me to take a step of faith. We packed; we were even already half-packed because we did some while my parents were here. We packed, looked at our bags, and said "Now what?" We prayed again and asked friends to pray with us. Because of the travel agent's timing, we needed to make a decision in thirty minutes! We prayed, both feeling uncertain, and knew God would answer. Sure enough, with about 2 minutes to spare, our friends in Bratislava messaged us and (not knowing our personal concerns at all) and encouraged us to not worry so much about our responsibilities here. Coming from a couple who just made a tough decision to stay one more year in Slovakia even though a lot of tough things are happening with their family back home, this meant a lot to us. Mike and I looked at each other and pretty much at the same time said, "We need to go home." We immediately felt peace!

Things came together beautifully, proving God's provision. I had randomly cleaned up my messy office last week on a whim. We had some guys from AIM's World Race missions team staying with us who assisted us in cleaning our apartment, finalizing things there and (I'm sure this part is a lot of sacrifice) eating all the food in our cabinet and fridge. Our dear church, CityLight (Calvary Chapel Bratislava), held a small good-bye gathering the very next day. Heather, my best friend in Slovakia, was able to spend the whole day with us. That last night, we sat in the beautiful Bratislava Main Square eating at our favorite place and soaking it all in as the sun set behind the clouds. Amen.

We apologize for not letting you know sooner. We made our decision late Thursday night, worked like crazy for our suddenly "last day," then made the rounds on Saturday for a wonderful last day in Bratislava with dear friends. We were in Omaha by Sunday night local time. Early Tuesday morning, we are driving up to Mayo Clinic with my sister, Angie, and her two daughters. Tonight, we are having dinner with our dear, dear Omaha family who have always been there for us.

We'll post more later, but we have to run to the airport to pick up Angie. We just wanted to let our friends and supporters know about our decision. Remember those earlier blogs whining about why God won't let us stay past June? Ha. He truly does know the past, present, and future. I am so glad we are in His hands.

Stay posted on David at his blog and enjoy Amy's own blog, We'll post again here.

By the way, NO idea how this changes our summer plans. No job plans in the fal for Mike, we don't know where we're living, etc. But we don't care. We're praying God brings things when they need to come and we're open to them. This life of trust is wonderful and scary and fantastic.


Dani said...

Wow! Sounds like God is really doing amazing things in your lives as well. Been keeping up with Amy and David's blog and praying for them and I'm glad that you both are able to be with the fam while this is going on. I'm sure that having family nearby really helps a lot. Praying for you that you will be able to determine what you're supposed to be doing this summer and fall! Will you be in Omaha for awhile, or will you be headed back to PA eventually?