I am so excited! I get to come home in a week!
I won't be at church this coming Sunday, because I will be in Fort Lauderdale still. Much of my class is from Fort Lauderdale, and we are planning to attend the Calvary Chapel there and fellowship with each other for a couple extra days. Then I will return sometime in the morning on Monday, December 15th.
My plan is to attend Mission Minded Fellowship's December 16th meeting and the evening service on Wednesday. I am planning to stay at D&D Missionary Homes, if my application gets approved. I don't know where I am going to work, I am intending to seek seasonal employment when I return, because I don't want to be tied down right away. Patmos V, the next Patmos class, will be offered the opportunity to go to Morroco in May for about two weeks, and I am praying about going. I would need to have $800 in to the Adventure Learning Centre by February.
I must apologize to those of you who are receiving this as the only email you have received from me this whole time. I am new to the email system that I am using (Novell) and I have not had a lot of time to compose these updates. I believe I have posted all the rest of them on my weblog (www.witnessingwithjsb2.blogspot.com) and this one will go there, too. Not having a digital camera, I don't have pictures to send to you, but when my classmates decide to post their pictures publicly, I will tell you their web location.
I cannot thank you enough for your prayers. There have been many, many times when I was ready to leave Patmos, and, one night, I had even packed my clothes. If it had not been for you, my prayer warriors, I would not have made it this far. I am especially grateful for those of you who haven't seen me or met me but still pray for me. I have many times felt your prayers carrying me through. I am certain that I could not have made it without you.
And let us not forget that we still have one week to go. I expect this to be the hardest week yet. This past term was supposed to be easier than the previous four, but that was only by about 5%, as things that were not anticipated began to complicate things. It was a bit frustrating, but we have survived. God has shown this team much grace, and I am grateful beyond words.
I know that people get concerned because we don't say what happens here. Suffice to say, nothing sinful, and nothing deadly. Sorry, but the element of surprise is part of the program. As much as I have not enjoyed the experience (but I have reveled in surviving this far), I am not going to spoil it for those who may want to attend later. Although, some things have been changed. Please pray for Patmos V (*shudders*).
So why would I go to Morocco? Pastor Chet was a missionary in Liberia for three years, and I'd like to spend some time with him on the other continent before I get over there myself. In addition, he is a friend of Paul Cowley, whose mission interests me greatly. Also, this is a venture into Muslim territory, in which I don't have much experience. Muslims are making moves in Kenya (actually, all over Africa), and I would like to get some field experience before I end up with a longer commitment. I am hoping to speak with Brother Paul before I finalize that decision.
How long will I be home? I really don't know. It could be up to a year. I am just remaining open to the Lord's timetable. I will know more after conferring with Brother Paul, and I will update you at that time. May God richly bless you. I thank God for all of you.
Joshua S Black
P.S. I was not able to meet with Brother Paul Cowley during his time in St Pete. He was very busy, but he did tell Pastor Art Dykstra, my missions pastor, that he is not able to take me on right now. I am disappointed, but I can't complain. I don't make these decisions. I don't run my life. =)