The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. | Lamentations 3:22-23
His mercies are indeed new every morning! What an encouragement that statement alone is to believers. Its been almost 3 months since we have been here in Southeast Asia and our lives have changed dramatically. The words in Mathew 6, “don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own…” have never been truer. We literally wake up knowing everyday we must rely on His strength and His patience, and remain joyful through the various challenges. One day it’s the water heater that breaks, the next it’s our back-up power supply that blows, the following day a child falls and needs medical attention, the day after that there’s an outbreak of mumps at the school…it goes on and on. And everyday the Savior reminds us: “life disappoints, but I never do.” We learned this specifically when Skyla, our youngest, was sick with a severe bacterial infection. It was a time when we were forced to simply stop, rest, and pray. While she slept, we would hold her and talk to God. That was a precious time for us, because although our child was ill, we focused on Him even more.
In the past few months, we were able to help start a kid’s club on Thursdays, a men/women’s bible study on Tuesdays, and we introduced the King of Glory series on Saturdays. We have a small church of believers who love the Lord, and a few have expressed their desire to be baptized. This has been a real encouragement to us! At present, students all over the state are preparing for final exams, which will begin at the end of the month, and classes officially end in early December. The new school year will start mid-January, and we are looking forward to our kids attending the school we will be serving at. Pray for them as they have transitioned well, but obviously the style of teaching and the curriculum will be new to them.
Regarding a home for us – it was a real struggle. As we mentioned earlier, we have been attempting to purchase land since our initial visit in January of this year, but for some reason or another, every attempt was blocked. So, after much prayer, we decided to build a small home right on the school grounds. Initially we didn’t consider that as an option, but when every other door closed, we felt God saying, this is where I want you to be, at least for a little while.
We mentioned in our last post that we wanted to study the local language. So far, that has been a joy. We both are getting a better grasp on Bangla, and we can speak and understand minimally. Our goal is to be fluent at speaking the language by the end of next year. We have a private tutor who is also a teacher at the school, he spends an hour with us 3-4 times a week. Our hope is to then move on to learning the tribal language as well.
- The new school year, as we take on the responsibility of overseeing the school. We feel inadequate often, so pray for His wisdom and guidance in all decisions.
- All the children attending the school to receive a good education, but more importantly to receive spiritual guidance and teaching.
- All the children to stay healthy and to practice good hygiene.
- Our house to be completed by mid-December so we can move in, and have time to settle in, before the new school year starts.
- Adequate housing for staff and for future volunteers. We are adjusting with very limited space for the boarding school. We hope to construct teachers’ quarters and have more livable space for the children. At the same time, we need more classrooms as well.
- More teachers.
- Our language learning.
- The church to grow in maturity and for the members to exercise their gifts.
- Pray for our marriage to be sustained and nurtured while ministry demands increase.
Many times, we feel very overwhelmed. How can we possibly even imagine accomplishing the goals we feel like God has for us? …but then we remind each other: He is the God of the impossible. The same God who saved us will see us through to the end. Each day we step outside and see a world so lost and we are so grateful we know Him… what a blessing and yet what a tremendous responsibility.
Thank you for your fervent prayers and for your interest in staying up to date on this journey with us. Some days we wake up and think, “How did we get here?” But most days we thank God for the privilege of serving Him.