Thanksgiving Update

Dear Family and Friends,

With the pace of American life, only a few weeks go by and I start to feel like we’ve had so many wonderful experiences that we could capture and share with all of you! I guess that’s one of the attractions of networks like Facebook, where you can update all your “friends” every week, or day, or hour, on any or every detail of life. (But I don’t really need to know when you brush your teeth, what you had for lunch, and if you are constipated- unless you are a patient of mine of course!) So in that vein, I have some thoughts and pictures and prayer requests to share with you.

These past few months we’ve really enjoyed speaking at a number of churches, mission conferences, Sunday school classes, prayer breakfasts, and medical meetings. We’ve written some articles for our church’s newsletter. We’ve seen how God is using us in the ‘bigger picture’ of what He’s doing here in the States and around the world. We learned more of a new thrust of TIMO teams being raised up to take the Savior’s love to people groups in Tanzania. (See our mission’s website or our blog to learn more about what TIMO is.) I’ve had the privilege of doing a little teaching and encouraging of medical students and residents, and I’ve enjoyed working evenings at the walk-in clinic here in Hershey. You never know who the Lord will bring across your path in the clinic; like the Kenyan family who I spoke Swahili with, or a young Russian guy interested in short term missions, or the African American teenager whose first name in Swahili means Faith.

Thanksgiving was a terrific marathon of a week with a Thanksgiving program at Hershey Christian School, three turkey meals, and time spent with grandparents and great grandparents, and three different sets of aunts, uncles and cousins! It was really a great week! The kids have enjoyed: playgrounds, Math Blaster, birthday parties, church choir, youth group, all the toys in Mimi and PopPop’s basement, jumping in the leaves, time with cousins, various excursions with their grandmothers ShoSho and Mimi, chocolate, fast food, most everything about school, and playing in the snow.

We’ve kept in touch directly and indirectly with our Tanzanian friends and colleagues in Magambua. As with most seasons, there are things to be thankful for, and challenges to pray for. I was able to find the community medicine handbook called “Where There is No Doctor” in Swahili, and get 30 copies out to Magambua for our Community Health Workers to begin to use. There have been some recent tensions among the local church leadership in Usandawe that needs prayer, repentance, forgiveness, and restitution. Our SIL neighbors, who are translating the Scriptures, have gotten caught up in some tensions as well with church leadership, pray for understanding and reconciliation. Since the rains were inadequate earlier this year, we anticipate some degree of hunger to affect Usandawe. Pray with us as we, together with other mission organizations, try to assess and respond to the need for famine relief over the next few months.

We’re also putting in a request for a teacher to come and help Melissa homeschool in Magambua for 2 years. With Josh’s extra reading needs, and the challenge of homeschooling in a remote setting, we’re praying for some extra help! – Jon