Thursday, February 21, 2008
Greetings out there. Today we celebrate the first month of life for Malakai!
It has been exactly one month since we last wrote to inform everyone of Malakai coming into this world. The past month has been overwhelming, exhausting and exhilirating at the same time. We are very blessed that Malakai was born very healthy and continues to grow and develop as he needs to. He is a precious little boy who has completely won our hearts. Jubilee has also taken a liking to him, although it has been quite a transition for her. She herself reached a milestone this month when she began going to preschool just last week. Everyday she spends three hours playing, learning, exploring and making new friends. Katie is also doing very well. She is spending the majority of her time as is to be expected with Malakai, but she is feeling very well and enjoying this special time with our new baby. The only thing she is suffering from is sleep deprivation, but that certainly came as no surprise. We are surviving those wee morning hour feedings by watching episodes of Lost and Everybody Loves Raymond to stay awake.
Here are a few updates on the work:
Bulls & Sandovals Return (Hallelujah!!!)
During furlough times we certainly enjoyed growing closer to the Marcum family and spending a lot of time with them. As always Jubilee and Michaela are the best of friends and our days out at the Marcum home I am sure will be one of Jubilee's fondest childhood memories. We had the opportunity to create many special memories with Josh, Julie and their beautifull little girls. That being said, and I am sure the Marcums would agree that we are so happy to have all of our team back together. Now that it has been almost three years that we have served together with our teammates any absence is sorely felt. When the Bulls and Sandovals returned it was as though our "unit" felt complete once again. We are now back in the habit of bugging the Sandovals daily as they are just two floors above, and now we can even drop in on Gary and Laura more often now that they are back downtown. We are thankful both families had time to recharge and refuel for continued service. We are even more thankful they are back in Bolivia!
Newest Brother & Sister in Christ
Also since our last posting we witnessed the spiritual birth of two more precious souls into the Lord's Kingdom. Rene and Vanessa are brother and sister and 12 and 11 respectively. Through their studies with Josh they have shown themselves to be more spiritually mature than many adults. Julie, Katie and now myself have had them for Bible class and can attest to the fact that they are always eager and prepared to learn and grow. Please pray for these two young Christians, Rene and Vanessa, that the Lord may bless them during this crucial time of spiritual infancy.
Katie's parents were able to come and spend almost a full month here with us awaiting the arrival of young Malakai. Frank and Linda are always an immense help to us and we are so grateful for the time they set aside to be with us during such a special time for our family. Frank helped build many things around the house such as changing table, closet shelves, sewing desk, and more! Linda helped Frank in the building and purchasing of materials and also was there to give Katie a hand basically with any she needed at the moment.
Another visitor, Roland Bowen, of Austin Avenue arrives tomorrow afternoon. Roland will helping with preaching and teaching to help the team out as we have three families with children being born all within a month of eachother. We are very grateful to Austin Avenue for sending Roland and to him for making the time to come down and help out. Please be in prayer that Roland may have a safe and uneventful trip.
On March 3rd I am starting our 3rd offering of conversational English. This class will structured quite differently from our previous two courses but I am hoping that the changes will lead to an even more rewarding learning experience for our students. I will be taking the students through the life of Christ while also providing the students a chance to practice their conversation and pronunciation of English. As with the previous English classes we are hoping and praying that God sends to us many who are not only interested in learning English but who are also hungering and thirsting to know God's word and His will for our lives. Please pray that God may send the right people through our doors and that He may use me as a instrument of communication.
Another ministry that will be starting on March 3rd is called Oasis. Out of my own frustration in searching for a quiet time and place to study, pray and meditate on God's word, I came to the conclusion that many people share my plight. On Mondays and Wednesdays we will be opening up the Conexion Cristiana so that other stressed out people like me can find an "Oasis". In the early morning between 7:00 and 9:00 we will be providing people with a quiet and interruption-free zone where people can come and commune with God and others before going out into the world to face the wolves. This is a new idea and I am not really sure how it is going to work but I believe there is a need for this and it is my hope that we can somehow rise to the challenge and meet that need. Please pray that the Oasis ministry may fulfill its' intended purpose which is to offer people a place, time and encouragement to grow spiritually.
A third class that I am involved in is not a class or activity that I am leading, however I am taking the role of student. After close to two years of no formal Quechua language study, I have decided to take up my pen and paper and bravely return to the classroom. I say bravely because I find Quechua to be very daunting compared to Spanish and English which both convienently have Latin and Greek roots. Quechua is from a completely different language family and so I have found learning it to be more of a challenge. However, I am hopeful that learning Quechua adds to our ministry as a team. Please pray that I can glorify God by learning this language and grow in my communication skills to be able to teach about the love of Christ to an even greater range of people. Also pray for Katie who is making a huge sacrifice for me to be able to take night classes 4 nights a week.
In other personal news, but related to the theme of classes, is a decision that I would like announce. When Frank and Linda returned to the states I sent with them an application to a Master's program with the University of Massachusetts Boston. It is an online program that will help me to learn more about second language acquistion and the teaching of language as well. After much thought and prayer I finally decided upon this Master's program. I will not find out if I have been accepted until April, but the good news is that gives us plenty of time to pray about it. Please pray first of all, that this program would be something that glorifies God and allows me to minister in a more effective way. Additionally, please pray that I get into the program. I will keep everyone posted.
Thanks so much for reading and for praying. We love you guys.
La Familia Forbess