Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mega April Update

Well, it seems like a long time since we have given our last update. We have put on the kilometers in the last couple of weeks in a trip to Jo-burg, Kenya, and our AMTM meeting in Rustenburg. Jody and Melody are to leave next Tuesday to go to a CESA region women’s meeting. Can you imagine the talking (noise)?!?!?! Anyway, we’ll start where we left off and fill you in on the things that have happened.

Extension 39 - We have had a good couple of weeks visiting in the area. We showed the JESUS film the last week in March. There were probably about 150 – 200 that walked to, stood around, watched and then left. It looked like 100 stayed for the challenge and 35-40 prayed a prayer of repentance. It is hard to say how many were sincere, but it is not my job to judge that. We also have seen about 7 come to Christ during our impromptu services during our visitation time. Those that we visited came out, we sang, Moruti (pastor) Ezekiel gave a challenging devotion and some prayed a sinners prayer. We are working on follow-up and I am praying that we have some kind of regular group meeting before we leave.

First Termer’s Retreat – The first week in April we spent a week in Nairobi, Kenya, at a retreat for those missionaries that are in their first term of service with the IMB. We arrived on Monday and left of Friday. Many families arrived early or stayed after the retreat to do some sightseeing and safari-ing on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I really wanted to do the same, but with 2 little girls, we didn’t think we would have enjoyed our time. The retreat itself was just about meeting the other missionaries and each telling their stories of service in their first term. There were some high highs and some low lows. Please understand that we are people too and we have our spiritual highs and lows. Missionaries are not in special class of Christianity. Unfortunately, the only part of Kenya that I saw was what was experienced on the bus to and from the airport – believe me, that was an experience. You think it's bad driving where you live!

AMTM – stands for Annual Missionary Training Meeting. This year we only met 2 hours away. This is in contrast to the previous 3 times that we were 9 hours away. Our training this year was called T4T – meaning Training for Trainers. The basis of the training is 2 Timothy 2.2. “And the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” It is not just blind witnessing and teaching, but everything has the direction not just to reach people, but to teach them to reach others. In this verse, there are 5 generations – Barnabas, Paul, Timothy, faithful men, and others. I wish we would have gotten this model a year ago – I am excited about this concept and process and look forward to teaching it when we return next year. I may try to get in a couple of lessons with a couple of people that I know.

Dennis – I have had the opportunity to preach in many different churches in the last several weeks. I have also been teaching about 30 teachers and leaders the last Tuesday of the month about leading a dynamic small group. I will spend the next several weeks while I am in the various church saying ‘Good-bye.’ It is our intention to return, but God may reveal some different plans to us while we are in the States. I am not looking for any and I not asking for any – I am just planning to return.

The Boys- Josiah and Caleb are out the entire month of April and the first 7 days of May for there term break. What a break. They will only attend about 5 ½ weeks of the second term before we leave.

This year Josiah played cricket, swimming, and is in the process of learning to play Chess. He swam in one swimming meet – mentioned earlier in another blog entry. He also played on the Cricket team for his age group. He is quite the little athlete and wants to play everything,

Caleb played mini-cricket and swimming. These are just introductory in nature. He learned the basics in hitting, bowling (pitching) and fielding. They didn’t play any games as this was for many of them their first time to play cricket. He also was involved in swimming – basically it was swimming lessons – the first couple days were shaky, but by the end of the term he was almost swimming. He continues to amaze us at his drawings. He saw the Disney cartoon, Robin Hood, and immediately after watching it drew a picture of Robin Hood with detail in his costume and the trees.

Andy is trying to finish 6th grade before we leave. School is a challenge for him and for us as we try to teach him so that he will be ready for his friends in Longview in the 7th grade. His favorite part of school is his 10 o’clock break and being done. He continues to take lessons and play tennis. We got him an MP3 player for Christmas and likes to listen to music that I don’t necessarily care for. He was riding with me on an errand and he asked me how old I was when I started to date. Boy, I wasn’t ready for that one – I have so much experience to draw from!!?!?!?

The GirlsBethany is growing taller, and is as tall as some four year olds! She continues to increase her vocabulary, and has figured out how to get her brothers in trouble! Her favorite song is “Dem Bones”, which is on a DVD her aunt sent her. She’s looking forward to going to Nannie’s “to buy shoes.” (She’s definitely her mother’s daughter!)

Melody is six months old! She has four teeth, and is working on two more. She has started scooting around and can pretty much get herself moving. I think she will be mobile before too much longer. She’s a wonderful, precious gift from God, and we all love her lots!

JodyHello everyone! I just wanted to tell you what has happened since we came back from our annual training meeting. Part of our training included telling “our stories” of what Jesus has done in our own lives. It’s basically telling your testimony, but there is some follow-up that goes along with it as well. Anyway, I decided to tell my story out in the village I’ve been working in. I did that on Friday, as well as my friend who goes with me. I then asked if anyone had a story with Jesus who would like to share, and two women came in front of the group, and told about accepting Christ! I was very excited to hear these testimonies!

Please pray for these women, and for the rest who were too afraid or nervous to share with the group. One of the ladies who told her story has been forced by her husband to join his church which is not a Christian church. She was very bold, however, in saying that she realized she needed to share the Gospel wherever she went, including this church. Well, I hope all of you are well. We will be back in the USA soon! We are all very excited about this. Please also pray that we will finish out our first term well, and be able to see fruit when we return.

Prayer Requests

-- The work in the village of Moshawane where Jody goes

--The work in Extension 39

-- Saying good “Good-byes’ to the churches

-- Someone to stay in our house for 6 months when we are stateside

-- Finishing well!!

We got some hail and it was still hot so it made everything start to steam. We got a good quarter of an inch - it covered the grass just briefly - almost a white Christmas in April!!