Just 3 days before I leave. Alone this time, for the first time. My 2 bags are mostly packed. I can’t think of anything else I need.
We talked with Martha, then Hannah last night, via Skype. Martha reports that her semester is every bit as busy and intense as she had expected, but she’s keeping up with her studies and her duties at the hospital, as well as making time for ministry projects. Hannah’s history studies at graduate school are even more intense, but she’s careful to not get behind. In addition to her 20 hours of weekly work as a graduate assistant, she attends a Bible study and continues to develop her skills in utilizing herbs and essential oils.
Jonathan has completed his first couple of weeks of college, enjoying his computer classes and tolerating his algebra class. He's making big steps toward more independence and greater responsibility. After coming home each evening from their jobs, David and Sara have been working on getting David’s house in order. I’ve been helping mostly with the yard, doing a bit of landscaping and gardening. This morning I organized and cleaned the garage area. The house is really looking nice and I’m so happy my family has a place they can call home. David, Sara, and Jonathan really enjoy being together.
The fellowship of Inglewood Baptist Church has been a huge blessing. So many families and individuals there have welcomed us into their homes, fed us, and honored us with their hospitality and friendship. Allowing us to stay in their mission house, rent and utilities free, have enabled us to do things as a family that would have been out of reach otherwise.
So, I give thanks to the Lord (and to Southern Baptists) for allowing me the privilege of having had this amazing year to enjoy my family, to travel to some incredible places, and to share with various churches about what God is doing in the Philippines and around the world. As much as I dread this special time coming to a close, I am eager to see what the Lord has prepared for me in the coming years as I return to the place and the people He has called me to serve.
When friends ask me what they can pray for, my response has been for men to train and disciple. If I can train others to be trainers who, in turn, train others to evangelize and plant churches, then I can greatly multiply my ministry and see many more churches planted. I also need to find a place to live, an apartment to rent. But the Lord knows that need.
I want to close this update by thanking all of you who have prayed for me and my kids, not only this past year, but for many years now. The spiritual growth of my family, the successes we have seen in our ministries, and the abundant blessings that the Lord has been so gracious to bestow, are the fruit of fervent prayers plowed in fields of faith. Because of you, the harvest has been bountiful.