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The need in Scottish churches

One of the reasons we are so excited to be joining with the Scottish church is also one of the most alarming.

While there is an incredible church history in Scotland, it contrasts with the present to show a very bleak picture. There simply aren’t enough people in the church there and the growth that is happening is not enough to keep up with the population.

If you would like to partner with us as we work to reach families in Strathaven, there are two ways. First, you can join with us in prayer by signing up for our newsletter. We share regular life and ministry updates along with specific prayer requests. We would love to pray for you as well and you can reply to the newsletter with your own requests.

Second, you can partner with us financially. We have a financial goal of $3600 per month in order to be fully funded and able to engage full time with gospel ministry in Scotland.

Residency, Dan’s dad and lockdown lifting

Residency

Karta Pobytu means Residence Card.

After working on the process for six months (some of it was because of lockdown), we have finally got our residency in Poland sorted out. It’s kind of ironic that this is happening just as we are beginning to pack up and leave. We are, however, grateful that our time here is officially legal. Our stay here would not have been possible were it not for the fact that Tracy and the kids are still kinda-sorta EU nationals.

Dan’s dad

My dad’s surgery went well, he’s actually been messaging us today which is a huge relief. Hopefully, the staff will give him a chance to get some rest now but hospitals are never easy places to sleep. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Lockdown lifting in the UK

While churches in the US have already begun to gather again while observing distancing guidelines, the same has not yet happened in the UK. It was announced that, in England at least, churches might be able to open again for prayer and services. It is still unclear exactly what that means but it gives us hope that things will have opened up a bit more by the time we arrive (God-willing) in August.

In the mean time

It’s strawberry season in Poland.

As we get closer to transitioning out of our time in Poland, we are asking those who have supported us so far to prayerfully consider continuing with us for another year. Our heart has always been for ministry in the UK. We hope that you will join with us in our return to doing just that.

Quick prayer update

It’s now been a week since my (Dan’s) dad went into hospital for his cranioplasty. We were initially hoping for a swift recovery but there have been a few significant complications. Due to some issues with drainage, the doctors have decided to install a permanent shunt to alleviate this. It’s a quicker surgery but it is still invasive.

As can be expected, this has been really rough for the whole family. The time difference (7 hours) means that there’s a relatively small window of time where we can get information. On top of that is just the worry that comes with being so far away. We know that we are meant to be here and not there right now but it is still a lot to grapple with.

Please join with us in prayer over these things. I was grateful this morning for Paul’s second letter to Corinth. Christopher J. Gordon in Tabletalk Magazine reminds us that:

Yes, Paul received actual grace from the Lord through prayer. In his weakness, the grace of Christ rested on him, and he received strength.

My family is starting off this week already weary but we know that God cares.

The need in culture and the church

I wrote previously that Christianity and a biblical worldview are not welcome in British society. One of the places that has shown this to be true is in the recent change to abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

Until October 2019, abortion was essentially banned in Northern Ireland. Now, it’s legal across the whole of the UK. This is a tragedy beyond words that is made worse by one thing. In the House of Lords, there are 26 Church of England bishops who are eligible to vote as ”Lords Spiritual”. 19 of those bishops abstained from voting.

Now, we know that the only hope in situations like this is the Holy Spirit working to change the hearts of man. It’s only the Holy Spirit at work in us which allows us the ability to see and define good and evil correctly. And the Holy Spirit works through the preaching of the Word. Without gospel workers on the ground, we cannot expect to see gospel change.

Our hope as a family is to join workers in the UK to preach the gospel as well as train up young people. It is to do the work of Deuteronomy 6. To explain that we do all of this because we have been saved.

Please, prayerfully consider partnering with us in this calling. Click the button below to find out how.

Why we still feel called to the UK

First, an update on my dad

Thank you so much for your prayers for my dad. We got word that the surgery went very well. The doctors’ plans right now are for my dad to spend the day and night in ICU before being transferred to the neurological department. Not just that, but my dad was strong enough to send us a selfie and a quick message only eight hours after his surgery!

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There is no getting away from the fact that having my visa refused last year really messed me up. Between dealing with being separated from my family and trying to figure out our next steps, I felt completely lost. To a lesser degree, that feeling still persists but we do have hope. As of right now (16 June 2020), we don’t have firm plans. We have a church and town in mind, but it’s still not for sure. Our hope is that we will have an answer by the start of July.

In the mean time, we do know one thing for sure. We are still called to be on mission in the UK. Our continued connection to the church, our family ties, and even the slow journey to confirming the new church are significant factors but they are small compared to one in particular: there is still a significant need for gospel workers in the UK.

Life in lockdown has slowed a lot of things down but has also helped the church’s witness. See, the UK is a truly secular nation. They may have a state church and be home to some of the best Bible teaching available. But one look at the culture will show that the church is not welcome in society. Except

A global pandemic that led to churches closing their physical doors led to them setting up online beacons. This has actually proven to be a great opportunity for the kingdom. While the buildings have been empty, people have been paying attention. I, personally, know of churches that have had their broadcasts viewed by two to three times as many people as they would have on the best Sunday.

Not only that, these numbers are being reported in secular news outlets. Since the lockdown began, a third of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 have viewed a church broadcast and a fifth of those who have viewed have never gone to church. Our hope is to join gospel workers in this harvest; to continue doing outreach and evangelism while discipling new believers and families.

Join Us

If you’re excited about what God is doing in the UK, please consider partnering with us as we work to preach the gospel and disciple new believers and young families. To find out more, visit our giving page.

Some answers to prayer

Things are beginning to ramp up here as we make preparations to leave Poland and begin new work in the UK. While we are still in the process of confirming what that work will be, there are some things that we have been praying over because they need to be in place no matter what.

The biggest answer to prayer that we have been given is a confirmed date for when international air travel will open up again. Our concern for the last few weeks has been that we would possibly have to do some kind of quarantined grand tour of Europe in order to leave Europe. As fun as that idea would sound under different circumstances, countries having 14-day quarantines after each border crossing would have meant taking potentially two months just to leave the continent!

Thankfully, Poland’s borders will open again on Saturday (13 June) and international air travel will open up next week (16 June)! Our next big hurdle is finding out if, because we have been pursuing temporary residency in Poland, we will be able to apply for my (Dan’s) UK visa in Warsaw.

Hymns At Home – Cudowna Boża Łaska

One of the things I’ve had to learn to do while we’ve been serving in Warsaw is learn enough Polish to sing. I’m not very good, but the people here have been incredibly gracious as I try to lead them in worship in their native language. Having the music helps a lot with learning Polish because it gives you a framework for the cadence of the words.

As always, if you would like to partner with us and the work we are doing to bring the gospel to the UK and Europe, head over to our Join Us page to find out how.

An almost-spring update

As you know, we have been serving in Warsaw since September 2019. Now that the Spring has arrived, we are excited to again be doing the preliminary work necessary before we return to the UK. At the moment, we are exploring a new opportunity with another local church (we love working with local churches) and are looking forward to making an announcement of where that is. In the mean time, however, we still have some things coming up.

A new notebook for a new chapter

First, we are continuing to work with Społeczność Chrześcijańska Wilanów. Recently, they received word that one of the local community centres is willing to open their doors to the church on Sundays. This is a big answer to prayer as the church has been meeting in a hotel conference room since it began a little over a year ago. That location has been very challenging so we are excited to help the church transition to the new building.

Second, we have a lot of travel coming this summer. Our hope, and current plan, is to return to the US in June (as a family!) so that we can apply for a new visa for Dan. During our time there, we will be visiting family and friends, but also sharing with those who have partnered with us.

In order to make all of this happen, we need your help. We are trying to raise a total, one-time amount of $10,000. This will cover the costs we incurred to move to and serve in Poland as well as the travel expense of getting a family of six across an ocean twice.

Please prayerfully consider joining with us as we begin this next chapter of Send The Alcantaras.