Sunday, May 7, 2017

Momentum in Mibu

One word that accurately conveys the last month or so since we last wrote is 'Momentum'. As our family life and work schedule have settled down into something workable for the long-haul, we see the momentum of ministry getting to where we like it to be. It's taken a lot to get there after coming back though. We are constantly having to balance between what needs to get fixed/repaired and the real work we're here for. It seems the former is giving the latter a run for its money and we're just having to learn to let certain things go so we can be sure to continue doing what we're here to do! It can be incredibly difficult at times! There are so many tasks vying for our attention!

Sesi and I have been working hard developing lessons for 1 Thessalonians, which are nearly done now! We can't wait to teach through this epistle together! While there are a lot of good truths that will be learned as we go through this letter, the ones that are being emphasized a bit more have to do with Christ's return! Paul refers to Christ's coming again, and points people to his return so frequently that it's a topic worthy of some more attention here! Paul uses it as a basis for people to stand strong in their faith, and to encourage one another. The church in Mibu needs to have more of this in their thinking, a less ambiguous view and an anticipation of Christ's return. It'll help keep their eyes and hearts on the goal as they strive to grow in their faith! So Paul's first letter to the Thessalonian believers is a good place to start. Later we'll translate and teach other letters to expand their understanding of what God tells us about the end.

I was struggling recently in these lessons with how the terminology was (or wasn't) working to communicate the suddenness of Christ's return. It became clear that we were going to have to revisit that in the translation. As Sesi and I talked about it and worked out some better terminology, it got me thinking pretty heavily about what his return might be like. What we're given in this letter would indicate it will be quite sudden and drastic, unmistakable, and just dreadful for those who aren't waiting and looking forward to the return of their Savior! Thinking on these things most certainly does make us more apt to want to live a life of thankful servitude to the One who saves us from God's wrath to come! It should be really great to start teaching with some more emphasis toward the end goal here!

In other news, Shannon continues to invest a lot of her time homeschooling the kids, an effort seeming to require an ever changing strategy, and financial investment as individual struggles become clear over time. We're having to evaluate some of the curriculum being used and consider whether there might be some different things available to help with things such as math and language arts, where a couple of the kids seem to struggle the most and are getting behind. Now that Shannon is homeschooling all four kids, the time she has to spend with each child is much more limited and it's a daily struggle to get through it all. We're feeling more and more like having someone come to help tutor for a month or two… or even three… would be a wonderful thing to help us get past this speed bump in education. If you happen to know anyone… :)

We recently celebrated Ethan's birthday, where he wanted an insect/spider theme. Shannon and I enjoyed a simple celebration of our 19th anniversary where we had a dinner to ourselves (put a movie on for the kids in the other room) and a 'date' where we painted the walls in my office together. And then we have Abby's birthday coming up in just a few more days, where she's wanting a shopkins theme. Currently trying to figure out how to make that happen!

Two men sit in the house of a recently deceased friend to show their respects and mourn their loss. Their former friend is in the casket in the background awaiting burial, something that sometimes takes a few days while a chance is given to people to come from far away who knew the deceased and wish to come and mourn as well.

Some of the community leaders having a serious discussion about how to get the airstrip work back on track. Recent land disputes have taken the wind out of the sails once again.

We try to take our life science classes outdoors when we can. Here, the kids are looking at the piece of bamboo we marked a month ago, and which we check each week on the way down to the church meeting to track it's growth. This particular kind of bamboo, called 'bovat' here in Mibu, grows about 3-4 feet per week! I have a theory that if we could somehow listen to it, we could actually hear it growing :)

We want to express our sincere gratitude for all of you who are participating in this ministry to the Mibu people through your prayers and your regular monthly and one time gifts! We couldn't be here without you playing your part! Thank you for helping to make this happen!

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