This was probably the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives as we separated from our two big girls, Naomi and Rebekka. As the day came closer we got more nervous about it and started to struggle a bit. And sure enough when we said our good-byes it was very, very hard. Not only for me as mom, but for all of us. Never did we have to let go of each other like that and let God take care of our girls from far away. We had to trust God in a new way, that He would look after them and keep them strong and also that He would take care of Ralf and Mimi and I as we flew back to Dinangat on our own. For a few days we struggled, but also the whole time we felt God’s presence very close and felt his comfort and strength. Also Naomi and Rebekka felt the same and experienced their God on a new level. Thankfully we can be in touch over Skype or instant messaging a lot and can know how they are doing. On one of the harder days Rebekka wrote, “God encouraged me so much today, I know that He is taking care of me. See what I read today, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:17-19 We are thanking God for this time even though it is hard but at the same time we are seeing God as being so faithful and good and we wouldn’t want to miss that.
Mimi is doing pretty good. Sometimes she gets homesick because she misses her two big sisters, but in general she is a happy girl, loving Dinangat in all its different ways. I am homeschooling her in 1st grade which gives us a pretty good routine for the day which is very helpful, too. She wants us to tell you that she is turning 6 this week 🙂 ! Thank you for your prayers for us as a family!
Ralf also has a tight schedule with his translation work. He meets with different helpers every day and works on his own in between those helper-sessions. He is working on different books of the Bible, Galatians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon. One needs to be checked, the other corrected, the other pre-drafted and taped… and his head needs to stay clear between all those different letters of Paul. Monday afternoons he meets with the Bible teachers for a few hours which is always a very good time of discipling them. The teachers are doing a good work and we thank God for how they have taught and led the church these past months. However two of the Bible teachers are not part of the team anymore because of different struggles in their homes. One Bible teacher was gone for several months because he fell into adultery last summer. However last Sunday he apologized in front of the whole church which was very healing for the body of Christ. He apologized to his wife in front of everybody, too and showed true regret about what he did. Please keep praying for wisdom for the Bible teachers, that they would out of their love for the Lord teach and lead the Dinangat believers and live it out themselves with their whole lives. Please PRAY for us that we would be able to help them in these growing steps.
This Friday we are flying to Goroka for another translation check. We are meeting with an NTM consultant to check 1st Corinthians and 1st Timothy. We are taking two Dinangat believers, Jaspa and Musawe who will help us with that. Please PRAY for this time as we always need some extra brain power and concentration.
Rebekka and Naomi with 2 of their dorm sisters.
The fun part will be that we will get to see our girls, too!!! We are so very excited about that and can’t wait to hold them in our arms again in just a few days now.
God did not promise an easy life here on earth but he did promise that He will be with us wherever we go, that he will comfort us in all hard times and give us the grace and strength that we need for all the jobs He puts into our hands, and even more, he promised that He will glorify Himself before all the nations, tribes and tongues of this earth (Rev.5:9). So let us hold on to His promises together until He returns!