All posts by levik

Very Important Update–Major Change of Plans

Hey everybody! This is Levi! You may (or may not) have noticed that it’s been awhile since we’ve sent out an update on us. Well, for those of you who haven’t heard yet, it’s because we’ve been working through some things…and now we have some bad news and some good news:

The bad news is that, after a whole lot of praying and talking through it and around it and more praying, we’ve gotten direction from God that it’s not time for us to go overseas and serve as missionaries. Over the past 4 months or so we’ve come to realize that the anxiety and apprehension that Jael had been experiencing in regard to our upcoming move to Paraguay wasn’t just normal anxiety. It was really due to depression, and that depression was really caused by culture shock from her move to South Korea over two years ago now. And that depression has really shut her down to the point where moving overseas again right now simply would do more damage.

Thankfully, now that we’ve identified the problem, we know better how to attack it. Jael herself could tell you more (if she was writing this) about how much she’s found that prayer really does help, ’cause it’s lifted her spirits so much and has helped her start inching out of the depression. However, we’re not sure how much more time she’ll need to work through the healing process with this. So, after a whole lot of prayer and discussion, we finally talked with the Director of Global Lutheran Outreach and have officially made the decision to not proceed on the path toward Paraguay…for now.

The good news is…that God is still in control! And he’s still guiding us and has a plan for us.

So our dream is to eventually head back overseas and serve the Lord in Latin America. For now, however, for Jael’s sake (so that she can have more time to find healing from the depression/culture shock), we’re going to be seeking a DCE call for me in the United States with the Lutheran Church, sharing Jesus with people here! The hope is that it would be in some kind outreach to Hispanics so that I could use and continue to grow in my Spanish, and so that Jael could also grow in it (so that we’re both ready in terms of languages whenever we are ready to go overseas again).

If you have donated to us, do not fear. You should have gotten (or will receive very soon) a letter or email from us with details about your donation.

If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please feel free to contact us at KarthLeviJael@gmail.com

Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We could definitely use prayers:

  • for Jael, that she would find full and complete healing from the culture shock/depression (and that we would know how to best treat it);
  • that God would guide us and lead us quickly to the church/ministry here in the United States where he wants me to work;
  • that God would continue to bless the Lutheran Church of Paraguay, so that (even without our participation) they would continue to spread the Gospel in their country.

If you happen to know of any church/ministry in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that is looking for a Spanish-speaking DCE, please feel free to connect us!

We’ll be sure to keep posting on this blog so that you can know what we’re up to. Also, as time permits, I may just start posting more stuff. One of the huge blessings that I’ve already seen coming out of all of this is that…due to the extra time that I haven’t had (since I haven’t been actively working for a year now)…God has given me A LOT of time to dig deeper into his Word and learn more and more about what he things about mission…and the Church…and evangelism…and all kinds of good stuff. So Lord willing I can start sharing some of the things that I’ve learned.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers!!!

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Waiting…for now…

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Reading through the stories of Jesus (in the four Gospels) and the first apostles (in the book of Acts), it can be really easy to get caught up in all of the action and their teaching–they were doing amazing things while calling people to receive the priceless gift of eternal life with God. Over the past couple of years, though, I’ve noticed that their moments and seasons of rest and inaction were just as important as their times of action. After Jesus told his followers (in Acts 1) to wait, “They all joined together constantly in prayer…” (Acts 1:14). How much did they need that time of waiting, as they focused on praying, before the Day of Pentecost came?
   Jael and I are currently in such a season of waiting. We’re waiting for God to open up any more doors for visits to more churches (if He wants us to make more visits).
We’re also waiting to get to language school. We were originally planning on going this November to a Spanish language school in Guatemala. However, we potentially have a new plan that we’re in the midst of trying to figure out even as I type this: We’ve discovered a language school in Paraguay that teaches both Spanish (which Jael needs) and Guaraní (the native language of Paraguay, which I want to learn, especially since I already know Spanish). The details are far from being fully worked out, but potentially we could be going to this language school in January instead of the one in Guatemala.
And while we wait for God to smooth out all of these details, my hope is that we (Jael and I, and also all of y’all, since y’all can be praying for us) can be praying…and praying…and praying…just like the first Christians.
(If you want a printable/pdf version of this newsletter, check out this link: October ’18 Newsletter)
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The mission work in Paraguay, of course, isn’t about us, and it’s definitely not dependent upon us–it’s God’s mission. God is already using our friend, Victor (he’s the one in the white robe on the far left in the above picture), to share the Gospel in Guajayvi, where we’ll be working in the future. The above picture was taken at the building dedication for the new church building that they’ve built in Guajayvi! Of course, the mission is not about building church buildings, but rather about being used by God so that people can be part of God’s eternal family, through faith in Jesus Christ.
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That being said, the building is a great blessing for Victor and for us in that we’ll be able to use it to fit lots of people. And speaking of lots of people, Victor (who as I said, is already doing mission work there) hosted a Vacation Bible School this month through the Lutheran Hour of Paraguay (the Lutheran radio/outreach program that he currently works for)! Please keep not just us, but also Victor in your prayers–that God would truly use him to be sharing the Gospel and making disciples.
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This is a picture of us in May 2018 (when we visited), taking a selfie in front of the land where the church now is, just so you can see how quickly they developed the land! The church was built on the land behind us.

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Guajayvi church under construction 2
Here’s a picture from the construction of the building
Guajayvi church under construction
Obviously, this is still showing the building being constructed
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And THIS is what the finished building looks like
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This is another picture taken from the dedication service of the building, when a large number of guests came to celebrate with Victor and the other members of the church in Guajayvi.
Please Pray!!!!!!!!!!!
   You may not be able to physically come and join us in the work of spreading the Gospel in Paraguay, but you can definitely still help in very real ways!!! You can be praying for us daily (or more than daily!), helping us by simply talking to God and asking him to help us. Here’s a few things that you can be praying for:

 

  • That God would help, strengthen, and empower our fellow missionary, Victor, who is already sharing the Gospel where we will be working.
  • That we would quickly learn the multiple languages that are spoken in Paraguay. Specifically, Jael with Spanish, and Levi (who already knows Spanish) with Guaraní and Portuguese.
  • That God would work out all of the details to get us to language school in January 2019 (or whenever His desired time is)
  • That God would prepare the hearts and minds of the people of Paraguay to receive the Gospel.
  • That God would make us vessels fit for His service.
  • That God would help us to use this time of waiting to grow deeper in our relationship with Him.
  • That God would use YOU to share the Gospel, wherever you are!!

 

We’ve Been Traveling!!!!!!!!!!!

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We’ve been on the road for the past couple of months now, and it’s been awesome! I had been living like a miser the past couple of years, saving up, so we were able to simply use my savings to pay for our travels. Since our last newsletter, we’ve visited some of our friends, family, and favorite churches in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

(Here’s the link to a pdf version of this newsletter, if you would like to print it and share it: https://levikarth.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/glo-newsletter-karth-family-september-2018.pdf)

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After we spoke at a church in Austin, Texas

Our travel hasn’t just been for pleasure, though.  Part of our journey has been visiting various churches.  We’ve been telling them about our upcoming work in Paraguay, as well as encouraging them to PRAY for us. Sure, it’s easy enough to go overseas and say that we’re “missionaries”, but it’s a completely different thing to actually be used by God to share the life-transforming Gospel with people in such a way that they truly come to have a relationship with God. And prayer makes a HUGE difference in all of that, and that includes YOUR prayers for us. Paul says in Romans 15:30, ”  I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” ESV   —Levi

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Visiting a friend in Texas
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Visiting friends in Colorado

We’ve had a wonderful few months connecting with friends across the states. Both of us have been able to introduce to each other to most of our friends, at this point, and we’ve both really enjoyed getting to know (by talking, laughing, or teasing) the people who have shaped the other person. They’ve been a huge encouragement to us, and we hope that we have been the same for us.

Mission Club CTX Sept 2018 second pic
Visiting the student Mission Club at Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas

But even better, we’ve made some new friends along the way! We visited CTX (Levi’s alma mater) and got to spend a lot of time talking with different students there who have an interest in overseas missions. One of our favorite times was when we visited the Concordia Texas Mission Club; they were a really fun group, so we were able to laugh a lot with them as we shared with them about our previous experiences! —Jael

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Hanging out with Jael’s family in Arizona

Additionally, we’ve gotten to see some of our relatives and catch up with them before we head overseas. Between some visits to churches, we were able to see some of Jael’s relatives in Arizona. Now, we’re in North Carolina, staying with my parents as we wait for what is yet to come.
Tentatively, we’ll be heading out to Guatemala at the start of November so that Jael can have intense Spanish language training. Lord willing, by the start of February we’ll be getting to Paraguay and can start being used by God to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.  —Levi

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Please Pray!!!!!!!!!!!
You may not be able to physically come and join us in the work of spreading the Gospel in Paraguay, but you can definitely still help in very real ways!!! You can be praying for us daily (or more than daily!), helping us by simply talking to God and asking him to help us. Here’s a few things that you can be praying for:

That God would help our fellow missionary, Victor, who is already sharing the Gospel where we will be working.
That we would quickly learn the multiple languages that are spoken in Paraguay. Specifically, Jael is learning Spanish right now, and Levi (who already knows Spanish) is learning Guaraní and Portuguese.
That God would prepare the hearts and minds of the people of Paraguay to receive the Gospel.
That God would make us vessels fit for His service.
That God would use YOU to share the Gospel, wherever you are!!