an in-between time
It’s hard to believe that we can say this, but we have finished all the tasks, analysis, and reports that were on the have-to-do list. In the big picture this whole language thing went pretty quick, but the days sure were long. Thousands of hours after we started, we can fluently speak a third language and we deeply understand the driving factors in this culture. Pretty cool … but it’s only because of God’s goodness and grace. That’s for sure.
In regards to official language and culture study, we are only a few weeks away from the time when the official evaluation happens. Barring some kind of unforeseen issue, that will be a time to celebrate as it will be the official end of language study for us guys and the official beginning of everything else.
Kaitlyn and Ellenie will keep pressing on in building friendships and learning language, but it’s exciting that they will soon get to do that in the context of teaching and conversation around God’s word.
Since finishing our final reports, we’ve been transitioning into full time preparation for the time when we will get to step into God’s word with our friends. We spun our wheels for a bit trying to figure out what that’s going to look like in this specific context with this specific group of friends. It’s been a really busy season for all of them lately with all kinds of things happening in their families and in the community. But we’re now starting to gain momentum with a great group of guys.
It’s been encouraging most days, discouraging some days, and exhausting every day. The unknowns are always pressing, but we are often talking about how it’s not our hard work or perfect strategies that will change people.
It’s a daily friendship with our Father, a consistent re-calibrating to His truth, and a trust in His word and His Spirit to do heart level work.
It’s not our responsibility to change our friends. As they learn to set their minds on those same things, God will do things as only He can do.
We have had such a privilege and blessing to become close friends with a core group of people in our community. Before being able to sit down in a larger family oriented setting, we really need to prepare well with a smaller group of close friends.
We’ve got some wise old men, some young married guys, a bunch of young single guys, some leaders of religious groups, some educated people, a couple uneducated people. It’s quite the mixture when we start talking through important issues in scripture. Some are very excited and hungry. Others are quiet and unsure.
Please pray for these guys (and for us!). Satan does not want this to go well. We can see things in our own lives and things in our friends’ lives that have the potential to pull us away from the things that God is trying to do.
Small things like distractions, pursuit of money, family tensions, community responsibilities … the ripples from those things can really affect people’s posture towards the truth.
Big things can quickly overwhelm people’s lives as well. As people’s hearts grow softer towards the Lord, Satan is going to ramp up the battle for authority in their life.
That’s all true for each of us. So keep praying offensively for our own hearts and minds and for our friends as well.
Our new truck has finally arrived on our island! At the moment it’s getting a couple upgrades and proper documentation, but we’ll hopefully be driving it home in a couple weeks.
We’re looking forward to it … and we’re praying that the air conditioner is strong enough to feel in the back seat! It would be amazing to be able to drive with the windows up and have some cold air blowing. We can only dream.
That God would continue to give the desire and the will for our friends to keep pursuing the truth.
That we would do well to stand as the battle is real, and we are all feeling it.
That God would give wisdom, discernment, and clarity as we walk alongside our friends and try to facilitate the truth touching real life.
That we would be growing closer to our Father each day and overflow with His love and grace to each other as spouses, parents, and teammates. Life is an emotional and spiritual pressure cooker right now.