Arold took this video on the way to church Sunday. He sais he was 45 min late to his Sunday school cllass because of the road/riverbed. Looks scary to me!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Sorry this is a day late, but yesterday afternoon I had to make a critical choice. Isaac went to sleep and my options were A) write the blog post I just opened, B) make something to eat, or C) take a shower. Food won that round... kind of. I got to make lunch, but it took a while longer before I could eat it!
Anyway, here's what we're praying about this week.
- The IN/CA team is wrapping up their week in Haiti today. The California group is going home to discuss projects they'd like to get involved with here at MTM, and the Indiana group is going to Dumay today. Praise God for the work they've done this week (mini clinic, abstinence teaching in the high school, food distribution, sandal distribution, etc). Pray for both groups as they travel home tomorrow.
- Hurricane Sandy was worse than we expected. We had three days of heavy rains and intense wind. Beth said it was one of the worst storms simply because it lingered so long. We're thankful the sun is back out this week, but there were homes damaged by the storm here on the mountain, so I know the damage in the city and lower lying areas was bad.
- All the rain from Sandy really messed with the riverbed. (Arold took a video I'll try to share later this week.) We're thankful for God's protection as the team (and students) crossed the riverbed this weekend for clinic and church. Pray for continued safety as the students and villagers brave the racing waters this week.
- We're still waiting to hear from the Embassy. I called yesterday and didn't get anyone helpful. Hopefully today is a different story.
- Arold's Sunday school class seems to be going well. Keep praying for the musicians to have genuine hearts of worship.
- I was able to Skype with one of Arold's computer classes. I can't tell you how exciting it was to talke to my students. I miss them. Praise God for technology!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A couple Sundays ago some cool people from Florida live streamed the church service from Gramothe. It was awesome for me to be able to "be" at church while sitting in my house. I loved seeing my students and worshiping with my church family! Here's a video of the singing time. You can watch the rest of the service on the Livestream website here.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Things to pray about this week:
- October has bbeen a busy month for us. We've had two medical teams, a miscellaneous team that handed out school supplies and distributed food in Dumay, and later this week another team comes in that will do a mini-clinic, abstinence training for the high school kids, and a leadership training of some sort. I think there were 4 whole days that someone was not staying in the guest house. Pray for God to be glorified in all of this, and also lift up those of us who are here full time.
- On Saturday I'm teaching some of my students how to crochet a project. We're hoping they can then sell it and make some much needed money for their families. Pray that I can communicate clearly with them and that this new skill would be a blessing in their lives.
- Praise the Lord for the good appointment we had at the Embassy last week. Now we're waiting to hear from them regarding Arold's visa application. Pray that they would call with good news soon!
- Pray for God to prepare the hearts of our high school students for the message about abstinence that they will hear next week.
- Praise God for the construction work that's being done in Dumay.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I don't often talk about Dumay on this here blog because, well, I don't generally go there. And for me, out of sight is out of mind. For those of you who don't know, Dumay is a village about 2 hours from Gramothe where MTM has an elementary school. I think the plan was eventually to develop more there, but it just hasn't happened.
Earlier this year a group from Nebraska partnered with MTM to jump start the ministry in Dumay. They have already started building a wall around the property and a work group is scheduled to be here later this year. It's exciting to hear about what is being planned there!
This month a few people from Nebraska were here and they did a dry food distribution in Dumay. The story is that as they approached the village, Willem stopped and told two people what they were planning to do. Those people ran to tell the neighbors and this is what ensued. Sorry you can only see half of the video; I can't figure out how to resize it. (Also worth mentioning is the fact that everyone reported the distribution went very smoothly. People only ran to get in line, they didn't cause any problems once they were in line.)
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
|the principal addresses the students at the first chapel of the '12-'13 school year|
Every Wednesday the elementary school students in Gramothe start the day with chapel. Arold and Judner, the 6th grade teacher, alternate leading chapel. Typically a few students from a class are chosen to help lead the singing time while Arold plays the piano and Judner plays the drums. After that each class recites their memory verse for the week, and then there is a short devotion from Arold or Judner.It's a great time of age appropriate worship and Bible teaching for our younger students.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Here's what we're praying about this week...
- There were 22 people here for a long weekend (arrived Thursday night). They were only here for three days, but they were able to accomplish a lot. They sorted and distributed school supplies, presented a Bible lesson to all the elementary classes, painted some classrooms, loved on some orphans, distributed dry food in Dumay, live streamed the church service on Sunday morning, and probably a few other things I'm missing. Praise God for these new friends and pray for them as they travel home today. Our last two teams have had to deal with major delays in Miami, and I hope this team can avoid that.
- We are headed back to the Embassy today for an appoint about Arold's visa application. Pray that we will be able to move forward in this process and that our interview will go well today. (It's just a preliminary interview, not the final one.)
- Arold is starting worship team practice this week. Pray for him as he teaches and guides this group of musicians. Pray also that the musicians would learn what it means to be worship leaders.
- Lots of exciting construction is being planned in Dumay (where MTM's second school is located). Pray for God's guidance as things move forward there. Also, we're really thankful for the guy who is the driving force and financial sponsor of the work happening there. Praise the Lord for his partnership with MTM!
- Isaac has a little bit of jaundice. The doctor said to put him in the sun for 5 minutes twice a day for 5 days and it should clear right up. Pray for this mama not to freak out and that Isaac would be jaundice free soon.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
There are a lot of things I would like to write about, but the combination of time, energy and fingers that feel okay to type is rare these days. Here's a quick look at our life lately.
- We made the trip to the US Embassy this week--twice. Wednesday we submitted Isaac's paperwork to be recognized as a US citizen, and Thursday we had our "interview" for that paperwork to be approved. The interview was basically me swearing that everything in the paperwork was true and that I am married to Arold. The consular officer was very nice.
- While at the Embassy on Thursday, we submitted the first round of paperwork for Arold's visa. It has been very frustrating to try to connect with a person at the Consulate about that, so I am extremely grateful the Consular officer was able to direct us to someone helpful on Thursday. We ended up staying at the Embassy for about 3 hours on Thursday morning, but felt it was worth it since we got the ball rolling with the visa. We have an appointment with an immigration officer on Monday afternoon to hopefully start the next round of paperwork for the visa.
- Arold started a youth choir in Gramothe. He's at repetition (practice) as I type this. The youth are really excited about having a choir, and nearly all 32 members of the youth group were present at the first practice. I think the plan is that they will sing in church once a month. I can't wait to hear them when I go back to church.
- Speaking of church, I haven't been to Gramothe since Sept. 16th for church. And I don't remember when I was there before that. I really miss seeing my friends in the village and being in church, but the ride down to the riverbed and across it are not really an option for me right now. I still have to be careful about how and where I sit, so going to Gramothe is going to have to wait until I'm all the way healed.
- I miss being at school with my students, but I love snuggling with my baby anytime I want.
- Did I tell you that Arold also started a Sunday school class for the worship team? I kind of volunteered him for it, and he wasn't exactly thrilled about that. BUT in my defense, we had talked about how the musicians needed some solid Bible time in their lives and that having a Sunday school class for them would be ideal. In addition to the Sunday morning class, Arold is also planning to have Wednesday afternoon practice with them to work on their musical skills. They are all self taught for the most part and could use a little more practice/instruction. I'm hopeful that the sound will be much improved when I go back to church.
- School seems to be going well so far this year. There were 450+ students in school last week, which is impressive when I think back to my first year here. In the fall of 2010 there were only a handful of kids who came to school the first week and we weren't up to 400 until about a month into the school year. I'm glad to see this cultural shift. Education is important!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Here's what we're praying about this week:
- Praise: Last week was a great week of clinic with more than 500 patients being seen in 4 days.
- Pray for God's favor to rest on us as we go to the US Embassy tomorrow morning. We will register Isaac's birth abroad and hopefully submit the paperwork to start Arold's visa. Pray that our paperwork is accepted, and also pray for the logistics of taking a two week old baby to the Embassy and waiting in line for who knows how long. We have an appointment, but I know from others that the appointment time doesn't mean much. Plus our appointment is at 7:30am and the Embassy is on the other side of the airport. We'll be on the road before the sun comes up.
- Praise: School is off to a good start. There were about 475 students at school yesterday, which is almost 80% of what we expect our total enrollment to be for Gramothe.
- None of our students who took the grade 12 national exam for the second time passed the exam. They've already spent two years in grade 12 in Gramothe, some of them did grade 12 at another school before coming to Gramothe, so they are officially finished with high school. As sad as it is for me to see them go, I'm excited to know that some of them are pursuing vocational training. Pray for these young people as they seek God's will for the next step in their lives.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
I just got word that we can file for Arold's visa and report Isaac's birth abroad next Wednesday October 10th. Yahooo!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a definite answer to prayer. I have been trying to contact the US Consulate about the visa application process for many weeks and could never get a real person on the phone.
Please pray that God would go before us and that we would be successful in both of these endeavors. We want to visit my family in Indiana at Christmas and we need a visa for Arold and a US passport for Isaac before that can happen. We are trusting God to provide these documents so we can travel in December.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
So much is going on this week. Please join us in praying...
- Praise God for the birth of our son Isaac!! I had a super fast labor and delivery (3 hours!), breastfeeding is going better than expected, and we are all doing well. We're so thankful that Isaac is healthy and there were no complications during birth.
- After much anticipation (maybe only on my part), the 2012-2013 school year starts TODAY! Pray for the students, teachers, other staff, and principals as they begin this school year.
- Praise God for the 12 (of 14) Philo students who passed the national exam! Only 4 students passed the test the first time they took it, but the other 10 were able to retake the exam. Only two of our students did not pass. (The only girl in the class confused one of the test times, so she missed that test and didn't get enough points to pass. Otherwise we may have had 13 students pass.)
- Our second clinic team is arriving today. They'll see patients Tuesday through Friday. Pray that God would give them wisdom as they treat the patients who come this week.