Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank you for praying!

Thank you so much for praying for Jake! We think he is out of the woods now. After taking some malaria medication and an antibiotic, he seems to be doing SO much better. I think it was a bad bacterial infection. Thank you so much for praying for him! 

Quickly before my battery dies... here are some photos of... us!

Friday, May 14, 2010

How time flies...

Remember this cutie from a few weeks ago?

Today, she looks like a completely different cat:

I know I said this before, but she seriously IS a cat after my own heart... she's perfect for me! She likes coffee, garbanzo beans, toast, snuggling, listening to Anberlin [okay, so maybe she doesn't care]... anyways, I still like her. A lot. I admit, I'm kind of hopeless when it comes to cute, cuddly animals... can't... resist...

Can you believe that we have been in Africa for almost 4 months?! As hard as it has been to be away from family and friends, God has given us the grace to sustain us and to help us make it through each day. Jake mentioned the other day that he thinks "culture shock" is hitting him hard now. The differences from our culture that we noticed in the beginning didn't bother us then... but now some things are annoying, just because we aren't used to them. We're still learning and adapting, but I think it's going well.

We only have two weeks of Swahili class left after today. Time is really flying by. I look back to the first week of class, and I remember thinking, "7 more weeks of this?!" But now that we have a basic understanding/foundation of the language, it's going a lot better. Supposedly we've moved past the beginner's stage and we're learning some intermediate things. So it's nice to know we're making progress! Jake and I make a good team.

It is definitely rainy season here! The bridge that we have to cross to go to town [well, really, to go anywhere] was under the water a few times. I'm kind of hoping that we'll be able to see a hippo or two! Apparently when the water gets that high, hippos come down the river. That would be a sight! 

It rained super hard here two days ago; the wind was blowing the rain so much that we couldn't see across the yard. There was so much standing water... it came down much too fast for even the extremely thirsty ground:

We could definitely use your prayers concerning a few things:

1. Jake became very sick, starting on Monday. His symptoms pointed to malaria, so he started taking malaria medication to see if that would help. Well, the three days of medication have finished, and he isn't better, so he's trying a stronger antibiotic for bacterial infections. During the day he 'feels' fine, but at night time, he is in excruciating pain. We both haven't been getting much sleep lately. I feel so bad for him... I've never seen him in this much pain before. We tried making an appointment to see the doctor today, but unfortunately, we know that all they would do is give him something to try, and if it didn't work, give him something else... trial and error, basically... and since we're already doing that, we figured it would be a waste of time and money. We'll give it some more time with him on this new medication and take it from there.

2. We started taking a 5 week class: "Ministering to Muslims in Africa." The class is held on Tuesdays at the church in Naivasha that we sometimes attend. It IS accredited, but we chose to not take it for credits this time, due to being extremely busy with 4-5 hours every day of Swahili class. Once we come back from Dubai [more on that later], we'll see if we can jump in with the next class [they do different topics] and maybe Jake can take it for credit. I don't think it's worth me taking anything for credit... my main ministry is to my husband and [hopefully, some day] to our children, and although it's a possibility we would stay in the mission field for some time, we feel it's maybe more important for Jake to get college credits. If we were to stay in the field long term, we would look at getting Jake some schooling... either at home in the States or here, online. We'll cross that road when we come to it, though. 

Anyways, we could use your prayers for this class because it added quite a bit to the 'learning/studying' factor that we are already doing a lot of for Swahili... it's a lot to remember all at once!

3. We're continuing to pray about what the future holds for us, whether it is here or back in the States. I was talking to a fellow missionary online recently, and she encouraged me to give every day to God and try not to worry about the future. I know I have a hard time with "the unknown..." I'm an organized person, and I like to have all the details planned out. It's a huge [continuing, and continuing... and continuing...] learning experience for me to wake up each morning and give that day to the Lord. His plans are so much bigger and greater than mine could ever be... I'm not sure why I sometimes think that my plans are better! If you could be praying for us as we try to discern where the Lord is leading us... that would be fantastic!

4. We are having some issues with some of the students who want to leave this place, for various reasons... mostly because of the relationships they have here. You know how things are when you live in a dormitory-situation... feelings get hurt, people get bitter and don't talk about it, and the issue continues from there. If you could pray for the students to learn how to resolve these conflicts the way Jesus wants them to, we would appreciate it. We want so much for them to learn how to do things biblically. We can't make them stay... but I really feel they are here for a reason and I would hate to see any of them leave. Please pray for their hearts!

In closing, I just wanted to thank you so much for being faithful in your giving and in your prayer life. When I got the update that all of our financial supporters are giving as they had pledged, my heart leaped for joy and could not stop praising God for answering that prayer with a resounding "YES!" God is doing wonderful things through your gifts... thank you so much for being a blessing to us, and ultimately, to the people we are ministering to. Thank you!!