Thank you for continuing to pray for us! My eye continues to improve. As I said in my last email, I have not been in any pain and the retina healed fine. I am simply waiting for the gas in my eye to be replaced with its normal fluid, which is taking a little longer than usual. The gas bubble changes my depth perception and refracts light, which makes reading and driving difficult. With my new synthetic lens, my eyesight is actually 20/20 in my right eye, but I will still need a prescription for reading. We are also thankful for several people giving special gifts to help cover expenses. With our deductible and “out of pocket” payments, we had to pay about $3000.
We enjoyed the end of the semester with all of the festivities, celebrating Christmas: Christmas concerts, class parties, the MSD Banquet, and Staff Banquet. The middle school normally does a ministry day at the beginning of December and gives out hygiene packs to orphanages and hospitals, but this year we decided to partner with a school that ministers to orphans and children from marginalized communities. Because of their poverty, these students often suffer from neglect and lack of education. We were excited to see how God worked in the lives of our middle school students and families. We expanded our love gift to include hygiene items (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.) and school items (pencils, pens, scissors, etc.). This school has almost 600 students in pre-K through high school, and our staff and students brought in enough of these items to give a love gift to each student. Plus we invited grades 1-6 up to FA for the day (about 350 students); we did a joint music production, played games, made sugar cookies, and an art project. In addition to collecting items for their hygiene/school pack, we also raised money to feed them lunch. All of our MSD staff and a few parents helped run the various activities and cook our lunch. We were thankful for how God worked out all of the details to make a great day for these students who are precious in His sight, plus we were excited to see our middle school students minister to these students.
Our semester ended on Dec 16 and we are thankful for a break. I worked a few days to wrap up the semester, but I have enjoyed a few days off to be with just Cheryl and Abby, plus we enjoy technology so we may call our children and parents in the US and our son Ben and his family in Brazil. Monday I will start getting ready for the new semester. We have six new students to enroll and classes to finalize. We are excited to see how God continues to meet our staffing needs. We have been praying for our Bible 6 teacher who will arrive on Jan 7, plus we also have a new vice principal!
So we are thankful for all that God did in 2016 and excited to see what He will do in 2017!
Walter, Cheryl, and Abby
Rom. 12:2, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”