We have survived the winter. Even though it was a very mild winter, I realized that I hate to be cold. My blood slows down and I can barely move. I DID enjoy staying with Dan's mom, drinking coffee, doing school and living in a house throughout the winter months; a house, as opposed to a drafty construction zone.
We feel energized for our next term in Africa. This change of pace was good for us, and meeting new friends was super. It is sad to make such good friends and then leave for the next four years. You can write to me, and I WILL write back. Our most reliable and fastest mode of communication is e-mail. We have to have the Internet for Facebook which is sometimes unreliable. We are ready for more evangelism and discipleship and have new ideas of how to reach more people with the Gospel. Praise the Lord for the POWER of the Gospel.
We have just celebrated Easter!! Because He lives, we too will live forever. We are saved by faith. We walk by faith, and we will die by faith. It is all faith in the resurrection!!! Without faith in Jesus' resurrection, we would be most miserable. It is faith in Jesus in heaven. We can focus on heaven. Everything is endurable if we keep eternity's values in view. Heaven makes it all make sense ("I go to prepare a place for you"). Why do we do what we do? because of heaven. We will give an account to Jesus. We will live there forever. We have a home—a place we long for where we have never been. We are only pilgrims on the earth and are just passing through for a short while. We are citizens of another country (a beautiful country, to be sure) and we can bring as many friends as we can persuade to come with us. What could be better than that?
Our letters could get very long if I report on the ministries of each of our children (their outreach, Israel internship, playing the piano at church, delivering babies and getting more training, camp ministry, counseling, singing, teaching). Through it all, we are learning to be servants and to live with no rights. Yes, just BE a doormat; but it surely goes against the grain of our human natures. A better servant is one who takes the initiative to serve and doesn't have to be told what to do. Oh, the joy of seeing your children walk in truth.
Seth and Paige Scott will be married on June 3 in Illinois. Most of our family will be there. After they are married, they will head to Israel to work in a church during the summer. Please PRAY for them. They are going before the BWM board on April 11 as part of the application process to be missionaries to the Ivory Coast.
We are leaving on June 8. Keep us in your prayers. We have heard terrorist's reports there even now. Safety is not the absence of danger but the presence of the Lord. Meanwhile, Dan and the boys are trying to get as much construction done on the house as possible. It is way more livable than it was in the beginning.
We have a few more meetings and a missionary conference. Praise the Lord for the increased support this year. THANK YOU for your prayers. We have never been fully supported, but this year has helped. We have gone from 68% of our support up to 79%. We praise the Lord for that.
Please continue to pray for our family—for health, safety and the many plans that are all "Lord willing." I continually have to re-learn that His ways are not our ways and to trust Him and live by faith. Pray as you plan, and plan as you pray.
Servants of the Most High God,
Dan and Joan (pronounced JoAnn), Ruth, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon