Hello friends… we have just returned from a missions conference with our Africa Inland Mission colleagues in Ramena, a beach town at the northern tip of Madagascar. We saw old friends and met new ones, and the kids had a blast with the 30 or so other missionary kids that were there; the kids outnumbered the adults!
In the midst of all the fun and excitement, we received news from Tennessee that Rebe’s grandmother was soon to pass away. Although not unexpected (she was 91) the news hit Rebe hard. Rebe was very close to Sarah, her grandma; she was one of those people that truly reflected the light of Christ. Rebe was able to spend many great moments with Sarah this past year while we were in the states.
After prayer and discussion, we decided that Rebe should return to the states to be with her family and say good-bye to Sarah; she left Madagascar on Friday and arrived in Nashville Sunday afternoon. Getting her there that quickly was a miracle as she had 3 separate bookings, 5 flights in total, and had to make a few quick connections, which is not always easy in Africa!Sadly, she was not able to make it back before her grandma passed, but she will be able to attend the funeral on Tuesday.
The kids and I are now back in our house in Ambatozavavy, and Keely and I are slowly recovering from a cold/flu that we caught at the conference. It will not be easy to be without Rebe for 3 weeks (2 weeks in Tennessee and then she will attend a previously scheduled conference in Uganda). For those of you that pray for our family, here are some specific prayer requests:
- That God would be glorified in everything that is going on with our family right now – the separation, travel, and loss. Pray that we would look for strength in Him and not try and do everything by ourselves.
- For Rebe and the rest of the family as we grieve the loss of Sarah, and celebrate her victory over death through her faith in Jesus
- For traveling mercies for Rebe in Tennessee, Uganda, Kenya, and Madagascar; she returns to Nosy Be, Lord willing, on the 19th of November.
- For the kids and I as we hold down the fort for awhile without Rebe; that we would find a balance between homeschooling, ministry, and playtime; that we would be patient with each other; and that we would recover from sickness soon.
- For me as I lead the kids and continue with ministry here in the village; the studio is nearing completion and I am working on a curriculum for Bible training for Herdiny and Ladys.
- For our finances as this trip has stretched our budget so soon after arriving in Madagascar and setting up our new house