We are so excited about our future right now. In the coming days our lives will dramatically and forever change for the good. Around Christmas time we mentioned to you that we only had enough monthly support to cover about 70% of our most basic living expenses. We have also sent out a number of prayer requests over our time in Thailand regarding our trying visa situation. With that in mind, we wanted to take this moment of stillness to share a bit of what 2015 has looked like so far as a testimony to God’s amazing provision in the midst of this non-traditional life.

As we entered into 2015, we have been overjoyed to see God provide for us in such real and tangible ways. Since January, we have been financially stable and able to cover our cost of living without any need to dip into any emergency funds. This has been a tremendous answer to prayer for us. While we are still trusting that funds will come to allow us to continue our Thai language learning, we have felt refreshed and unwavering in our trust with this part of our lives. We want to thank you for partnering with us and trusting us with your generous financial gifts.

Another praise is that of our visa status – what a battle it has been! I won’t go into the details now, but would you believe that after all that time spent in prayer by you, us and the greater network of people serving in Thailand, our prayers have been answered?! A sponsoring organization has come forward and graciously offered us a visa and work permit (it doesn’t get any better than that for us). Also on the visa front, we were pleased to discover that the pregnancy actually made the visa situation easier, rather than more complicated. In January, when it was time for our typical 3-month visa run, we were able to extend our visas in-country for three months based on medical need. There is potential for another extension in the coming weeks, but we’re still navigating our best options. Regardless, we are well on our way to seeing an end to quarterly visa runs and the increased financial burden they bring.

As if that’s not enough, we’ve also been humbled to experience your gracious gifts for Baby Shartsis. I don’t think it’s typical (what about our lives is?), but we have hardly had to buy a thing for baby out of pocket. We are incredibly appreciative, but we still wanted to openly express one growing need. While we’ve saved and set enough aside to cover an all-natural birth, we are skating closer and closer to the need for an induced birth, meaning the cost of delivery is going to be more than we anticipated. We technically have emergency funds that could cover this expense, but using these funds would mean dipping into our living allowance for the next few months, a time when we’re likely to be spending more to take care of our new baby, rather than less.

Obviously our entire world is about to change, and we’re looking forward to discovering what ministry will look like as a family of three. If you are interested in contributing a one-time gift to help cover the cost of the birth (we’re anticipating a total of about $2,000), tax deductible donations can be made here. After we get into the groove of life with our sweet Baby, we’ll be able to re-evaluate our monthly budget and share an update of needs there as well. As always, if you’re interested in supporting us monthly, please pray about and feel free to talk to us about that as well.

We are looking forward to sharing photos and amazing news with you soon!

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