Yes, this really is our latest prayer updateâ€”minus the usual colorful layout and pictures!
Cheri, who faithfully and skillfully communicates our thoughts and words, has been through challenging days. Her husband, Jess, needed her presence during his days in ICU following brain surgery and subsequent complications. He is now making slow progress with therapy. Please pray for Cheri, Jess and their two children.
In our last letter, we mentioned extending our time here in Europe by a month so that we could be in Lodz, Poland, from July 19-24.
The World Youth Days will take place in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. They will be preceded by an international youth festival called â€œParadise in the Cityâ€. This will be held in Lodz, Poland, organized by Chemin Neuf, an international fellowship of reconciliation and discipleship. Several thousand young adults are expected.
Gerold JÃ¤ger, a Catholic priest, leads the ministry of Chemin Neuf in Bonn. He invited us to come to Lodz as a result of German friends introducing him to Hannaâ€™s book Meine Krone in der Asche (A Garland for Ashes in English). He read part 5, â€œSacred Adventureâ€, and discovered that Hannaâ€™s parents were deported from Cologne to Lodz on October 30, 1941 and were gassed in nearby Chelmno on May 3, 1942. He invited Hanna to share her story in the city center, the area where her parents were held in the ghetto, and again at Radegast Railway Station, in National Socialist times the arrival and departure place for Jews into the ghetto and out en route to their deaths.
A German priest will join Hanna in sharing in this evocative place. One of his grandfathers was an SS doctor; the other a member of the Nazi party. What will the Lord do? You can imagine the heavy cost for both to speak at Radegast Station.
In praying about this journey, we remembered our last time in Lodz six years ago with eight friends. That time, when we reached the tiny village of Chelmno where Hannaâ€™s parents were gassed, we discovered the place where they had entered the gas van was inaccessible. The gate was locked; it was a Polish national holiday. The thought now comes, â€œWhy not drive to Chelmno, only 70 kilometers from Lodz, and this time walk through the gate and pray on the exact spot?â€ We plan to go with Julia and Ryan, who were with us in 2010, along with Noleen, Ryanâ€™s wife, and their four children.
Sorry this letter is so long, but we earnestly desire your specific prayers.
Extending our stay
Looking back on answered prayer, we want to share with you our encouragement as barriers one by one have been overcome:
- Air tickets were changedâ€”Cheri found new seats for our return to Phoenix.
- Medications were providedâ€”with the help of Cheri, Ryan, Noleen and Werner.
- Permission for Georgeâ€™s stay in Europe was extendedâ€”step by step, following many rules, with the help of friendly officials.
- Some friends and prayer partners have sent special gifts to help with the extra expenses all this involvesâ€”we are so grateful!
For your prayers
- We fly to Warsaw from Cologne/Bonn on July 19.
- Hanna shares her story at Radegast Station on July 20, 22 and 23.
- Hanna shares her story during a larger meeting in the area where her parents were held in the ghetto on July 21.
- Hanna will do a TV interview on July 23.
- We travel to Chelmno and pray, possibly on July 22.
- We fly from DÃ¼sseldorf to Phoenix via London on July 29.
With praise and thanksgiving,