Dear all our lovely supporters,
It has been a while since we last wrote, and many things have happened since we last sent out our newsletter. We arrived in Tenerife safely on the 25th of June, and had a quiet few days in Tenerife, Spain, before catching our plane from Tenerife to Madrid, Madrid to London (where we stayed overnight and had a lovely, albeit short, stay with one of Murray's high school friends), London to Chicago, and finally Chicago to Indianapolis! It was a long 36 hours of travelling!
Murray and Candace had quite a nerve-wracking time on our flight from London to Chicago, because we are married and that may have caused some red flags with US Border Control. But praise God we landed safely in Chicago and Murray was stamped in to be in the USA for six months if needed! It was a huge answer to prayer and we were both very thankful! We landed at Indianapolis a few hours later where we were met by Candace's lovely family.
We spent an amazing, albeit short, three weeks in southern Indiana with Candace's family, and Murray had an amazing time experiencing so many new activities - including fishing trips, clay pigeon shooting, Amish buggy rides, rollercoaster rides, driving tractors, golf carts, and quad bikes, and many more. It was also special to be able to celebrate our marriage with Candace's family and friends. We had a lovely Reception and thanks must go to Mike and Lavone Miller for their tireless dedication to this task. Murray also enjoyed being able to spend time with three close Mercy Ships friends, Chad, Elliot and Sam, who made the trip down for the reception. Thanks also to all of you who made our time in the USA such an unforgettable experience!
But soon enough, it was time to leave the USA and fly across the Atlantic to join the Africa Mercy in Tenerife. We flew out of Mobile, Alabama, to Dallas, and then Dallas to London, London to Madrid, and Madrid to Tenerife. Being back on the ship has been good, and we are both settling back into ship life. We have loved our time in Tenerife and have enjoyed all the fresh fruits and vegetables available here. We also have been able to watch lots of Olympic action and it has been great cheering on our teams!
But now to come to our main point of prayer for this newsletter. Both of us have felt that this chapter in our lives with Mercy Ships has been coming to a close over the last few months. Perhaps God led us to Mercy Ships so that we could meet each other - we're not sure. But nevertheless, we have been praying and seeking the Lord regarding this and have decided to leave Mercy Ships from Guinea in December. We are open to staying longer should God close doors, but we would like to get settled and start a family in the next few years, and then maybe come back to Mercy Ships - should God open that door again. So what we are thinking about is moving to South Africa initially in order to sort out US spousal visa paperwork, and then take it from there.
We need to get back to SA in any case so that we can collect our marriage certificate from Home Affairs. No paperwork of any sort can happen until we have that - which has to be collected by us personally, and in addition to Murray needing it for visa paperwork, Candace is ready to get her name changed so she can officially sign as Candace Crawford. :) Murray will need to find employment so if anyone knows of any openings from January onwards please let us know. We will also hope to rent somewhere small and find cheap transport. We know that the Lord will provide. Candace will only be allowed to stay in South Africa for 3 months unless she gets an extention of some sort, hopefully one allowing her to be employed as well. Please continue to pray for us in this next exciting chapter of our lives.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalm 91: 1 - 2 NLT)
Murray's blog contains much more detail and lots of photos of our recent adventures. Feel free to check it out: http://mercyshipadventure.blogspot.com/
Much love and God's richest blessings to you,
- Murray and Candace
Murray and Candace Crawford
Murray joined the Africa Mercy 3 years ago - first for one year and then for a longer term. This has enabled him to fulfill two of his desires - to make Jesus known to those in need and to be at sea on board ship. He loves servicing Christ. On 4 March 2012 he married Candace Miller whom he met on board and they will continue to serve the Lord together.