"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Sunday, May 15, 2016

First Worship Service

"When a building is especially and uniquely intended for an encounter between the Lord and his people, it is likewise the customary location of the divine presence; it is the symbol of the divine presence in the secular life of the city. There, as nowhere else, the holy word re-echoes regularly; there the sacraments are celebrated. From one Sunday to another, from one divine service to the next, the place of worship is in a state of anticipation. Even its emptiness between times declares its special destination and readiness for the divine presence."--Richard Paquier

Today, the Lord blessed us with our first worship service in our new building!  What a glorious gift!  

On Saturday, we gathered with shovels, buckets, brooms and rags to clean and clean.  It was such a dusty mess!

Pastor Charles taught Sunday School.

The Steenholfs, who are living here for six months helping with our village schools, have also been blessing us with guitar playing on Sundays.

Mama Jane and Mama Evangeline.  They have been with the church from its earliest beginnings.  They are such a blessing in our community!

Eric led worship and preached.

We hope that in the future God will provide for us to have the walls plastered and a porch put on the front.  (That's why there are still holes in the wall behind where the people sit...they are ready for support beams for the porch)

We had about 200 people!

Here is a little taste of the singing and apostles creed.  The second song was after the service and was a bit impromptu...they were singing "Thank you Lord" and "Thank you Jesus" in two different languages.

I'm so thankful that for 175 Sundays we were able to meet at our home and on our compound.  It was probably one of the most challenging yet beautiful ministries I have ever had the privilege to participate in.  I'm thankful for how the Lord greatly blessed our time here.  None-the-less, I'm also thankful that the rain won't bother us anymore and that we now have a new community that we can reach out to. May God be praised and glorified at New Life Presbyterian Church.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Last Day of School!

The kids and I celebrated our last day of school for the 2015/2016 school year.  We will be taking 3 weeks off and then diving into our next school year.  We want to get a few weeks finished before we go on furlough, Lord willing, in August.

God was so gracious to us this year.  In reflecting back on our year together, I really felt like it was a year of great growth for the kids as students.  Timothy took on Algebra 2 like a boss.  Okay, it was tough at first, but he really worked hard to understand everything and do it.  I hardly helped him with it and he still pulled off high Bs/low As.  Denise gained a ton of confidence in her God-given abilities that she never had before.  Katelyn really struggled with a desire to do school at the beginning of the year, but by the end she knew that with God helping her and a lot of hard work that she could do well and even mildly enjoy it. ;-)  Matthew made greater leaps in overcoming his hard start in life.  He learned how to work with his mind, not against it.  Rebecca took on Chinese and Violin...both not required for her, but she has stuck with it and has already seen some fruit of her labors.  Jimmy made great strides in his math and writing this year.  William started the year running away every time the beginning of school was announced (literally, it was a hunt for William every school morning-ha!), but by the end he was working hard...even starting on his own some days!  Benaiah really knows how to read now and he is increasing in his speed and fluency every day!  This was a huge accomplishment for him in light of his struggles with asthma that leave him with less energy to learn.  And little Talitha has become a bundle of intellectual energy that just can't wait to learn.  haha...she LOVES reading and is really getting it.

I'm so thankful for how God brought us through our year.  I am also thankful for the help that our missionary associate, Sarah, gave us.  It was a blessing to have her around.

Today we went out to celebrate the end of school with milkshakes at our favorite coffee shop.

A little craziness might have taken place...haha!  Sometimes a mother just needs to jump on her kids right?