Our first update of the New Year starts with last year. We had a wonderful Christmas with our daughter Heather. She stayed for two weeks and we spent much time talking, eating and enjoying the holidays together. The Dom people were so thrilled to see her. A few had never met Heather before, but many remember her from her childhood. They even had a small vegetable mumu (feast) for her on Christmas day. (see pictures at the end)
We had a great Christmas service with our Dom Christian family that included communion and the baptism of five of our believers. They all gave clear testimonies of faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was very public with many nonbelievers listening and watching.
All in all, it was a Christmas to remember.
Our coworkers, the Wuests, were originally planning on spending Christmas here together with us and then leave for Home Assignment in January ‘19 but it didn’t turn out that way. It came to light that Gerolf’s mother and Mailis’ father were very ill and the Wuests thought it prudent to leave as soon as they could. It turned out to be a God thing. Mailis was able to spend time with her father before he died of cancer just after the New Year. Gerolf’s mother is under medical care and stable. We miss them very much, especially the two boys, Richard and Christian. The Wuests will return, God willing, to the Dom later this year. Sadly, when they return we will be on Home Assignment ourselves. This lack of overlap cannot be avoided, and we will be apart as a team for 20 months. A long time.
These next five months will be busy as we balance our ministry with the task of packing up for Home Assignment (aka furlough) in early July. We need to start soon doing a bit at a time to prevent panic packing at the end. Jim has some outside the office work projects that need attending to like repainting the house.
The women’s weekly Bible study is nearing completion of their study of the Book of Philippians. The three Dom women that Judy has been mentoring to teach are doing a great job. Soon they will move on to the Book of Colossians.
Jim along with Gena, Bapka and Martin are team teaching a Romans series on Sunday mornings. Bapka has been sick lately and has not been able to join in as much. Martin, the ever-faithful servant of God, walks to an outreach village (two hours away by foot) every Sunday early in the morning to teach the small group of new believers there. All this despite his constant fatigue as he continues to battle mouth cancer.
We thank the Lord for this small body of believers we are privileged to minister amongst. This month marks 37 years since we first arrived in 1982. God has kept us here through thick and thin and we praise Him for it. We are thankful to you, our support team, many of whom have stayed with us all these years.