Dan & Abigail

Blair

Aidan


Serving in Slovenia, Europe


Account #2944015

8965 Ivey Road
Jacksonville, FL 32216

The Blairs are appointed missionaries to Slovenia. As the only AGWM missionaries in Slovenia, they will be partnering with the national Pentecostal church to inspire church development and revitalization by engaging the secularist. Togeter they can begin to reach a country that struggles with alcoholism and depression, along with reaching out to  the marginalized people groups living in Slovenia.

Dan grew up in Ohio, and Abigail grew up in Hungary as a missionary kid. They met at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium where they both earned their Bachelors degree. Dan has his BA in Misisons and Abigail has her BA in Christian Education. They have one son, Aidan who is 3 years old. Dan previously served as a youth pastor within the Peninsular Florida District and Abigail as a kindergarten teacher. They feel called to reach Slovenia by living out the love of Christ one relationship at a time.

Many people think of Europe as a beautiful, culturally rich, and liturgical continent, however at the heart of it, Europe is a continent in need of a revival, and the understanding of a personal relationship with Jesus.  With the recent refugee crisis, which has affected Slovenia and many other European countries, the gospel has never been more relevant.  They are excited to witness what God has in store for the people of Slovenia! Through Jesus' there is Hope for Slovenia!

 



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Well, we've been gone a since Aug. 28th, and our life has been a whirlwind, but we wanted to give you all an update!


Pastor Jonathan and Al from Oceanway Assembly gave us a ride to the airport on Monday, August 28th.  We loaded up our bags, and boarded the first of 3 flights.


Our little missionary kid, dreaming about his new home!


After 19 hours of international traveling, we arrived in Hungary.  Here, we stayed with Abigail's parents, where we got over jet lag, and prepared to move to Slovenia.


After a couple days, we were very thankful to let Aidan stay with his grandparents, while we went on a week-long house hunting, and prepping trip.


One of our first pictures after crossing the border into Slovenia.  We automatically fell in love!


We were so honored and pleased to meet Dr. Daniel, the superintendent of the Slovenian Pentecostal movement, his lovely wife Vlasta, as well as see his daughter and son-in-law, Tina and Andrej - who also happen to be our friends from Bible college!  They graciously invited us to their home in Murska Sobota, and we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship.




After nearly 2 years of talking about it, we were FINALLY in Ljubljana, our new home!  That is the castle in the background, and to the right of us, the university where we plan to take our Slovenian language classes.

We spent the next few days viewing apartments and houses, as well as getting to know our new home a little better.  Here are some of the notable moments:

1. Trying out the local market
 This is an automatic milk dispenser.  It is local, raw milk.  You can buy one of the bottles provided, or bring your own - and fill them up!  It's one of the neatest things we've ever seen!
 There was scrumptious-looking local fruit...
 vegetables...










flowers... as well as honey, mushrooms, dairy products, meats and more!


2. One of the days, we went up to the top of the castle, to get a birds-eye view our this beautiful city!  It's surrounded by mountains all around!  We also had to find the dragon on Dragon Bridge.  The dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana, and is featured heavily around the city!






3. Getting to know our neighborhood
 We were feeling brave one day, and the local pastor named Chris graciously allowed us to park our rental car in the church parking lot, so we took the bus!  The Ljubljana bus system is extensive, and easy to navigate.  We look forward to our public transportation adventures!


This is one our local grocery stores, it's actually the Slovenian (and Austrian) version of Aldi.  It was fun seeing all the grocery options!






4. Trying the local food
 We decided to take the attitude of "if it looks good, try it!"  And we did!  Honestly, everything we tried tasted wonderful!  They do lots of different kinds of cured meats, and spreads, dumplings, yummy desserts and more.
Abigail even tried this purple cheese.  We have no idea what it's called, what it is exactly, or what animal it comes from, but it was good!










5. Home Hunting
We were very thankful to find an apartment that first week we were there!  The apartment we found is right in front of a bus stop (with buses coming regularly, taking us either downtown, or to the church here in Ljubljana), there is a post office across the street, and a grocery store within short walking distance.  We signed the contract and went back to Hungary to get Aidan, and buy some furnishings for our new place.

6. IKEA
 This is what it looks like, to furnish an entire home with IKEA!  We were so thankful to find all the things we needed!  
 Waiting to load it all up!
Who needs a seatbelt, when you're hugging two mattresses, lol???








7. The MOVE
So, on September 15th, we moved into our new apartment!  After living with a dear friend, and in and out of hotels for over 2 years, we cannot express the joy it felt to have a home to call our own!  Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us get to this point!






8. Getting Adjusted
 We don't have a car yet, so we've been mostly walking everywhere.  On one rainy day, we decided to walk to our local grocery store!
 It was overall a great experience, and it was fun to see the different way they do things.  For example, when you bag your produce, you then come over to this machine, where you punch in the produce's code, and it prints out a label for you.
We loaded up our bags and stroller, balanced an umbrella each, and walked back to our apartment, with some necessities and yummy things to eat!  We are so thankful for this grocery store, called Tuš (pronounced Tush - yeah, we've had fun with that)!  It's a great location, and easy to get to!




We've also been riding the bus, which Aidan is particularly fond of!  He keeps making friends with the people sitting next to us, and he loves pushing the button to indicate we want to get off!








So what are we up to now?
We are in the process of applying for our visas (please keep us in your prayers about that, specifically for favor), we will hopefully be purchasing our Speed the Light vehicle soon (thank you, PFYOUTH!!!), and we will also be looking into schooling options for Aidan, and language school for us.

Thank you SO much for all your love and support, we couldn't do any of this without you!


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We've bought our tickets!  Most of our bags are packed!  We are leaving on Aug. 28th!

These are all such EXCITING sentences!  But they don't come out of the blue.  The past two months, God has been blazing a trail for us, and we're really looking forward to sharing some of these moments with you.  Here is what we've been up to the past few weeks:

1. Texas Trip
 We spent a little over 3 weeks in the Houston, Texas area in the month of July.  We were so thankful to stay with Abigail's family friends, the Dunns.  They were so generous to have us stay with them, and it was so nice for us to have a quiet place to regroup.  It was great catching up, and reminiscing about childhood memories.
Randy and Esther Dunn were also kind enough to host a missions dinner for us, where they invited their friends, and we were able to share our hearts for Slovenia in a very close and intimate setting.  There was a sweet presence of the Holy Spirit that night, and we were greatly blessed by all those who were there.  Thank you!


 We enjoyed catching up with some long-time friends; like Abigail's parents' former Chi Alpha students, Ted and Nancy Menard.  We are so excited that they've joined the Hope4Slovenia team!  Thank you for your love and support!
We also made new friends; like Pastor James, who is a pastor at a Vineyard church in Houston.  He is actually the missions pastor at our friends, the Dunns' church!  We are so thankful for friends who introduce us to their friends!  Thank you for joining the Hope4Slovenia team!
 These dear friends are Pastor Raul and Cecilia Garza.  Many of you may remember, a few months back, we shared that we were contacted by Pastor Garza, as the Lord had laid Slovenia on his wife's heart, and they were looking for missionaries to support in Slovenia.  Since we are the only Assemblies of God missionaries to Slovenia, we were ECSTATIC to make their acquaintance!  When we met Pastor and sister Garza, it was like meeting old friends!  We immediately felt our hearts knitted together!  Not only did Pastor Garza allow us to come and share in their church, but he actually booked us 3 more services!  Wow!  That is every missionary's dream, right there!  We cannot explain how thankful we are for his, and sister Cecilia's love and support personally, as well as from their church.  They have been a huge blessing to our family, and we thank God for friends and ministry partners like them every day!



 We loved connecting with some of the churches who have loved and supported Abigail's family throughout the years - some since before she was even born! One of those churches was Galena Park Assembly of God.  We were so thankful to be able to see Pastor Glenda, and we so appreciate her partnership with us!

It was also super fun to reconnect with her granddaughter, Taylor, and her beautiful family!  It's always encouraging to see generations serving the Lord!








We met with, and saw so many more people, there isn't enough room to name them all, but here are a few more pictures:
 
 



2. When the Student Becomes the Master
One of the sweetest meetings was on our way home from Texas.  We loved getting to see Bradley and Ariel - they were students in our youth group, who then became leaders, then got married, and NOW they are youth pastors themselves! God is so good, and we are so thankful for his faithfulness.  We are so proud of Bradley and Ariel, our hearts could burst!  On a "missions" note, Bradley also took our information to his senior pastor, a man we've never met, and he and his church pledged support to us that day!  This past month has simply been filled with God-ordained moments like that one.
In our talking and praying, we knew that to meet our monthly goal we would need to have a certain number of partners at a certain amount.  God met that VERY specific need, and we are just blown away by his provision.

3. God-Ordained Moments
A few weeks ago we were ministering in a church in Venice, FL.  We had a blessed time, and also found out that the missions pastor we had been in contact with, and his wife were having their last Sunday with this church, as they were about to begin a church plant. As we were leaving, he came to us and told us that they wanted to partner with us, and wanted us to be their first missionaries!  Talk about stepping out in faith!  We were so blown away by their gesture!  Please be praying for them with us, and their new church plant, WellSpring!

4. So, Where Does That Leave Us?
We have bought our plane tickets, and are waiting for final clearance from Assemblies of God World Missions.  We are mostly packed, and are having a garage sale soon to sell the remainder of our belongings.  We are so excited and anticipatory of what is ahead!





Beloved prayer partners, please be praying for these specific needs:

1. Traveling mercies as we make our way to Slovenia.  We will be flying to Hungary, and storing our belongs there while we search for a home.  Please pray that we would make all of our connections, and that all of our bags would make it.

2. Our new home.  Please be praying that we are able to find a home quickly, and with no hiccups.

3. Our Speed the Light vehicle.  The youth in our district, PenFlorida have already raised the funds necessary for us to purchase a vehicle once we're in Slovenia.  Praise Jesus, what a huge blessing!  Please pray with us that we are able to find the perfect, reliable vehicle quickly.

4. Our visas.  Because of our status as religious workers, we are able to apply for our visas once we land.  Please be praying that everything goes smoothly, all of our documentation will be in order, and that we have our visas in hand soon.

5. Language learning.  We will begin language studies as soon as we get there.  This will be new for all of us.  Please pray that we are able to pick up the Slovene language quickly, so that we may best reach the Slovenian people.

6. Building relationships with the Slovene Pentecostal movement.  We are so excited to meet and partner with the Slovene Pentecostal churches and church leaders.  We are eager to hear their hearts and desires for reaching their people, and coming alongside them and supporting them in any way that we can.

7.  For our son, Aidan.  Pray that he would make friends, adjust to his new home, pick up Slovene quickly, and not only survive, but thrive in and love his new home!


It's been a long road, but we have seen God's hand every step of the way.  We are thankful for the lessons we've learned, the people we've met, those who faithfully pray for us, those who sacrifice and have partnered with us monthly, those who have generously opened their homes to us and everyone who has encouraged us along the way.
We genuinely couldn't have done any of this without you!

We promise to keep you updated, as we are about to leave, once we're there, and as our ministry in Slovenia blossoms.  We love and appreciate each one of you!


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