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Mike and Anita James

Reaching Children – Training Leaders

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Jul '17

We’re Moving

For a while now, we have been feeling that a change was coming in our ministry.  We just didn’t know what it would be.  We have been here in The Netherlands for 12 years, and our kids club is going really well.

On a Monday morning a few months ago, I had a meeting with Samuel’s preschool teacher.  They meet with every parent a few months after the child begins to talk through how things are going.  I knew that Samuel’s speech was behind what it should be, and he had fascinations with things like cabinets.  She told me that we needed to have Samuel assessed for autism.  She noticed those same things but also said that he didn’t play with other children or always respond when they talked to him.  It is difficult to know what he really understands.  He also had problems hitting other children.

I came home and told Mike about it.  To be honest, I cried a bit because, even though I had some of the same suspicions, I wanted for Samuel to have a great childhood and make friends.  I also didn’t know exactly how we would navigate all this in another country and language.  The same day, about 3 hours after my meeting with the teacher, we got a call from an area director in Europe.  We thought that he was going to possibly ask us to do something concerning children’s ministry in his area.  Instead, he asked us to join the Europe Extension Office and help with the training/mentoring of missionaries before they get to the field and also (especially) during their first term in Europe.  This change in position would require us to move to Springfield.

We got off the call and prayed about it.  In the past, when someone mentioned something to me about leaving The Netherlands, I fought it pretty hard.  I told Mike that I didn’t have any fight in me this time.  We were really excited about the idea that we could help new missionaries reach more Europeans.  We also believed that God was preparing a way for Samuel to get the help he needed in America.

We continued the process of accessing Samuel.  He first went to speech therapy and had hearing tests to make sure that there wasn’t any hearing loss that could cause his speech delay. There was no hearing loss.  We also went to a doctor and met with a group that is integrated to help children with development issues.  Absolutely every one of these professionals and a few teachers we have spoken with have said that Samuel needs to be in an English-only environment and that the therapy in America for children like Samuel is better than what he can get here.  I would never have known all that, but again, God prepared this move for our entire family.

We will be transitioning back to America (in the Springfield, Missouri area) this summer and will begin our new assignment soon after arriving.  Of course, we have to get housing, cars, school registration and doctors arranged in the beginning.  There is so much to do, so please pray for us during this time.  We have stopped the assessment process for Samuel here and will continue it when we get to America.  Please pray that we will have wisdom and the doctors and therapists there will know how best to help him.

We were concerned about the kids club and didn’t want it to stop.  We’re so excited that our team is going to continue it.  They have a heart for the children in this part of Leiden and are already preparing for the next season of Fundag.  Please pray that more children will come to know Christ as a result of the kids club.  We will still be Assemblies of God World Missionaries and require monthly support, so thank you to all of our supporters for your faithfulness.  We ask that you continue to support our family financially and with your prayers.


12 comments to “We’re Moving”

  1. Sheri Smalley Says:

    Sorry that is never the news a mom wants to hear about her baby. We will be praying for a smooth transition and the best doctor for Samuel. Love to you all!

  2. Wade DeForest Says:

    Mike and Anita, thanks for the update. We bekieve that your steps are ordered by the Lord. We will pray for you. And will continue the financial support you. We love you.

    Wade DeForest
    Living Water Church

  3. Kim Spiegel Says:

    I’m sad for the diagnosis. Happy for the new assignment. And since I worked with children/college aged adults who faced these developmental issues, I can tell you that there is so much hope! He can live a fulfilling and purposeful life. Just like you want for him.
    He’s such a blessing! God has marked these steps at just the right time. I’m praying for peace and help as you move forward in this life journey.
    Love y’all dearly. And prayers going up for wisdom too.

  4. Tricia "Mom" Ikard Says:

    You know how to reach me….we are here for your support, IF or WHEN you need us!! This developmental matter is NOT the end. It IS a new beginning…we do NOT have to accept what man says…we believe the report of the Lord and His report is for good. Of course, I do know that there is so much assistance available in the US and great strides have been made to direct you to the proper therapies, etc. that Samuel will need. You know me….been there…done that…and still wearing the t-shirt! I am praying for you, my dahling.

  5. Doyce Clark Says:

    Linda and I will be praying for your son and for your family. We love you. The song by Mercy Me “even if” fits your situation perfectly. God is faithful and His hand is upon you and Mike and your family. God bless

    Knowing our Father is on your side should let know all is well.

  6. E. JOE WILMOTH Says:

    You and the family will be in my prayers during your transition and in your meeting the challenge of your son.
    God is still God and He can and I believe that He will meet the need of your son as He also ministers to you.
    Love and prayers,
    Pastor Wilmoth

  7. Tabatha Bunn Says:

    I am so happy and sad for you at the same time. You came to my church several years ago to take part in a Kid’s Crusade we were having. I was throughly impressed with your amazing puppet skills. You are blessed and greatly loved by God no matter where He places you. Little Samuel will be used mightily for Him. You will be in my prayers. Thank you for all you do for Him!! Blessings…

  8. Robby Says:

    Praying for all of you in the transition and for your son’s progress.

  9. Danelle E Knox Says:

    These are the times when the Word comes alive and sinks deeply into our souls. The Lord works all things together for the good of those who are called according to His purposes.

    Our prayers continue to be with you all, that the Lord will provide all that is needed for Samuel and for your family. Our love and support remain yours!

  10. Mickey and Linda Ellis Says:

    We will be praying for you all as you transition to Springfield and work through the details of moving home.
    You will be a great asset and blessing to our fellow missionaries.
    We will especially be praying for Samuel!
    God is so faithful!!

  11. Annette H Says:

    Praying the transition goes smoothly: on that side and this side. Here for you if ya need anything.

  12. Glenda Nagel Says:

    Excited for your new assignment to America. Thanking Gid for His devine leadership in all your ways.

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