Hello to you all in 2018, 8 January 2017
I pray that you had a wonderful time with family and friends remembering our Saviour’s birth and celebrating the New Year. How did that happen? It has been three months since I last wrote to you…here is a quick overview of what happened in those months:
· I finished producing a Jesus Story film in the N language (another language in our province, not a part of our project).
· Took a Coaching Workshop (great workshop – helps me to know how to help others better).
· Continued on producing a script for a video of the book of Acts (using illustrated pictures).
· I have been working little by little nights and weekends to renovate the flat that I have at U (sewing new curtains, hiring someone help me paint the interior, patching all the cracks in the wooden floor and putting on some new varnish, etc). After almost a year and a half of planning and effort – the work is almost finished in this month. I love my little nest!
· A week long meeting of the Executive Committee happened here in U (approving the budget for the entire branch, starting to discuss getting a new director for our entire center, etc.). After attending these meetings, I went out a week late to the translation workshop in the village.
· Willem and Esther teach the God’s Big Story Workshop to the translators during the devotions times of the workshop.
· TEE studies (Theological Education by Extension) with the translators.
· Continuing to help Willem and Esther learn about how to do Scripture Use in our project.
· Come back to the linguistic center the first week in December.
· Wrap up some final work/meetings for the year and finish developing a year-long plan for SU activities in 2018.
· Take a staycation! Rested and recuperated from the crazy busy year that was 2017. I was really tired, so this rest was very refreshing. I didn’t open the front curtains of the house for two weeks and became a little hermit in the flat – it was wonderful!
· Praise God they cut the grass at the T airstrip at the end of October! (That cuts about 6 hours off the road travel time in the back of a truck.) Praise God that the truck that was driving us to the airstrip did not roll – the road is difficult in some spots and we came across a mud pit that was about 4 feet deep in one area. In all these years of travelling in the back of a truck, that was the first time I thought the truck was going to tip over and roll onto its side. But, God’s mercy prevailed and we came out of the mud pit unharmed. (For a little more on this story see down below*.)
· Praise God for the Jesus Story film in the N language.
· Praise God for all that the translators learned in the God’s Big Picture Workshop. Many translators said it helps them to translate better having this overview of the entire Bible.
· Please pray for wisdom and strength as we start a new year! We have many wonderful plans for 2018 – but they are nothing but words on paper without God’s help.
· Pray for the Pehrson family as they arrive back from furlough in mid-January. They will hit the ground running with school starting just after they return and then Ben heads out to the village for a workshop in February. Pray also as they adjust after leaving their oldest son in the States in university – it is a transition for them all.
· Continue to pray for Willem and Esther as they adjust to living and working in this country and with our team. We have different languages, cultures and personalities. We strive to see God living and working in and through us as a team.
· Please pray they would cut the grass again on the airstrip in late January. We fly out to the village for the next workshop on 1 February.
You probably are aware that my updates are feast or famine… I have not written anything to you in three months, but plan to write three updates to you in January. Consider this update the appetizer. The main meal and dessert are to follow! May 2018 find you feasting fabulously on the Word of God. I send you a giant hug for 2018, Beth
*A little more from the mud bog story…
I was sitting on the right wheel hub in the back of the truck. There were only about 12 people in the truck bed, so not too crowded by the standards here. The left side of the truck went down deep into the mud bog, I estimate at least 3.5 feet deep. When I realized I was looking down upon the people seated on the left side of the truck, I knew our angle was too steep…instinctively, I arched my back and threw my arms over my head to provide a counter balance. It was one of those times in life that last only a second, but feel like an eternity. When we came out of the bog without tipping, the other people in the back of the truck starting laughing at me and said, “Oh Betty! You are an outrigger canoe!” (Canoe with a balancing strut.) I hope that is funny in the English language and your culture – in this language and culture, it was hilarious! It also shows what a precarious position in which we found ourselves. Praise God for His protection.
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