The good - The house has plenty of space - the kids each have their own bedroom, and a room for homeschool. There is also a yard for the kids to play in, as well as lots of forest and hills to explore. They are really enjoying being outside a lot.
Working with the contractor went well. It was good practice for Steve with his language, and most everything came out to our satisfaction. We also made friends with the contractor and his family in the process. We shared a meal together with them at their house, and hopefully he will be coming back to our place next weekend for a holiday party. Please this relationship up, as we would love to see this family come to know the Father.
Also, shortly after moving in, a Pstr. friend of our from Florida came with a team of 3 college students - Kelly, Abby and David. They were such a blessing helping us get our house in order, and we even we able to paint almost the entire first floor!
The bad - we still do not have internet at the house (I am writing this from a friends house) and the main company in town said that they no longer could do it in our area :/ ....we know there is a solution out there, but we just have to find it!
Also, the area itself has proved to be a little frustrating because of its distance from town. We realized this would be an issue before moving, but hopefully we be alleviated soon as the Father has provided money for us to buy a car, which we will pick up this Sunday!
The ugly - The water at our house is heated by a solar water heater. Which I'm sure the energy conscious among us are happy about. However, a week and a half straight of rain, and an altitude of about 6000 feet might quickly change your mind. Perhaps I should have titled this section 'the smelly'. Cold showers in a cold house = not fun! We have had some sun the past couple of days, though, which has helped
Family - All of the family is doing well, although someone has been coughing almost the entire 6 weeks we have been living here. We are in the 3rd week of homeschool and it is going very well. Ruthee is in the 4th grade, and her workload has seen a pretty drastic increase - but she is tackling it like a champ. Vaylah is in the 3rd grade, and has shown marked improvement in her attitude over last year. Her reasoning? 'The sooner I finish, the sooner I can have summer vacation'. My thoughts exactly.
Dayuma has started K-5 and is reading and learning the calendar, and we have begun potty training with Abishai. He stays dry for the most part, but has yet to actually use the toilet. He just waits until naptime when we put a diaper on him. But he does enjoy the skittles he gets when he sits on the potty. We think he's just using us.
Ministry - In the middle of August, we were blessed to have the first ever CC retreat in country. It was held in Dali, a beautiful little city surrounded by mountains and a big lake. CC Philly blessed us all by providing the money to rent out an entire lodge, so that we could be free to hold 'meetings' and have times of worship together. All told, including children, there were about 30 people from different cities who were able to attend. 4 of us guys taught through the book of Phillipians, and hope everyone went home a little refreshed and built up.
Next week is a big holiday here - the mid-autumn festival. We are hoping to have a large party at our house (21st), with people from my saturday 'class', perhaps some from a friend's 'class' people from my school, and hopefully many friends that are not yet in the family. Please keep this lifted up. We have asked the Father to use this house for His glory, and hope that this is the first of many opportunities to do so.
Requests: That we can find an internet company to service our area; that we can find a cheap solution to our hot water problem; and lastly, there is an ongoing issue with visas. On July 1st many new rules went into effect, which are affecting not just us, but many other foreigners, especially americans. These changes have affected not just tourist visas, but also business and student. For us, here on student visas the affect is as follows: the dependants (Carissa and the kids) can no longer stay for 1 year without leaving - they must exit the country after 180 days. So at some point in December or January we will all have to go out. Possibly we will drive down to Vietnam or Laos, or possibly fly to Thailand. We can come right back in - that is not the issue. But it is just extra inconvenience - traveling with six by for a long way is not fun, and flying with six is not cheap. And many people have gotten hit worse then us. It would be great to remember this situation in your 'thoughts', that people, especially those living farther inland, will not grow discouraged, and decide to pack it up. Sorry this is so long - but we haven't updated in so long and don't know when we will be able to next! Blessing from the Reeves!