Happy Spring and Good Strength til Pascha ❤
Greetings in Christ!
We pray this finds you in good health this Great Lent! We’ve got some exciting news to share with you and also some important prayer requests:
After months and months of waiting, by God’s good grace, our Swedish residency permit applications were approved at the end of January! This means that as soon as we receive them in Thessaloniki, we can book our flights to Stockholm and finally deploy.
We thank you for your prayers in this situation and we ask that you continue to pray for their safe and expedient delivery to the consulate here in Thessaloniki. The pandemic has made it so that all post (international and domestic) is delayed, so we have no idea how long it’ll take.
We’d hoped to have our visas and be in the field by early March, but now it’s April we’re still waiting in Greece and still in lock-down (since November). But God’s timing is a bit different than ours, and it’s given us ample time to practice active patience and to be aware of the blessings and opportunities presented to us on a daily basis.
It is a blessing that Effy has been able to continue her iconography lessons, and she’s almost finished painting the icon of the Theotokos from Stavronikita Monastery of Mount Athos (the photo above is not the finished icon!). Josef has been able to continue his Byzantine chant lessons as well as his part-time work translating the works of Saint Nektarios of Aegina. All of this, of course, has been very spiritually enriching.
Meanwhile, we’ve engaged in daily self-study of the Swedish language so that we’ll have some basis for communication before we begin our official classes in Sweden.
As many of you know, our goal was to reach 12 months-worth of funding before deploying. We were recently informed that because of the magnanimous generosity of recent donors, we have surpassed our goal, and once the donations have cleared, we will be about 15-months funded! Thank you all, and glory be to God! This is a level of security at which our directors at OCMC are comfortable sending us out.
We will, of course, continue to raise support in-field, to cover the rest of our 2-year deployment. Monthly support, even at a minimal amount, really helps to offset that and keep us stable in the field. So, please prayerfully consider partnering with us monthly if you aren’t already.
- For our Swedish residency permits to arrive with minimal delays
- For us to reach our final goal of 2-years of funding
- For continued patience, health, and strength until the end of the lock-down and until our deployment to Sweden.
- For a safe and smooth transition from Greece to Sweden.
We pray that God give you good strength to endure and grow spiritually during the remainder of the Great Fast as we approach Holy Pascha!
With love in Christ,
Josef & Effy Candelario
OCMC Missionaries to Sweden
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