November Update

Greetings from Klaipėda! A lot has happened in the last couple of months. Here’s a taste of what’s been going on…

LCC and Travels

*We had our FYS group (freshmen and PRIME students) over to our home for tea, hot cider, and dessert. Many had never enjoyed s’mores before! We exploded marshmallows and melted dark chocolate in the microwave, combined with a graham-like cracker. The marshmallows here have a slightly vanilla-ish taste, but the experience was close enough to a Pennsylvania campfire–without the mosquitoes.

*Benj preached four times: Sunday worship services at the Free Christian Churches of Klaipėda and Šilutė, for LCC’s chapel service, and for the International Christian Fellowship. It is a blessing to be able to share God’s Word, and to be [re]introduced to several Christian communities here in Lithuania. At the ICF service, Benj administered Holy Communion for the first time, which was a very special experience.

*The Center for Faith and Human Flourishing hosted four events. The identity and agenda of the CFHF in relation to LCC is beginning to take shape. Benj was interviewed for LCC’s monthly newsletter, Transformations–you can read the interview here.

*Benj visited Boston briefly for academic conferences, and met with scholars to discuss collaboration on research projects with the CFHF. Benj’s mom, Susan, drove up from Southeastern PA to visit friends and to bring Benj books and Christmas gifts.

*Corrie directed a student choir that led worship at a contemplative chapel service. You can watch a video of “Kyrie Eleison” here (278 MB).

*We visited Riga for a few days over Fall Break. We visited museums and cultural centers, a bagel shop (no bagels in Klaipėda), a Holocaust memorial, and a Reformation Day service at a Lutheran church (in Latvian).

*Even though American Thanksgiving is not a day off in Lithuania, the kids enjoyed taking pumpkin cookies to school and sharing about the holiday. We had a huge dinner on Saturday after Thanksgiving at LCC with many of the staff and faculty members. And Corrie baked her first pecan pie, along with pumpkin pie from scratch!

Settling In

*We are all making friends and feeling connected here, through church and LCC. We had a lot of people over for dinner in October, which was quite fun!

*We have experienced both the joys and responsibilities of owning a car–including getting new tires and a new battery. Matters which are a minor hassle without a language barrier are much more challenging for us here.

*The kids continue to adjust well after nearly three months of school. Elizabeth has mostly settled into kindergarten, and brags that she hardly ever cries anymore at school. Daniel continues to enjoy his time at school, especially with his friends Nojus, Caleb, Lauras, and Peregrine. We are also thankful that an LCC student has started a ministry for children at our church.

*Daniel plays soccer several evenings per week, and is one of the best players on his team.

*Corrie has joined a women’s Bible study, currently working through the book of Ephesians.

Prayer

*Pray that the kids would learn Lithuanian and feel comfortable in school.

*Pray that Benj would continue to grow into his role with the Center for Faith and Human Flourishing.

*Pray for Benj’s academic work, including continuing study of academic German, writing articles on Kings and Isaiah, and a new book project.

*Pray for Benj’s students as they work on final papers and senior theses, and that Benj would be able to give thoughtful feedback as they write about the Scriptures and prepare for further study/ministry.

*Pray for the Christmas program, which is an important outreach to students and the community. Pray for Corrie, who is accompanying the choir on piano, and for Connie Epp, who is directing the program.

*Pray for our local church, the Free Christian Church of Klaipėda, and the other congregations in Lithuania, that they would give faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

*Pray for the upcoming worship service designed by Benj and his student Jess, built around readings and songs from the Book of Isaiah.

*Pray for meaningful relationships with students, and with other faculty and staff members.

*Pray that Corrie would figure out God’s specific plan for this period of life. She praises God for this sweet time of spiritual refreshment after some pretty crazy years and is enjoying the chance to explore new ways to get involved in ministry here.

Financial Support and Contact Information

We are thankful to have raised all of our regular salary for the first two years of our ministry. Please also consider making a one-time donation toward other needs. For more information on how to support our ministry, click here, or contact me directly.

You may view our contact information here.

Thank you for praying for us, and for your emails, texts, and calls. God continues to be faithful.

Tik kristoje/In Christ Alone,

Benj, Corrie, Daniel and Elizabeth

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About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…an Old Testament professor and former liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three, brother-in-law to Josh and Hannah…uncle to Marshall.
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