To our wonderful support team, Bon Ane!!! (Happy New Year!!!). We hope and pray that you all closed out the year 2009 with great reflection and celebration of what God has done in your lives, and that you are entering the year 2010 with great anticipation of what amazing things He will do in and through each of you. I love the verse that reminds us of His continued work in our lives, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the coming day of Christ Jesus.” We are all works in progress. May we all remain on the potter’s wheel as we allow God to shape us for His glory.
Our year has begun with great promise. Through the provision of the Lord by means of your generous and sacrificial giving, we received enough funding to rent a home for at least 6 months, and so… we finally found a place to live and have just moved in a few days ago! We are still in need of a larger generator and inverter so that we can get power 24/7 as our place now only provides power for half the day. We are so excited to be in our own place, sitting more tired than ever looking at all the boxes and blue bins that we just moved…again, and wondering what God is about to unfold before us. Yes, the Lord is faithful!
We are living in a small city in the south part of the country called Jacmel. This is the place that fits our description of what we need in order to have longevity as missionaries – a place that has great opportunity for ministry as well as a place that we really like and could see ourselves raising a family over a long period of time. We absolutely love it here and we have seen many opportunities for ministering to the orphans and the poor. A few days ago, we went to a small village high in the mountains about 45 minutes outside of the city to deliver food to some children who looked like they could really use a few good meals. It was great to bring the whole family and see my daughters engage by reaching out to the people and helping distribute the food. There are many mountainous villages like this around Jacmel as it is a city that sits with the mountains on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
There are some other missionaries here who we have become good friends with. They have been so helpful in showing us around and helping us get settled in. They are part of a ministry called “Joy in Hope” which also focuses on ministering to the orphans and the poor in various ways. It is a real gift to have friends here so soon, and also friends for our daughters. God has blessed us indeed and has led us to the place that He has chosen for us to make His glory known. We are excited to see what the Lord will do.
We will begin formal language training on Jan. 11th. It will be an 8 week course that consists of 3 hours of instruction and several hours of homework each day. This will be our primary focus for this time. We want to devote ourselves to learning the language so that we can effectively minister the gospel (good news) to the people. We also want to take this time to just get settled in as a family. We have been in such transition for so long and we are all feeling the effects of that. Our family needs to settle. Routines need to be established. Homeschooling needs to begin. Spiritual disciplines need to be more consistent. Date nights need to resume. Daddy/Daughter day needs to be put back in place. We are certain that if we don’t rush through this, that it will only greatly benefit our ministry in the long run. If we can speak the language with the people and if our family is healthy, then we will be so much more effective in bringing the love and truth of Christ to the people.
Thank you all so much for your faithful prayers. God hears us when we call upon His name. May the Lord bless you and watch over you and cause His face to shine upon you as we begin the year 2010.
Pics of our new home will soon follow…
Cody, Maria, Isabela, Susana, and Casey (the dog)