Time has not gone slow for us. It’s easy for a few weeks to go by without realizing it, and so the last several weeks have been. A the beginning of March, we needed to go out of the country to apply for a new (longer) visa. We spent five days in a city in Malaysia, where a lot of people speak English. There is also lots of shopping nearby, so we were able to buy pretty much all the western stuff we wanted. We got our visas without any trouble, and had a good time there. But we were glad to get back to our house here. It feels like home now.
We went mostly during spring break at the kids’ school, so they only missed one day. It had actually taken some getting used to only speaking English there, so resuming our language lessons was something I was ready for (although Alisha did not share that sentiment). Last week, we finished Stage 1 of our language learning program (there are 4 stages, but the first is the shortest and easiest). We also had a couple people come and evaluate our language ability so far. There are 4 major levels, from what I understand: Basic, Progressing, Capable and Proficient. Each has sublevels- Low, Mid and High. They said I am Progressing Low and Alisha is Basic Mid. They want to us to reach Capable High before moving on to a tribal ministry.
We also had Parent-Teacher Conferences at the kids’ school last week. Scout is doing well, although sometimes she has a little trouble paying attention (but we knew that). Elroy is doing well, too, and his teacher said he is a responsible boy. Both kids are working on reading, and Elroy is supposed to read for 20 minutes each night. Alisha usually reads with him, but the other night it was my turn. He read partway through The Cat in The Hat. I was pretty impressed with how far he’s come since we moved here. We didn’t know for sure at that point whether we could afford to send the kids to this school, but it worked out. It has been a huge help for Alisha not to be worrying about schooling the kids in addition to her own language learning. We are very thankful for the kids being able to go there.
I have already written some about our next move, which should happen sometime near the end of the year. We need to choose which region we want to work in. In order to help make that choice, we are hoping to visit one of the regions sometime this summer. This is obviously a big choice, since it determines where we will be spending the next couple decades.
Considering all these things, we feel like God has really allowed us to make some progress here, both in language and in relationships, and in our understanding of what might come next.
– New Visas and getting a short break from everything
– The kids are doing well in school
– We are actually learning another language
– Continued progress in language for us
– Dependence on God in everything that’s going on
– Choosing a region
We recently helped our neighbor pick some of this fruit off her tree. It’s called rambutan. The kids really like it.