As we think back on this last year we are amazed at our Lord and what He has done in our hearts and our lives. There are times when we are in the midst of something and we can only hope and believe that at some point we can look back and see God’s hand at work in that moment. We have walked through some challenging times this past year and there have even been times where we have felt like we just wanted to quit and go home but each and every time the Lord has given us what we need to climb out of those moments. Thank you for praying for us in those times! He is a faithful God who chooses to refine us into his image and what a blessing it is that he cares to change and mold us to be like him even if it means times of pain and hardship for us.
Christmas in the Village
This year we were able to spend Christmas in the village. Christmas day and a few days afterwards is spent walking around the village and visiting the houses of the believers and eating tons of snack foods. We had to be careful to eat only a little at each house because we ended up visiting twelve houses total and it is considered rude to not eat something at every house. Needless to say, by the time we got home we were very full. Something unique about Christmas here was that we were escorted by a friendly monkey! Unfortunately the monkey loves to hug people and our kids were very terrified when they were suddenly hugged by an aggressive monkey.
We also had a Christmas Eve candlelight service which was nice but because there were so many candles lit in the church building it got to over a hundred degrees inside and they sang silent night through all the way twice. It is fun to see that every culture has its way of celebrating Christmas and they are all very special and unique in their own way.
We were able to get official permission to live in the village LK! This has been a long time in the making and we were grateful to see the Lord’s hand move among the people in LK. During Eric’s most recent trip into the village LK we were offered a house to live in. We will live there while we build our own house there. Praise the Lord with us as He is continuing to lead us and provide for us every step of the way.
Praise the Lord also that our coworkers were also offered a house in the village.
The People of LK
The photo above was taken during a meeting where we were presenting to the people of LK that we would like to live among them with the intention of teaching and translating the Bible into their language. Some of them could only understand some of what we were saying in the national language. That evening, they gave us permission to live among them and some of them acted eager to start learning.
Starting from the left is a man named Tihang which means “pillar.” He told us that he was a “protestant” and is rather excited to have us live in the village. He apologized for not remembering anything he was taught in the past as he did grow up as a protestant in another village. He has been the most accommodating person for helping us find a house and getting permission to live there. Please pray with us for Mr. Tihang’s salvation.
Second from the left is Tongkoi, he is the one of the new village leaders and is allowing us to live in his son’s house who is recently deceased. The house was newly built and yet to be lived in. Please pray with us also for Mr. Tongkoi who has put forward effort in order to host us into their village. Pray that their family would in turn be blessed with the truth of the gospel coming into their lives in the years to come.
There are others who have been eager and helpful to us. Yet still there are a number of people hesitant and some even opposed to having people of “our religion” coming to teach them. As a whole, the people of LK have yet to have someone of any religion come and live among them to teach them about God. They would all consider themselves to “have religion,” and this could be one of the biggest barriers for us during our time among these people.
Thank you so much for your commitment in joining us in this work of carrying the gospel to a place still unreached by it. We are not super people by any means, but the Lord is working here and has invited us all to be a part of it. He is empowering us and leading us in this mission. It is a privilege to be in a place to be able to see it all working and to have the strength of the global church working behind us and beside us.
We wish all of you a happy new year; one that we could all reflect on the joy and peace that comes with a life focused on the Lord and following His will in our lives.
Here are a few extra family pictures!