Greetings from North Cotes College, NTM’s european missionary training center. Simon and I are now in our 3rd year here; Simon has been serving as a lecturer in the bible school year and Annika has been helping him as well as working with the college website. It has been a while since our last update (life has been VERY busy) and much has happened over the past couple months so we thought we would get you up to date with what has been going on in our lives. The college graduation was the end of July and it was a bittersweet time, watching the students graduate, having seen them grow and mature throughout the year and see their understanding of scripture grow, but yet having to say goodbye to many who had become good friends. At the same time, we were thankful for the summer break where we could relax a little more and spend some quality time as a family. In the middle of August Annika’s two brothers and their kids were able to come over for a 2 week visit. It was wonderful for the kids to get to know their cousins and meet their aunts and uncles, and for us to catch up on so much time apart and hear what had been going on in each other’s lives.
The day after my brother and his family left to go back to America our newest arrival decided to make his appearance! We welcomed baby #5, a little healthy boy, into the family on the 23 August. He was a good 8lb 12oz and 22.5in long. We have named him Ethan, meaning “strong and optimistic, solid and enduring; permanent.” It has been a very easy adjustment having him in the family and he is a great little sleeper! Of course, being #5 he has to be! The kids are loving having a little baby in the family and we are getting more help then we need for burping him, changing nappies and offering to cuddle him! We are so thankful to the Lord for each of our kids!
Another big change for us was the start of the school year as our little girl, Karis, started school at the “big school” as she calls it! She is very keen and excited about it but it has taken a little more convincing for mommy. J When we look back 4 years ago to all that she has come through to get her to this point we are so thankful for each of you and your prayers for her on our behalf. God has done great things! She is as energetic as they come! Our mornings have become a little more busy now, getting one to nursery, 3 off to the primary school, Simon to the office for teaching and having the baby at home!
Another coming change, that we wanted to mention so that you can pray with us, is about our return to PNG. We are still heading that direction and very much feel that is where the Lord would have us go at this time but we have had to delay it by a few months. Our original plan was to go in January but after praying about it and discussing it together and getting some input from others we have decided that we will finish out the school year here and leave in the summer to go back.
There are many reasons for this, some being that it will allow our kids a full school year instead of uprooting them in the middle of it, it will allow Karis to get one full year in at a “real” school before mommy gets to teach her, and our son Noah is also in need of dental surgery in the new year. All of these things, as well as the new baby, we felt it a wise choice to finish the year out. This also has allowed Simon to continue here at the college for the year and allowing him to help carry the heavy teaching load. We are excited about going back and are still continuing to head that direction and pray that this time next year we can be back on the field. Just this week we have had the privilege of having a couple from Holland who have served over in Papua New Guinea for many years come through and visit here at the college. Just seeing their continued enthusiasm for the work out there has encouraged our hearts all over again with the need for reaching the unreached. Please continue to pray with us that the Lord will open the doors and help us with all that needs done in these months before we go.
Grace to you, Simon, Annika, Nya, Noah, Karis, Judah and Ethan.