Saturday, December 13, 2008

November 2008

It seems like so much has been happening, and life has become more full, charged, and filled up than before—yes, I know where the time is going.  Every Saturday in October was someone’s birthday, so I had the blessing of doing school all week and waking up on Saturday to make birthday cake and plan a party.  On top of that, Dan got a new computer, and I am always the last to learn how to use these new-fangled devices—tools, as most of you would call them.

We did vote and know that some Americans are in turmoil over the results.  Last Thursday, right after the election results came out, we heard a great and timely message on Daniel 1:1-2.  Messages do not come out in letters as you hear them, but the main points were: 1. God is the Lord of Consequences. Judah and Jehoiakim were reaping the judgment they had sown. (Habbakuk and Jeremiah had been warned and begged to repent.) We WILL always reap what we sow, and there will be consequence—good or bad for our actions. 2. God is the Lord of Current Events. It was God who delivered the Israelites into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. Christians should be the most calm, confident people because we know that God is in control—all the time. 3. God is the Lord of the Details. In verse two, the Bible records how Nebuchadnezzar took the vessels from the temple of the Lord with him to Babylon, and later on we learn how that played out. God is in control of even the little details of our lives, and they matter to Him (our tone of voice, what we do daily, etc.).

We are studying the book of Daniel; it is so rich! I am teaching that on Wednesday night to the kids, and last week two young teenage boys got saved. It is great when you see a change come over them. A while back, one of the more rough boys got saved, and it was super to watch the Holy Spirit change him. We are always reminded that some plant, some water, but it is God Who gives the increase. The Holy Spirit must do the work in their hearts that only He can do. We must remain faithful, give out the Word, and leave the Holy Spirit to do His work.

We told you that Rebecca died. We have now heard that once someone is having ascites (fluid dumping into the abdominal cavity), it is too late for anything—especially if you live in Africa. But, out of all that, her brothers-in-law have been faithfully coming to church, and one of them has gotten saved and is attending Bible school. In fact, it was his son who got saved last Wednesday. The rest of the family is coming and hearing the Word. This entire group comes from an area where Dan would like to start another church next term. If this group stays faithful and grows, we can start another church with them as the core group. This is our goal.

I have started a ladies’ Bible study on Wednesday afternoons, besides the one that continues every other Sunday after church. Dan has started a men’s Bible study every Sunday evening. We are finally seeing people who are saved, wanting to grow and change to become better wives, mothers, and husbands. Instead of gearing down before we leave for furlough, we are gearing up. We are going through a transition time as Dan prepares Paul to be the future pastor. I am translating the material (not as big a thing as it sounds) and helping prepare a young man to teach. Dan has been doing a great job with Moses, and it is helping him grow as well. Dan is also starting a teacher-training class whenever they can all decide on a time. God does not choose the qualified, He qualifies the chosen. Just be available, faithful, learning, and growing, and God can use you. This is what we are teaching the people.

On the home front, Tabitha is helping out with home schooling. I have a first grader and a second grader each needing one-on-one attention. Today I asked Ruth to teach in my place, and she and Tabitha are handling the schoolroom so I can be at the computer. We do school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. The kids from Stephen on up are learning piano, and some are also learning guitar from Seth who now plays way better than I do. Ruth, Hannah, and Seth play for all the services at church. Ruth plays the piano, and Hannah has been playing the guitar along with her. The English church (in a different location) is without leadership, and Seth has been able to do some teaching/preaching out there. In fact, he is the only one available. Dan has given him great sermon notes and that is what he uses. This is great for Seth. Maybe next term he will be ready to lead a group like that. Since he is still in school, he only has time to be there on Sunday and Wednesday to speak and play the guitar. For a church to grow, it takes extra time for counseling, visitation, and lots of prayer.

The dogs are all faring well. Cupcake had puppies; I cut the tails, and they are all fine. We will now be trying to sell them all before we come back to the States. Pets do not fare well when left behind. I just want to sell them all sooner than later to have fewer things to take care of around here. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and Merry Christmas!  I know I probably will not write again until January. We have Christmas programs, films, and a church get-together planned. Those are small words for big events and lots of work. Also, between Christmas and the New Year, Tabitha’s sister and two other girls (friends of a girl staying with Becky and Andy) are coming for a quick visit. On December 26 Dan will go to get them in Abidjan, and Andy will take them back in January.


Thanks for all your prayers for spiritual growth. The church is growing spiritually and in numbers, and we are encouraged. Continue to pray for safety in driving and for all the activities to not just be activities, but that God will be glorified and the Holy Spirit will work.

Again, we are thinking and praying for you.

Love in Christ,

Dan and Joan, Ruth Marie, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph and Esther


No comments:

Post a Comment