This summer has been full of ups and downs for us. Financial uncertainty, moving across the country, settling into a new home and church, and other life events – including a miscarriage – have given us many challenges to overcome. In case you hadn’t heard, Danyelle suffered a miscarriage last month when she was 6 weeks pregnant. We thank God that she has physically recovered fully and no medical intervention was required. Also, thank you to all of you who prayed for us during that time.
We have been back in Illinois for three and a half months, but we are still trying to get into some sort of routine and sense of normalcy. Life at language school was full of routine, so we have struggled with our new unstructured days. For Danyelle and the girls, the recent start of homeschool has helped. I am slowly getting into a groove, but I have always been an employee with a regular work schedule or a student with classes to attend, so working from home every day has been strange.
For me, it has been a frustrating summer ministry-wise. Almost daily, the Academia Cristiana del Aire (ACA) Facebook page has received new “likes” or messages from students or potential students throughout the US and Latin America. Many of these people, along with hundreds or thousands more, are ready to start studying through ACA online, but I have not been able to devote the time needed to make it happen. I have been able to work on some of the technical, “back-end” parts of the website that are needed before launching the online school, though, and I set up a website for collaboration between us at ACA and our partners at Camino Global’s ObreroFiel.com ministry.
My main focus this summer has been on getting my technology consulting business, Barker Tech Solutions, off the ground in order to supplement our monthly support from our ministry partners. The hope is that I will be able to do my business part time and work on the ACA project the rest of the time. Eventually, I would love to be able to concentrate on ministry full-time, but for now I will do what I need to do to support my family. Right now, we are receiving around $1,000 a month in missionary support and I am bringing in about $800 a month through my business. Obviously, both levels need to increase for us to pay the bills, and we are trusting God to provide however He chooses.
I have visited a few churches in the area while out on business and have had the chance to introduce myself and the ministry of ACA. At one church, I talked with the secretary and left some materials for ACA, a prayer card of ours, and my business card. She passed it along to a Hispanic couple in the church because they minister to other Hispanics in the area. The wife, Patty, ended up calling me yesterday because she has a computer problem and would like to hire me to fix it. Plus, she wants me to bring Danyelle and the girls to her house tomorrow when I go so we can all meet. We are excited to get to know Patty and her husband and to see why God has allowed us to meet.
I will wrap up this update with a request for prayer for our daughter, Abree. Abree has been battling recurring fevers, neck and head pain, and some other symptoms for about the last three years. After seeing a specialist with the Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Abree is now scheduled for an MRI and blood work this Friday, the 20th of September. We aren’t sure what to expect but are glad to be finally getting some tests done that may give us some answers. Please pray for safe travel to Chicago for our family and for Abree’s safety as she goes under anesthesia for the MRI, as well as a clear and positive diagnosis.