Traveling without babies is VERY easy (smile). We are making trips out and back to the Winston area and North Carolina churches up through April 10, which is Susanna's wedding. We will be back in Michigan during the months of May and June. If we leave the kids home, Dan and I can borrow a small car and have a "date."
In December, Dan was able to participate in the ordination counsels of seven Ivorian pastors via FaceTime. Steve King, Seth, and Dan are the only three missionaries ordained and able to conduct an ordination service. Praise God the technology worked. Dan was on the computer for hours.
We plan, Lord willing, to go back to the Ivory Coast in October of this year. Seth has been taking care of the churches, leaders, and school in our absence. There are a few national leaders who are helping Seth with the preaching and teaching.
Praise God that Eden just came through a serious bout with malaria and seems to be back to normal...she's smiling, talking, running, and playing. Praise God for the great outcome to our desperate prayers!!
Our BIG news is that Ruth is pregnant. The Jertbergs are still waiting for Madagascar to open and have meanwhile bought a property and a mobile home to fix up and live in. It has needed more work than was anticipated, and they are living with us until they can move over there. We will not begin to tell each step; that is very difficult for me. Every step of the way, there is another inspection to pass. During this time there are 19 of us living in cozy harmony. Do you see the need to help build more space??
The other BIG news is that Stephen and Martha are now engaged. They don't have the date set yet but are planning to get married later this summer.
Our puppies have sold fast. That was encouraging. It is SO easy to sell dogs here in America...just advertise them online and people come and get them. This will help a lot with Rebekah's schooling and Susanna's wedding in April.
Hannah and Nathan were in town. It was great to see them as well; they have many meetings lined up and much traveling ahead.
We are staying busy with meetings, witnessing, and giving a helping hand. A 10-year-old boy got saved while we were doing visitation. Praise the Lord for that; that encourages my heart more than anything else can. I can see how it is hard to do visitation here in America. I was walking around and COLD for sure. Here in America, it is more pressing a need to MAKE opportunities to give out the Gospel. See the need and go there. No one will get saved if we pass our time in our bubble of Christian friends.
Thank you for your faithful prayers. Pray for Ruth's pregnancy and delivery to go well. Pray for safety on the roads and the work with chain saws, hauling logs, building, etc. (God has already so blessed and protected from accidents.) Pray that when it gets time for us to go back to Ivory Coast, we will not have to deal with a mandatory vaccine. The test is already required at $150 per person. We pray that all these restrictions will be lifted by October. Please pray that we can find someone who will do the needed oral surgery on Stephen's jaw. After multiple appeals, our insurance continues to deny coverage for him. We have been searching for an oral surgeon for almost 2 years now.
May God bless YOU!
In His grip,
Joan and Dan