Jim & Carol Fasold
In the midst of all the chaos, upheaval, and uncertainty caused by the corona virus, we have been impressed by the exceptional way in which God has guided, provided, and controlled our schedule.
We arrived in El Salvador on March 5 where Jim was scheduled to give a three-hour conference each day for ten straight days on Biblical interpretation (hermeneutics) to pastors and church leaders. However, on the eighth day El Salvador and the U.S. began to restrict international flights into their countries because of the virus. Fearing we might not be able to return to the U.S. and catch our flight back to Spain on March 18, we cancelled the last two days of conferences and flew to California on the 14th. In spite of this setback, Jim was able to give his conferences to 1,140 pastors and church leaders.
However, two days before leaving for Spain our flight was cancelled. Shortly afterwards we began to receive emails from friends in Spain advising us to not return at this time. As the virus spread throughout the world, Spain was one of the five countries most severely affected by the pandemic. We cannot know what might have happened had we returned to Spain, but God’s hand was clearly evident in this additional setback. However, we now faced another hurdle.
Where are we going to live?
We have no home in the U.S., but we hesitated to ask friends for help since they would justifiably hesitate to take us into their homes because of all the traveling we had done in other countries. However, just a few days later a couple we had met in Ireland at the home of our daughter and son-in-law invited us to stay in an apartment they have over their garage which is located in a rural area of Oregon where the virus has had little to no impact. We have been living there since March 21. However, because their eldest son returns home next Friday (July 31) and will be staying in that apartment, we needed to find another place to stay.
The last week of June our daughter Becky and her husband Jonathan moved back to the U.S. after serving as missionaries for 23 years in Spain and Ireland. Jonathan has accepted the pastorate of a church in Michigan. Since they have space in their new home to accommodate us, next Friday (July 31) we will move in with them. Once again God’s timing and provision were very evident. But because our ministries take place in Spain and Latin America, we were faced with another question.
What can we do with our time?
About four years ago Tyndale asked Jim to revise the book he wrote in 1998 on the subject of courtship and marriage, a book which has helped many young people and adults. The only suggestion Tyndale made was that Jim include a chapter on the use of the internet to find a spouse since that possibility did not exist in 1998. However, our constant traveling to Latin American countries to give conferences made it impossible for Jim to even begin this project.
However, the re-strictions imposed because of the virus provided the time and opportunity for him to revise the book. Since arriving in Oregon Jim has been working full-time on that project. The apartment where we are staying is surrounded by a forest of beautiful pine trees with only two other houses in sight. The only distractions he faces are the deer and wild turkeys that meander on by. Because Jonathan and Becky live in a rural area of Michigan, we will once again be located in a place with little distractions. Once again, we were amazed at how the Lord had planned so much so many months and years in advance.
Revising a book is a slow process. Of the twenty-two chapters in Jim’s book, thirteen have already been revised. Once he has completed the remaining chapters, he will visit the libraries of two or three seminaries and Christian universities just forty minutes from our daughter’s home to see what has been written since 1998 on the subject of courtship and marriage. Then, after including any new information in his book that he finds helpful, Carolyn will read the text and recommend changes. The text will then be sent to the Christian lady in Spain, a professional proof reader, who did such an excellent job on Jim’s hermeneutics book. The final text will then be sent to Tyndale for their editors’ corrections.
We are thrilled as we see God guiding our path and allowing us to do something significant for His kingdom even in this time of upheaval and uncertainty. A sincere and warm thanks to all of you who pray for us and support us with your gifts.
Jim and Carolyn Fasold