Dan and I were talking a bit about the annoyances of the monkey. I said, "How many people get to look out their window and see a monkey in the yard? How many kids get to look over and see a genet cat sleeping next to them?"
Dan said, "How many people have a horse walking around the driveway, or how many people get to have twelve kids?" God has blessed us so abundantly. I really like that verse, "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox." (Proverbs 14:4) When you are tempted to complain about the mess or the work, just count your blessings, and you will turn that session into a worship service.
I was able to deliver another baby and all went super smoothly. The mother and baby are fine. She came at 4 a.m., banging on the gate in labor and delivered at 4:45 a.m. That means I got a good night's sleep and did not have to wait too long for the excitement to start; that is how it is from a midwife's viewpoint (smile).
The seven young adults from the States have come and gone. It was fun having them. I pray that God worked in each of their lives to bring them closer to Him. Activities were lots of cooking (they brought our number up to nineteen), painting the halls, painting the den, going to the beach on Mondays, cleaning, laundry, painting the trim, painting the woodwork, passing out boxes and boxes of tracts, witnessing, going to the village twice a week, seeing a baptism in the village, good food and fun, reading time every night, trips to the market, seeing and smelling fish and dried fish--you have to experience that to get the full picture, Bible preaching every day at 1 p.m., going to the port, looking for shells, going on a picnic to another beach an hour from here that has a kayak, sleeping in the village--real roughing it in the bush in Africa, experiencing water off and electricity off (a few even slept after only rinsing in ocean water--not me), and participating and helping in a three-day basketball camp--get the kids in and preach the Gospel. Our friends, the Kings, organized and led that. So, they had their time filled just living life along with us here in San Pedro.
Dan continues to teach Bible school every Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:00 p.m. We have three villages in a row that we are working with-teaching, with the goal of having leaders. I also teach the ladies every week in a different village. At least, I can teach the same lessons. The problem is that sometimes I forget where I am with "this group." We love teaching and preaching, only our bodies get tired sometimes. Thanks for all your prayers for us. A boy got saved last week—one-on-one. I stopped the car so he could pray with me.
Dan and Seth baptized 21 on the first Sunday of August. It is so great to see the growth in these people's lives. It was a hectic day from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.--that is how our Sundays go.
This month, I went to a ladies' retreat at our church down the hill at Baptiste Biblique. It was great to get with ladies who really want to know God's Word. They had organized the retreat--the theme, food, speakers, everything; and I am really proud of them. The theme was "Deliverance." This city and culture are steeped in Pentecostal teaching, and they wanted to know what the Bible teaches about deliverance, casting out demons, etc. I also wanted to cement my thoughts and find out "where" the Bible teaches this or that on the subject. It was a good time of learning, sharing, food and fellowship.
Our ladies' picnic at the beach went well on the Saturday after the retreat; it was one busy week. Though the day started with rain, it cleared up and we had a good turnout.
Our church school is growing, and Dan is building another room at the church. He is adding on a class and also another room for Sunday school. The great, challenging news is that I will be teaching Bible to the school kids every day at 7:30 a.m. I never want to lose sight of the goal of search and rescue. God is searching for us to rescue us from our sin and misery (wow!). "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Our own school has also started. We have eight kids in school this year, if you don't count Gideon, who comes anyway. He is so cute and is learning the basics of kindergarten.
I know this letter is a scant summary of the month. It would be way too long if I wrote all the details. Thanks for praying for us!!
May God bless you as you live in obedience to Him.
Love in Christ,
Dan and Joan, Ruth Marie, Hannah and Seth in college, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon