It has been quite a long time and quite a long journey since our last post. In the space between, we visited America for about 10 weeks, traveling up and down the east coast and catching up with many that we haven't seen in a long time. This was also a time of much needed refreshment for us as a family and was great for giving us renewed vision. It also marked a season of change in our ministry. We felt very clearly led, at the beginning of this year, to move back to Dongguan - the city we first lived in. We initially struggled a lot with this idea (1,000 miles back in the direction we just came? Seriously?), but through the leading and calming of the HS and wise counsel from a few G**ly folks we were able to look through new eyes and see that those were clearly the doors that were opening for us. Since that time we have seen why. So here's the lowdown on what the family is up to now:
Steve: The Father made it clear that Steve needed to return to work. At the same time we felt like He had spoken clearly to us about this, we received an unexpected message from our old boss asking if we would ever be interested in coming back to work for him. Why as a matter of fact, yes we would. So Steve has taken the position of guidance counselor at an international chr***ian school, with a student population of around 300 and lots of opportunities to pour into students lives. Along with the B**** study beginning in our apartment soon, he is also splitting the sunday morning teaching duties at the local international fellowship. He is excited to be hard at the plough again...
Carissa: Carissa has also returned to work. She is teaching a half day of high school science at the same international school. She is really looking forward to explaining the wonders of the Father's creation to a student body that is mostly unreached. And while she is only teaching half day, she is certainly not working only a half day - there is no such thing when you have five kids (including Steve)!.
The kids: The three girls all started school this week: Ruthee 5th grade, Vaylah 4th and Dayuma 1st. Though this first week of school has been quite an adjustment, they are taking it like champs, and so far doing great. It is incredible watching them grow up outside of their culture yet still flourishing in their walk with their Creator as they learn firsthand that there truly is no place we can go where we will be out of His presence. We are so excited to see them be witnesses in their classrooms!
Abishai is not going to school, so we hired a local person to be his ayi (literally auntie, but sort of like a nanny). She stays with him in the morning until Carissa returns at 1. We were really nervous about this, but so far so good. She really loves him, and he seems to like her as well. He has really been enjoying rocking out to hillsong lately....
- For a wonderful time in America and all of the people that blessed us along the way
- For many opportunities for ministry
- That we found an apartment big enough for our family
- A wonderful group of people to minister with
- Protection over various ministries
- Continued help with transition, especially for the kids and friends
- Wisdom for Steve as he teaches
- Language acquisition
- Sal**tion of our good friend Lily! - We think she is so close!