Andrew, Joanna and family arrived back in Asia-Pacific in early June. Although everything went smoothly, it was a tiring journey. Their house was very well maintained and after a bit of cleaning they were able to unpack and set up home. They also reconnected with their new housemate, a lady from Europe, who is completing her language study, who moved into their little guest apartment shortly before they left for their home assignment.
Adjusting to the heat, they pushed through and by the weekend felt ready to start their language study. Time was precious, as they wanted to make use of an experienced language consultant who had planned a visit to the island. It was a very busy week getting ready for the test, which included a written exam, a two-hour one-one talk and a meet-up with a local language helper. It was a privilege for them to host her and get to know her better. It was an emotion-filled week as the challenge of learning a new language reminded them of their weaknesses.
A few days later, the written test results came in and they responded with thankful hearts. Joanna finished the required level that she, as a mum, has to attain. This gives her more time now to focus on biblical vocabulary. This will mostly be acquired through personal study, using the Bible in the national language, through Bible studies with some of her language helpers. Andrew has to achieve a higher level of language as he is a full-time language student. He will continue with regular language sessions and will add to his biblical vocabulary by preparing for the weekly Bible study with the boys from the dorm.
After the language test, and only two weeks into living back in Asia-Pacific, they were exhausted. A few days of a slower pace was much needed to prepare for the next thing coming up – the arrival of a new mission pilot and family, who whilst waiting for their house renovations to be finished, will stay with Andrew and Joanna. This will give them the chance to help them with any initial needs. Their children are of a similar age and will enjoy time together.
Manoah and Chloe coped well with the travel and changes However, they had forgotten most of the national language they had previously learnt and are trying to learn it again. They were very excited to start school, and also enjoy playing outside and going swimming again.
They arrived back just in time for the new school year. Many dorm kids have finished school and have returned to their villages. Only a couple weeks after arriving they welcomed four new dorm kids. This adds up to seventeen teenagers in town. All meetings have continued as before.
Monday night girls Bible study (studying Proverbs).
Wednesday night bible study (chronological teaching for newcomers and studying through other Bible books chapter by chapter with those that have finished the chronological teaching).
Saturday night boys Bible study (studying Proverbs).
The usual sport activities happen on different days of the week.
While they have a smaller group of young people this year, Andrew and Joanna’s prayer is that despite the youngsters’ shy nature they will get to know them well and that they will learn much from the Bible studies. Pray for their spiritual walk as they have many new challenges as they adjust to metropolitan life.
A team came from the village to help build a simple dorm building on the land that belongs to the church (specifically for the dorm work). Recently, the first young people moved to the new building. With the move, the dorm parents have decided it is time for them to step back from this very challenging role and focus on Bible translation. While they will continue to help with Bible studies, they won´t have the responsibility of looking after the practical every day needs of the teenagers. A young couple is looking after them temporarily until new dorm parents arrive next month.
Last year Andrew and Joanna started praying that God would raise at least one person (from the dorm) every year to go to the Bible school (similar to the training centre at North Cotes). They are thrilled to see seven young people leave their remote villages to study God‘s word for a full year. The Bible School academic year starts in a few weeks. What a joy and an answer to their prayers.
For their continued language and culture study.
For the dorm kids that are studying at the Bible school, that they are open to God to change them in to His likeness.
For their involvement in the dorm ministry.
For Manoah and Chloe as they adjust to going to school.
For their personal spiritual growth.