Dear Family and Friends,
The end of November was a significant time for us in many ways. The churches distributed that first shipment of famine relief food, and on the whole things went smoothly. The villages of Kwa Mtoro, Gumbu, Motto, Magambua, Ilase, Manantu, and Wairo were targeted and in total there were 145 very poor people who received food free, and then another 262 families who were able to buy the maize at a reduced price. The money generated will be used to buy more maize. Thank you so much for your generous giving! We had a meeting last night with the church leaders to discuss the distribution, what went well, what needs to be improved. The vast majority of villagers were very thankful and appreciative. The evangelist from Motto said that the distribution there sparked a discussion in that village as to why this small protestant church brought food to the village, but other religious groups hadn’t! There is still some small amount of food at each distribution center to help the very desperate who may have been missed on the first list. We hope to bring another shipment perhaps before Christmas or right after, depending on how the funding looks.
Thank you for praying for our Kenya trip. Rachel passed her dorm stay, and RVA has officially responded that they will accept her as a student starting January next year. We told Rachel that she was allowed to go to RVA like her brothers, and she got very excited. We do sense a real peace about it, though of course it is always hard seeing kids go off to boarding school, especially now as we contemplate the last one going! But this is the door the Lord has opened and we’re confident it’s the best for Rachel and our situation right now. Because of the make up of the dorm (mostly older girls this year), they are hoping to find a station family that will host her for the next six and a half months, then the following school year she’ll enter a dorm. Those details are still be sorted out. We’re grateful to RVA for their willingness to in a sense ‘bend over backwards’ and take Rachel mid-year.
In the meantime, we’re cherishing the time together as family this December as both boys are now home in Magambua on their December vacation and we are five again around the table! Uno, Sorry, Ticket to Ride, and other games have gotten more fun now! We had a great belated Thanksgiving Saturday with our missionary neighbors, the Hunzikers and Margaret, and now the Christmas decorations and music are out and being dusted off!
We’ll try and send some more pictures in a little bit, but for now, here are some from the food distribution in Magambua helping some of the villagers from Ilase and Manantu.
Blessings in Christ, our greatest gift,
Jon for all of us