May 2016 be a blessed year for each one of you.The past month has been an exciting one for us in Košice. First, the big news story. For any of you who hasn’t heard, the Arnold family is due to have a new member arrive this summer! Thank you for all of your past and continuing prayers. Baby’s E.T.A. falls in August, the same time we had intended to be on furlough. We’ll not want to travel so late into Natalie’s term nor soon after delivery with a newborn. The silver lining, however, is that maybe we can be in the States for the 2016 Holiday Season! The plan currently is to deliver here in Košice. Perhaps one of you philanthropists in the Lone Star State will send us a vial of dirt from your garden which we can place under the bed in the maternity ward, enabling the little one at least to be born on Texas soil.
This holiday season, we weren't able to take advantage of all of the social events due to Natalie's "adjusting" to the pregnancy. We missed out on an intimate Christmas Eve party held by Matuš and Viki, a sweet couple around our age, but we were able to attend a lively Christmas family gathering with Slavo and Kveta, Peter's parents. We have been whole-heartedly accepted into their family, which has been an invaluable source of encouragement and support to us, especially during this time. For New Year's, we decided to stay home, keep warm, and listen to the fireworks our neighbors set off to ring in the new year; like last year, it sounded like a war zone, but was oddly comforting.
The little church in Košice, 14 baptized believers and a slew of little children presently assembling, is plodding along to the glory of God. Since our arrival it’s fair to say the congregation’s passion for reaching lost souls with the saving message of Christ has been rekindled. Already we’re seeing visible evidence of this in terms of visitors and evangelistic studies. That’s not to gloss over the difficulties of this field, only to say that the Gospel still captures the imagination when preached in this uttermost part of the earth!
So, what’s involved in a typical weekday for Jordan in Kosice?
5:00 AM - Wake up for prayer and Bible reading
6-7:30 - Go to the gym, play squash game or swim laps, eat breakfast
9-11:00 - Go across city by bus for Bible studies with (currently 3 students) at English Bible Study Centre
12:00 PM - Eat lunch with Natalie at home or meet with church leaders (once/week) to pray and plan
1-3:00 - Prepare for Sunday sermon and classes or plan for Friday night program (Family Fridays)
3-5:00 - Slovak language class with Natalie
6-? Very typically we have a guest for dinner or go meet someone in the city
And what's the current schedule for Natalie?
8-9AM - Try to wake up
10AM-11PM - Try to eat, rest, send Jordan to pick up random foods
We’re looking forward to attending the Advanced Bible Study Series, an annual international lectureship/retreat for missionaries working in Europe, in Gemunden, Germany next month. It’s one of the high points of the year for us. Not only will we get to reunite with dear colleagues, this year’s key note presenter happens to be a good friend, so we’re especially excited.
Thank you all for everything, and thank God for you.