I want to start off by thanking everyone who prayed for our friend from church recently. The doctor initially wanted to do surgery on him, but later decided not because of his age and the risk it would mean. Shortly after that, he improved enough to come home and we were able to visit him and his wife a couple weeks ago. I think his health is still going to be up and down some, but while at his house, he shared some of his story with me.
He says he first heard the Gospel years ago when an evangelist came to their village. At first, his kids would go to Sunday School and they invited him to come along to church. He did, but some years later, his kids left the church and went back to the majority religion. They tried to get him to come back too, but he refused.
Even now, his kids say they will give him a large sum of money if he will come back to their religion, but he refuses. He says he doesn’t care about material things and he knows what he believes is true. It was an encouragement for us to hear his story and to see an example of someone in that community who is standing firm for what they believe.
A couple weeks ago was the end of the month of fasting for the majority religion. The first week after it is the biggest holiday of the year for them. The culture here is that you visit your friends or neighbors of that religion. We ended up visiting 14 different families that week. It was exhausting, but was also a good time to understand better this aspect of their culture.
Aside from that, we have been helping our new group of language students with settling in to life here and getting started on their language and culture study. Most people stay here about 1 year. We help them with pretty much every aspect of life at the beginning, but then gradually have them become more independent as time goes on. This helps when they transition to another region later as they will need to be even more self-reliant there. Helping them get on the right track in these things is really our main role here and it is always good to watch as they step out more on their own.
Elroy and Scout are almost done with their 8th and 7th grade years. Elroy has grown a LOT over the last year or 2 and is about as tall as Alisha. He is still fairly reserved, but we’re working on helping him become a little more outgoing and hoping to find some extra-curricular things for him to be involved in next year. Scout has struggled with math this year, but her grades have improved some this semester. She will probably need to do some extra work on it this summer, which she is not thrilled about.
Davis was in pre-school this year and we were considering putting him in the same school as the other kids next year, but we really couldn’t afford it until an anonymous supporter offered to help with the cost. We are very thankful to all of you who help us financially! Davis’ personality has really come out this past year since his tonsillectomy. It is clear he feels much better and he is the most outgoing of all of us. It has been fun to watch him grow. Physically and developmentally, he is still a little behind other kids his age- although not as much as before. We don’t know if that means anything, but we’ll see as he gets a little older.
-Our church friend whose health has improved some
-Progress for our new families
-Davis’ good health and being able to go to Mountainview with his siblings this next year
-Continued prayer for our friend from church
-Elroy and Scout as they grow get into higher grades
-Davis that he will develop as he should for his age
Thanks for your prayer and support!