Our last update ended with a request for prayer for greater witnessing opportunities in June. Within a few days of sending the update, and under unique circumstances, several people trusted Christ as a direct result of your prayers. In the words of missionary Peter Deyneka, “Much Prayer, much power.” Please continue to pray for God’s blessing in this area!

After closing out our deputation travels on June 5 in Missouri, we spent the next several weeks assisting heavily in the ministries of our home church. One week was spent at the campgrounds hosting a junior camp, and another week we were involved with our church’s annual youth conference. This is valuable not only because of the eternal reward from the many saved and called into ministry, but also for our own experience in these ministries. An added blessing is serving alongside family, with two of my brothers hosting and working in this particular conference.

The month closed out with a trip to the Carolinas to see several family members before we transition to the field. It is always a blessing to spend time with my grandfather who, at the age of 93, is still serving God with his life! 

While on this trip we continued the online visa application process in anticipation of the July 3rd (4th in New Zealand) application opening. This is when I made a rookie mistake of overlooking the medical exams required before applying. Hearing that there were month-long wait times to get scheduled at one of the only twenty-two nationwide locations was quite disheartening. Providentially though, one of those offices was located 25 minutes from our location with Alyse’s family in North Carolina. As we reached out to family to pray, there was no response from the office. Deciding it was a lost cause in North Carolina after several days, we would have to wait until we could get in the Chicago office later in July. Forty-eight hours prior to leaving North Carolina, the office called to confirm there were no openings until August. However, 24 hours later, they called back to inform us their schedule had changed and they could fit us in on our way out of town after the doctor heard about our situation! 

This letter opened with an example of the power of prayer, and it closed with an example of persistence in prayer. We are thankful for a God who answers prayer and are humbled for a support team that is interceding for us.

God Bless,
Josh, Alyse, and Bentlee Szwarga

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