Wow. It has been a really long time since we have been on here. We have had computer problems and have been very busy. Sometimes we need to just take a moment and catch up on things. There have been a lot of things going on in our family as well as our ministry. I am going to try and just hit the highlights of it all so as not to bore you all.
This month we had a missionary teacher return home 6 months earlier than anticipated. This was dificult on us all and it really brought the struggles of ministry to the surface for many of us here. With her return to the states the mission school here was without a teacher for 6 kinder students. After much prayer and discussion Ryan has stepped into this role as he completes his language studies. Ryan will work at the school in the morning and continue language training in the afternoon. He will spend the evenings and weekends working in the community and other villages. Ryan is also working with another missionary teaching him Bible storytelling so that he can teach the people he is working with. Ryan is also teaching this same missionary T4T (training on mentoring) so that the local pastors can be trained in this and begin outreach in their own community. Ryan continues to mentor a local youth and continues to teach him bible stories. Ryan spent sevarl days in May on the river and in a local village doing minstry work. During June and July he will have the opportunity to go to a village 25 hours away up the river. Part of this will be a research opportunity for an unreached people group. This is a group we hope to work with in the future.
Natalie has been able to start a bible study with another missionary wife here. She is working in the communtiy building relationships in hopes of starting a bible study with the ladies. Ryan and Natalie also believe that one of these families would be a great host for a house church. Praying that God opens more doors and opens the hearts of the people.
Walker has started working with a youth group in a Spanish bible study. He is being challenged now to translate scripture from Spanish to English. So that he can better understand biblical Spanish.
We celebrated two birthdays in May. Walker and Mari-Madeline continue to go to the local school here. Walker loves it and and is so excited to go. Mari-Madeline loves school, but does not like being away from home. We have been praying about what she will do. Her teacher is amazing and so patient, I had to go get MM from school one day and as we were leaving her teacher encouraged her just to stay for a short period of time each day.
Lorelai stays with mom most of the day. Amazing enough her Spanish is probably better that Walker's. Mari-Madeline has begun to correct Ryan and I in our pronnunciations. She has also had to help Ryan with translating. The kids have so many friends here and this is truly their home for now. I am not sure that they will ever be at home in the States again. Life is so simple here and so uncomplicated. They value relationships and time with family over anything else.
Natalie and the kids made thier first trip to the city since February. While we all had fun, the hustle and bustle of the city was overwhelming and we were all excited to come home. We had to make a quick return trip to the city with Mari-Madeline. She was very sick and her malaria test were negative, but the local clinic did not know how to treat her. So we packed up and made the 9 hour trip, by boat and truck back to the city. Just as we were taking her to the hospital we met a doctor from the states who is a missionary at a clinic there. He was able to tell us what labwork to have done and how treat her. What a blessing from God that was.
While in the city we also met another missionary couple that was able to connect us with a a network of missionaries that have a yearly conference and yearly kids camp in Honduras! How amazing is that. We are so excited about this. Gods blessing are so simple yet so amazing all at the same time. He knows just what we need!
We are still working as a family on building relationships and learning abour our neighbors. We live among three different people groups and each group functions very different. One group the men are the leaders of the family and function more similar to us, another group the women are the leaders and are very aggresive about their postition in the family, and yet another it seems that both man and women are in charge. It is also not uncommon for the men to leave the family and go for months and even years looking for work. We saw one such family this past week. The wife and kids had gone to the city and were visiting dad and the morning the family was returning was the same we were coming home. It was so difficult to see the father and children in tears, because they know it may be 6 months before they see each other again.
We are so happy here and pray that we can be blessing to these people. We pray that God can use us reach these people.
1 Peter 4:11
Whoever speaks is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength wich God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.