“ And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil.4:7
We want to thank you so much for all your prayers and support these last few months! We have seen the Lord’s help in amazing ways through this huge transition for our family, and we know that your partnership with us has been a big part of that! This letter has taken me a better part of this whole day, largely because of deciding which pictures to attach. Looking through each one, I am reminded of not only how our family dynamics have changed, but of His faithfulness through it all! We were in the States for just 7 weeks (Jeremiah, a little longer) with one main goal: Assist Jordan in his huge transition from PNG, where he’d spent his whole childhood, to his new life as a USA resident and Bible school student.
We landed in Kansas City on June 11th, picked up a car the Lord provided for Jordan (and our family!) in Missouri, helped Jordan and Judah get their driving permits on June 13th (which, was also our 20th Anniversary!), picked up April’s Dad and stepmom at the airport on the 14th, and then hosted a family reunion/ graduation/ father’s day celebration that would last from the 15th-17th! Of course, we had lots of help, and we are so very thankful for being able to gather with our family in such a beautiful location! This was so meaningful for us as we helped Jordan acclimate to his new (but home!) country- seeing all of his family that made this trip to show their support was a huge blessing to us parents!
The next weekend we headed to Augusta, KS, to visit a supporting church, see family and allow the kids to visit with their friends from our last home assignment. This was a whirlwind weekend, and we were truly sorry to not have been able to get to see more of our friends and supporters in the area! We will definitely catch you next time! After that, we took a meeting with a newly established body of believers in Kansas City, where it was our privilege to introduce them to tribal missions and what the Lord is doing in PNG.
The next day, we made the 15 hour drive to Albion, MI, where we would live for the next several weeks. The Lord provided a great home for us through a sweet woman from our church who volunteered to move in with her mom so that we would have a place to stay and an extra car to drive. What a gift! Here, we enjoyed sweet fellowship with our church family, who blessed us in so many ways! A good friend offered Jordan a summer job, where he was able to earn most of his tuition fees for the first semester. Praise The Lord! Jordan also tested for and passed his driver’s license test, opened a checking and savings account, and most importantly, got reacquainted with navigating the drive thru! (What kind of parents would we be if we didn’t teach our child how to feed himself in this new realm?) Meanwhile, Jeremiah continued to spend countless hours drafting the book of Luke in the Dinangat language. Our co-workers, the Schlegels, spent the summer in Dinangat. For a detailed account of what the Lord is doing there, click here to go to their blog.
And then, the fateful day came. On August 30th, I left the country with Judah and Alayna, who needed to start school in PNG, and left Jeremiah to help Jordan settle into Bible school in the next few weeks. Teary goodbyes, heart constricted with grief, this mom left her oldest son to begin life on his own and boarded the plane for way too far away. Ok, that sounds a bit dramatic, but I’ve gotta say, it hurt. And it still hurts. But God. We wouldn’t do this for anyone else. He alone is worthy. He alone can strengthen us in this ultimate sacrifice- though I hesitate to even use that word! God is the only One who truly sacrificed- giving His Son into the hands of killers and mockers for the sake of a people who still had their backs turned against Him. We have left our son in the hands of a loving and perfect God, at a school that will teach him amazing truths while providing 3 meals a day and a solid roof over his head. He is surrounded by people who love the Lord, and only about 20 miles away from our sending church, who not only threw him a generous graduation party, but also held his baby shower 18 years ago! There are two other church families nearby who know and love him, and family out-of-state who have committed to being there at the drop of a hat should he need them. So yes, this separation hurts like crazy, and I still wake up every morning for a few moments expecting him to be in his room. He’s not, but he is not separated from his God. And neither are we. So it is really ok.
So, a few prayer requests, and we’ll wrap this book up!
- Please pray for all of us Markleys, here and there, to keep our eyes focused on Him and continue to grow in our dependence on Him!
- Please pray for work for Jordan as he needs to begin paying bills, etc.
- Praise the Lord that he seems to be acclimating very well so far, enjoying his classes and doing great
- Please pray for some big upcoming expenses that we have, we need to be making flights back into Dinangat and our summer expenses have taken their toll (literally!)
- Please read our coworkers’ update! (the link in the above paragraph). Praise the Lord for what He is doing in Dinangat, and pray for continued growth among the church and for wisdom and speed in the translation project.
THANK YOU for standing with us in this ministry!
Serving and Trusting the One Who is Worthy,
Jeremiah, April, Jordan, Judah and Alayna Markley