Grace & Peace, Kurtis Strunk
Kurtis and I have always had great conversations. I always enjoyed the chance opportunity of visiting him and his team in Ibarra, and getting to sneak away for deep conversation in the evening. His heart for the Lord has inspired me, and his authentic love for those who he is in relationship with is energizing. He is an amazing father to his son, Malachi, and an equally amazing husband to his wife, Emily. To young men, he is an impactful example of what a man of God looks like.The Strunk's left the mission field shortly before their contract ended due to a sickness Kurtis developed that baffled doctors. Even in the U.S. doctors at the most prestigious of hospitals couldn't put their finger on what ailed Kurtis. After loosing tons of weight (which was scary for someone like Kurtis who was skinny to begin with), Kurtis wrestled with the possibility that he might die. But, then the Lord showed up! He experienced both supernatural healing, one in particular where the Holy Spirit filled his lungs and healed him of a respiratory issue, and also guidance to sources that would lead him into wellness. Now, he and his family are living in Eugene, Oregon leading in a pastor role in the Church of the Nazarene.
This is a letter that Kurtis wrote to me earlier this past month:
God is SOOOO faithful! Haha! We are doing fantastic!
Having not worked for 6 months, my body and mind are still adjusting to the new pace, but that's to be expected. Let me just give God some praise here...
While still in AZ, when we had spent our savings just to survive during that sickness/sabbatical time, we weren't sure how we would afford furniture to restart in the States. We were living in the same Phoenix home we lived in 3 years earlier - the front yard from which we sold our furniture to say "yes" to God's call to be missionaries with Extreme.
On my first solo venture into public I met a guy at a department store who turned out to be a missionary. We called each other from time to time over the summer, and about a week before we moved to Eugene, that missionary friend called me up again. This time he said his family was moving to Alaska and didn't have enough room in the truck to take a bunch of their furniture. He asked if I wanted it and said he could be over in about 5 minutes to drop it all off. He arrived with his family and dropped a truckload of furniture in the very yard we had sold our possessions from 3 years earlier!
Around the same time my parents gave us a car from my father's chauffeuring business fleet. Since moving to Eugene we have received more furniture from people in the congregation of our new church. This week I've been able to borrow a vehicle from another pastor on staff so my family wouldn't be stuck at home all day.. Two days ago I received a call from a board member asking if I'd like to buy one of their family's vehicles for $25. It just keeps happening! I haven't asked for a single thing! God has just laid it in our laps!
He is so faithful! We give our lives to him, preparing to make sacrifices - and we find out along the way that what before we considered sacrifices are really just our first steps into an eternally joyful gifting game with our Father. We do sacrifice, but what we offer always ends up looking so insignificant compared to the love he lavishes on us.
I want to be clear though; in spite of these stories about receiving material gifts, the greatest blessings we have received to date are gifts that fill the spirit rather than those that fill a house or a driveway.
Take the world but give us Jesus! Philippians 4:12-14
Grace & Peace, Kurtis Strunk Kurtis Strunk and his wife Emily along with their son Malachi, served in Ibarra, Ecuador as the 40/40 Cluster Coordinators. They now live in Eugene, Oregon serving in ministry in the Church of the Nazarene.