Getting Back into the Groove
We’ve been back in Madagascar for over a month and finally we are starting to feel like we’ve adjusted back. We were working hard to get the house in order and making small repairs and at the same time were making preparations for our partner team from SWBTS to arrive. We still have a little ways to go, but we’re making good progress. Phoebe and Emma went back to RVA. Baylee jumped into school with our new homeschool. The SWBTS team arrived and we all jumped into ministry, sharing stories of the Bible first with those at the beach celebrating with a picnic for Pentecost and then in two new locations in Fort Dauphin. We saw many decisions made and over 40 come to faith in Christ.
As we’ve been getting back into the groove, I’ve asked myself a number of times what “normal” looks like and I’ve decided there’s not really a normal. This week the SWBTS team will be ministering in and around Ambovombe. Meanwhile, River, Baylee and I are here in Fort Dauphin, holding the fort down. I’m also substitute teaching for our homeschool teacher, so she could go with the team to Ambovombe. Although, our schedule will be more relaxed without the team here, it will be anything but normal. There are many stories that tell of troubles that missionaries face when their spouse is away doing ministry. We have a few of those, but most recently, AKA yesterday, I got to remove the decomposing body of a puppy that we had buried last week and the dogs found, dug up and were eating. That along with no water for almost 12 hours that smelled like sewer when it did return are a few of the “troubles” that make life anything but normal!
Here are a few verses that the Lord has allowed me to recall often over the past 4 years particularly.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:8-9
With each of these reminders we are able to go back to and focus on what matters most, Mark 16:15, the verse the Lord used to call me to foreign missions. It says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Although life may not be normal, God is good. He is faithful and he blesses us in so many ways just for being obedient to His calling on our lives. We urge you to be obedient as well. Follow the calling that God has placed on your life. Keep us lifted up in your prayers and know that we are lifting you up in ours as well!
*We’re adjusting back to life here in Fort Dauphin.
*SWBTS made it and has been doing an amazing job of serving and sharing with the Antandroy people. Many have made decisions to follow Christ!
*Phoebe and Emma continue to do well at boarding school.
*More teams will be coming over the next 4 months.
*SWBTS- safe travel back to America when they depart on June 6.
*Health issues- is an ongoing battle
*The Minton and Snipes families will be coming back from vacation in America this month.
*We can find homes for the 7 puppies we were welcomed home with 5 weeks ago.
There's a new park in town and River loved the swing.
This is one of the beautiful views from the new park.
Suzie singing and dancing a Tandroy song with the ladies a church.
Pentecost Picnic at the beach. Baylee riding the waves on the boogie board and River doing anything he can to get into the water.
SWBTS team orientation before storying in town.
River and the kids playing at one of the storying sites.