Brian oh-so-tactfully reminded me that I had not written on here in awhile. wups. There’s a *tad* to catch you up on:
One of our tasks at MRF is to help with the “social aspect.” The families rotate in and out of MRF, but we do have some who stay long-term (currently, we have 2 families that have been here since this summer and 1 since early fall; the others are newer). We have discovered this year that there are generally three types of families who come:
1 – the ones who are missionaries for a reason. Meaning, they are extroverted, love people, and crave being around others. Therefore, the silence and solitude of MRF are not refreshing – they are overwhelming!
2 – the ones who are headed to the field and are craving encouragement, support, and friendship from those with more experience. They are traveling extensively, in perpetual transition, and just need support from people who have “been there, done that.”
3 – the ones who have been on the field and are burned out. They need time to regroup, connect with their family, sleep, and have some privacy in-between meetings and travels.
Apparently, MRF used to have regularly scheduled prayer times, Bible studies, and social gatherings. Since only a few missionaries who come through actually welcome these things, they have not been continued. But, a few appropriately placed social gatherings are welcome and even anticipated. Like the baby shower I threw this summer. And the Annual Christmas Dinner we had on Dec. 12.
Brian and I have been planning this for a few months now and were really looking forward to it. We decked out Compton Hall (the rec center) with the help of another family staying at MRF, had friends cater, and planned a short program with the help of the current residents. Almost all the residents made it and most of the board members and their wives came out as well. We had 15 children all under the age of 12. Elena only tried to play the piano in the middle of the program once. Joseph managed to behave and only got bit by another child once. The food was amazing and the fellowship was wonderful. All in all, a great night. Here’s some photos:
On the BCM front, we are in the final stages of getting vision trips planned for 2014. This is quite the task, let me tell you! But, we are so excited about the prospects of taking teams around the world to see God working in another place firsthand. Starting in February, we will be doing some representing at area universities and even another church and so by then, for sure, we will have vision trip places and dates ready to be announced. But you can begin praying NOW to know if God wants YOU to join Brian this year on a trip!
Brian has been working so hard on the BCM website. Plans are in the works as well for me to do more writing for BCM, something I’m always up for and can’t wait to do more of.
This spring, I will have another opportunity to do some teacher training at an Asian church in New Jersey, so that will be an experience that I’m looking forward to! This is a direct result from the convention I taught in October. Praise the Lord!
And then, of course, work at our church is moving right along. We had a Christmas Party for the Wed. night group this past week. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them a Bible Lesson on why the shepherds were the first to hear the Good News of Jesus being born. It’s always fun when the kids are dead quiet and spell-bound by a Bible lesson. We have seen some real heart changes in a couple of our kids that come regularly – praise God! They are the reason I keep doing that “job.”
The kids have been battling colds and coughs for the past month or so. Since Elena has never lived in the States, she has no immunity to U.S. viruses and germs, so anything she gets hangs on to her for long periods of time. Joseph is getting over his illnesses as well, but it sure has felt like they have been sick forever!! ‘Tis the season!
I leave you with a couple pictures of the kids and the promise to write more frequently in 2014. 🙂 Thanks for your prayers and support during 2013! Here’s to an excited, unpredictable, God-glorifying New Year!