The time has come

Dear friends,

It is with great excitement that we share with you our plans to start the Bible teaching next week! It has been such a long journey to get here, and our hearts are filled with excitement and apprehension as we embark on this important task before us.


As you know, it has long been a question in our minds as to whether we should teach once in a big group or rather teach several times at peoples homes. We decided to rather have a more personal, intimate meeting at peoples homes. The reason for deciding this is because we can better keep account of who is attending regularly, people will be more free to ask questions, and will feel more inclined to attend when their absence is noticed.

We decided to do a small survey to see what interest there was in attending and who would open their homes to us for teaching. We has an overwhelmingly positive response with 100% of people we asked wanting to attend, and all 8 homes agreeing to have us teach there. So this means we will be teaching in 8 different locations 9 times a week. Please be praying for Phil especially as he will be teaching many people without any days off for the foreseeable future.

Logistics

Teaching at people’s homes has some challenges. Houses are small, so teaching needs to take place outside. There is no lighting outside and most homes just have one light bulb outside. We will need chairs for all who attend, a speaker and microphone, water and plastic cups (it is hot and people will be with us for 2 to 3 hours), a snack for each person as is customary in a gathering here, a seperate area to teach the kids and kids teaching resources. With is teaching outside we are dependent on good weather. Would you please pray with us that the Lord will keep the weather during the teaching times?

As we do not have the finances for plastic chairs, Phil has been making bamboo benches for some of the areas. They can be quite uncomfortable to sit on for several hours, so we still hope to be able to purchase the chairs instead. Please pray with us for the Lord to supply according to His will.

Children’s program

To keep the kids entertained and to teach them the truth’s of God’s word, we will be doing a children’s program. Please pray for Vina as she puts the program together and teaches the kids. We have a puppet show that Angelique and Boeta will help with. We carved the puppets out of an old foam cushion and used old clothes to dress them. They will do a short show at the beginning of every lesson, and then we will teach from the Chronological teaching for kids. Please pray that the kids will come to a saving knowledge of Him.

Families

We are so thankful to the 8 families that have opened their homes to us. Please pray for them specifically. Pray that they would not experience persecution from others who may not like what we say. Pray also that the Lord will keep them from the attacks of the enemy and above all please pray for their salvation.

Their names are:
1. Erwin and his family
2. Jagmis family
3. Kuya Bong, Ate Emily and family
4. Evio family
5. Mary Sumundong and family
6. Alvarez family
7. Mrs Abela and family
8. The people of Villa Fria

Thank you for standing with us in prayer! We look forward to updating you soon with news of the teaching.

With love, and thankfulness,
The le Rouxs

“Weather” to start or wait

Dear friends,

This has been a whirlwind two months for our family. Since Val received her US visa, things have progressed really quickly on the home front. Just two weeks ago I had the very difficult task of saying goodbye to her and leaving her behind in the US while I returned to the rest of the family in the Philippines.

While this is a very difficult time for our family having to be apart, we are so thankful to the Lord for this wonderful opportunity He has given Valerie-Anne. She is adjusting to life in the US and working very hard. We miss her terribly but we are excited to see her grow and follow the path the Lord has for her. Please keep her in your prayers as the Lord brings her to mind.

Challenges:

We are so ready to teach and excited to finally begin! But as excited as we are, we want to be sure to do things the best way we can. Our desire is to be effective in this process and faithful to do the work the Lord has given us well. There have been some challenges that have delayed the start of our teaching.

Weather:

It is rainy season at the moment. We are very grateful for the extra water and cooler temperatures. However, we have had so many storms (sometimes daily), that any type of teaching would be a challenge. Not only would teaching a big group outside be impossible, but people are not likely to travel to the indoor lessons if it is wet and windy. The people here do not have warm clothes and hot showers and tend to get sick easily during this season. So they try to limit time exposed to the rainy weather if it can be helped.

Key people:

Some of the key people that we have relationships with on the island are away at the moment for various reasons. We would really love them to be part of the teaching, and starting without them is a difficult decision to make.

Visa requirements:

As part of the Philippines visa requirements for us on missionary visas, we need to leave the country by October 17th. We praise the Lord that they have not required us to return to our point of origin (South Africa), but just require that we leave the country and then return on tourist visas and begin the whole missionary visa process from scratch again. Unfortunately we have no option when it comes to the timing as our current visa expires on that date. So that means we would have a break in the teaching while we leave the country if we started teaching now. This is less than ideal as continuity is very important.

So..

after prayerful consideration we have decided to delay teaching until we return from our trip out of the country. We feel that is the best solution to the challenges we are facing at the moment.

At the moment..

We are continuing with translation at the moment and are delighted at how much faster the lesson translations is going. We should not be far from complete when we leave for our trip out of the country. 50 lessons are complete already!

We continue to be involved in the peoples lives through medical help, attending funtions, assisting where we can with the schools and sports teams, and generally just doing life together.

We praise God for the close knit community that has welcomed us in as part of them.

Decisions made:

In previous newsletters I mentioned that we were trying to decide wether to teach in a big group (focusing on quantity) or rather to teach in smaller family groups (focus on quality). After prayerful consideration we are leaning towards rather teaching several times in smaller family groups. This way it would encourage more faithful attendance, people will be more comfortable to ask questions, we would be able to assess how the teaching is being perceived better, and most of the travelling will be done by us not them.

Please pray as we decide which families to start with and as we plan a teaching schedule. Pray for wisdom and endurance as we go the final stretch before we begin. Please pray for the Lord to begin a work in their hearts before the teaching begins.

With thanks

We could not be here if not for your faithful prayers and support. Thank you for being a part of the Lords work on Agutaya. Be assured of our prayers for you and of how we praise the Lord for you.

May the Lord bless you abundanly as you seek to serve Him,

The le Rouxs

Big Things

Dear friends,

I have procratinated writing this newsletter for far too long. Somehow I couldn’t get myself to pen yet another newsletter that felt the same as all the others… language translation ongoing, home-schooling ongoing, Val’s college plans in the waiting… But today I can finally say that big things are on the horizon!

Chronological teaching

After months of tirelessly working through the lessons we have finally reached lesson 40 (our goal to start teaching)! We reached this goal a few weeks ago, but decided to wait for the schools to begin their new year after summer break (as many leave the island for long periods of time). School will start soon and we are making plans to begin teaching.

We need your help! Although you cannot be here with us, we covet your prayers over this time. The enemy wants to ensure that none are reached for God, and will try to deter us as far as possible. Please pray for our family. Please pray for Phil especially. Pray for many people to attend the teachings faithfully and for their hearts to be receptive to the truth. Pray for wisdom in presenting the lessons to the people clearly. Pray for many to come to know Him as Lord and Saviour.

Leaving the nest

Thank you so much to everyone who have been praying about this. It really is bittersweet for us. We hate to see Val go, and yet we are excited for all that lies ahead for her. Since Val was 9 years old she dreamed of being able to go to Bible school, and this year that dream will come true! The past few weeks have been a tense but exciting time seeing the Lord at work. This is a long story so just scroll down if you would rather not know the details 😊.

For Val to apply for a student visa she needed a SEVIS form sent to her by the college. It took two months to arrive. When we left for Manila we knew it was our one and only chance to apply as we couldn’t afford to fly out again. The SEVIS form still had not arrived and the visa appointment dates were filling up fast. To cut a long story short, the form arrived just in time and we were able to book the last slot available in the week we could go! On the day of the visa appointment Val lost her visa photo somewhere and thankfully a kind gentlemen in the visa offices allowed her to go out and get photos taken (usually you have to book another apointment!). The photo we took was on the side of a busy, dingy, smelly road in Manila. It was the most ridiculous photo of her. They photoshopped the photo to the extent that it doesnt look like Val. They cut off a piece of her ear, straightened her hair and put other clothes on her (don’t as me why). It would have been funny had I not been so stressed. But despite all this, they accepted the photo at the visa offices and even allowed her to skip the queue inside.

All this to find out after her appointment interview that we were supposed to pay a SEVIS fee of $200 before the visa would be granted. When Val came out of the building sad and dejected my heart sank. I thought her visa was declined, but instead they only required the SEVIS payment. I was momentarily sad knowing that we wouod have to return another day all the while knowing that our days were running out. I quickly decided to be brave and try do the payment on the side of the road on my phone. I know that for most people that would have been easy, but for me it was awfully stressful. Phil does all the banking, finances and online things. Added to that was the fact that it was $200 we did not plan on and I was afraid that it would not go through on the credit card. Also, the street is full of beggars and chaos and they were tugging on me asking for money while I was trying to do the transaction. Thankfully by the grace of God it went through. Then I needed to print the proof of payment. Off we went into the rough, dirty streets to find a photocopy place. It took us at least 15 minutes to walk there and after they printed it for me they insisted I pay P400 for 1 photocopy (That is R133 or $7.48)! Needless to say I was livid. What daylight robbery! After telling them they should be ashamed and that they were stealing the Lord’s money (I know… I was stressed 😩) I reluctantly paid and we made our way back to the visa offices.

The Lord really went ahead of us because the security guard at the gate who we had struck up a conversation with earlier and was delighted that we could speak Tagalog, noticed us and rushed Val through the crowd. All Glory to God that she was granted a two year student visa without them even looking at our financial records. God is good! Later that day Phil returned from doing a dedication for one of his friends. He received a gift from them and when we opened it we saw it was…. $200! He knew our need long before we did ❤

This is a real leap of faith for our family. We are trusting the Lord for the finances for her flight, her fees and food while she is there. Already the Lord has provided a jacket for her and someone generously gave some money towards a flight for me to accompany her. We also just found out a good friend of ours gave financially towards her studies (thank you L) Many of you know how long I have been praying about that and what an amazing answer to prayer that it! We are trusting the Lord for the rest. Will you join us in praying for provision, for our family as we say hard goodbyes and mostly in praying for Val? Thank you!

Island things

What a wonderful time we had distributing the many clothing donations we received from our friends in Manila! We were able to give to 141 families (a total 1500 people!). Seeing the joy in their faces is priceless. Pray with us that they will see the love of Christ through such acts as these.

The school room is done and ready to be used in the news school year! We are so thankful for each one who helped with this project. We cannot wait to see it being used for many generations to come, and also as a place where we can bring them the Good News!

Manila Bible Study Group

The above photo was taken at an event called “Freedom”, put together by Domini (one of the men in Phil’s Manila BS group). It was a wonderful afternoon of preaching and singing in honor of the Lord. We are so proud of these men and how they are growing in the Lord! This picture is with only a few who we were seated near, but there are many others who have blessed our hearts with their love for the Lord.

We are planning on having a baptism in October before our family needs to leave the Philippines for a few days (visa requirement).

Please keep these brothers and sisters in Christ in your prayers!

Missions Conference

Our NTM Missions Conference took place this past month. Our kids had so much fun! While we spent many hours in meetings, they were entertained by a team from Alaska who came to do the children’s programme. Val attended most meetings with us and helped look after the little ones too.

I had the privilege of helping to prepare the table decor for the ladies lunch, and also being part of a panel of ladies that shared our experiences on the mission field with fellow missionary ladies.

Over the past few years many missionaries have left the field, leaving lots of works without people. Our Palawan field especially has taken a knock. In the past two years we have lost 3 missionary families, all of them church planters.

This photo above is what is left of our Palawan field. Two couples (including us) are in the tribe doing church planting. The couple in front are doing language study and are with another mission not ours. One other single lady is working in the tribe alongside Filipino church planters. Others are in support ministries. The couple in the middle, Lynn (with the red top) and Rich (with the stripped top) are our supply buyers and valuable partners to us. There are still so many lost in our region. Please join us in ferverently praying for the Lord to send labourers.

Thank you

I cannot express enough how thankful we are for all of you. Your prayers and support and love are daily gifts from the Lord.

We pray for you all too, and would love to hear from you. Hearing your news makes us feel less isolated, and helps us pray for you better.

We love and miss you!

Vina for all of us

Promises

More than 20 years ago NTM leadership discovered a people group in the Philippines living in and functioning alone in a isolated area. Except for a few who lived amongst them, they spoke their own dialect. It was then that a desire to share the truth of the gospel with this group in their own language was born. But the laborers were few and there were none to send to tell these people the Good News. At that time Wycliffe were working in various locations in the Philippines and NTM asked them to begin translating the New Testament so that when the missionaries came they would have it already. Wycliffe agreed, being assured that NTM would send missionaries as soon as they could.

Thanks to a few faithful Wycliff missionaries, the translation was started. It took 14 years to bring it to completion and several years ago it was printed and available for this people group. But still there were no missionaries to teach. The area was very isolated and so some missionaries were told it was too unsafe, not reachable with a single engine plane etc. and as time went on, the truth of the gospel was still not taught.

Soon Wycliffe even produced a dictionary in the peoples heart language, but still no missionaries were available to be sent. It was at this time that a little NTM family were looking for a work where they could plant a church. They had worked amongst a small pocket of people in another area helping other missionaries in a church plant. Their desire was to teach Gods word to the same language group and so they began surveying to find the origin of these people. It was then that they came across this people group. The original language group!

But soon they discovered that others before them had been denied to work there. Would they be told, no? They had 3 young children and so they wondered if this would be a reason why they too would be denied. Also, their partner was a single lady, not a family like the previous missionaries. But they requested to start the work there anyway. It took a few weeks before they were told the answer. NTM aviation had to first agree to fly that route with a single engine plane, even though they knew it meant flying over open water with no landing place for several stretches. But they agreed! Much to their delight this family was told yes!

They began to make plans to relocate to the area and build a family home. There were many challenges along the way. Almost being shipwrecked on the seas, living through typhoon Yolanda when it came through the island, having their ministry partner leave the work, learning the difficult language that was spoken on the island and translating the Creation to Christ lessons into the language. It took four years, but they persevered.

More than 20 years after this dream was born the time has finally arrived. This year the darkness that has been over this people group will be lifted, because this year the truth of the Gospel will finally be taught!

We cannot express how thankful our little family is to finally be able to bring the Good News to the Agutaynen people! We are privileged to be used by our Heavenly Father in reaching these people that He loves and who we have come to love too.

Many of you have been valuable partners in reaching the Agutaynens. Whether as a wycliff translator pouring your life out into translation, a pilot agreeing to fly to the island, a faithful giver keeping our family fed and clothed or a friend on their knees lifting us in prayer – you are part of God’s work on Agutaya. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you!

Will you continue to stand by us as we begin the teaching?

Please pray for our family. Pray that we will remain unmoveable in our persuit of reaching the people with truth. Please pray that the truth of the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of the people here. Pray that they will cling to truth and stand against years of lies that they have been told. Pray that we will remain bold for Him no matter what may come. Pray for many to be added to God’s children so that together we may celebrate another brother coming home!

With love,

A little NTM family

2017

Sometimes I wish I could get a glimpse into the thoughts of God. I wish I could see why He allows delays, and obstacles. I wish that we could see the finished picture the way He sees it. But God never allowed a lowly shepherd boy to see that he one day would be King. He never showed a young Jewish woman that He would use her to save a nation. He never told a prostitute that she would be in the blood line of the redeemer. Instead God wants us to follow Him by faith, daily trusting Him in obedience. 2017 was a year of following in obedience. A year of working on a timeline that is not ours. Of making plans only to have to change them almost daily. Of working tirelessly towards a goal that is just outside of our grasp. And it is getting closer every day!

Looking back we can see how much God has done in a year, and we are so thankful! His plans are good and His timing perfect.

In 2017:

Phil was cleared to teach after reaching proficiency in the Agutaynen language

After many months of language study and cultural exposure Phil was cleared to teach! What a high light for 2017! We are so thankful for Gods enabling, knowing that it could have taken many more years as it did for others learning the Agutaynen language. All the Glory to our gracious Lord!

Valerie-Anne passed her SATs and graduated from high school

I can hardly believe that ten years of home-schooling have come to a close for our sweet Valerie-Anne. Home-schooling was one of my biggest fears, but God has taken my fear and turned it into a blessing. We praise God for guiding her through all the years of school, and for faithfully bringing her through her SATs. Her exceptional grades are a testimony of His help and leading. We are beyond thankful!

Phil began translation of the “Creation to Christ” lessons so we can soon begin teaching

This is one of the milestones that every NTM missionary looks forward to. Finally the truth of scripture will be translated into chronological lessons teaching Gods Word correctly for the first time in their heart language. It is a much bigger and time consuming task than we thought. We need to make sure to correctly explain biblical concepts and truth in a way that penetrates through their world view, and is perceived as God intended. This is work that we cannot do alone, and rely on language helpers to work through the lessons with us. This is continuous struggle for us, as there have been many delays because of them not being able to help. We are patiently trusting the Lord for His perfect timing.

The Manila Bible-study group

We continue to be blessed with the growth in the lives of the members of this small group of faithful brothers and sisters. This year Juan joined the group and has grown in leaps and bounds! Lord willing we will soon be baptising 3 members of the group! This year the group has arranged big Christian conferences where 500 were in attendance, medical outreaches and took part in a childrens ministry. God has truly blessed us to be a part of what He is doing in this group. Recently one of the members, Dom came to visit us on the island. It was so encouraging to see His growth in the Lord, and His desire to serve. We are blessed!

Medical help

Every year we help with medical issues as far as we can, and 2017 was no exception. There are too many cases to mention each seperately, but from burn victims, to UTIs, tooth extractions to dengue treatment, the Lord has provided for us to help many. We have seen many die last year too and our hearts are burdened for lost souls, but we praise God for those who we can help. We decided long ago to never turn anyone with a real need away but to trust God to provide. He has not dissapointed us. We praise God for His provision!

The school building

Soon a little school in Villa Fria will have the addition of a classroom so that they will no longer need to share with two grades. We are in awe at Gods provision through brothers and sisters back home. This project benefits so many, and we are provileged to be in the fronline seeing it come up before our eyes.

The landing strip

I wish we could count this as one of the completed projects for 2017, but unfortunately work on the landing strip is at a stand still for the rest of the rainy season. Plans are to continue work next year and hopefully finish the strip in the first half of 2018.

For each one of you that has faithfully stood by us through the last year, we thank you! God has blessed us in so many ways, one if which is you. We are so excited for what 2018 will bring!

With love ❤️

A Thankful Heart

November is the month that many choose to focus on gratitude. Many of my facebook friends have been posting daily the things they are thankful for, and others are planning big “thanksgiving” get-togethers. I may not be doing these things, but one thing is for sure: we have a lot to be thankful for!

My heart has really been challenged lately about being truly thankful through every circumstance. While reading “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom with the kids one night, we read how Corrie and her sister Betsie thanked God for the fleas that covered their beds and everything around them in the concentration camp in Nazi Germany. It seemed ludicrous to do such a thing, but both sisters were determined to be thankful for EVERYTHING. Later the sisters learned that the reason they never had guards in their rooms; and therefore were able to openly spread the Gospel; was because of the very fleas they has thanked God for! If we truly believe that everything God allows is for our best and for His glory, then we should be able to praise Him and be truly thankful for EVERYTHING.

My prayer is that God will cultivate in me a truly thankful heart. One that can praise Him for everything in my life, and be grateful ALWAYS.

The school building

This month we started the building of the school room in the little primary school. It has been such a joy to see it coming together after months of preparation. I cannot tell you how very excited the parents and teachers are to have the additional room for their children. The parents even came together voluntarily to move the little nipa room that they use as a kitchen out of the way for the build.

It has been exciting to see the building rising up from the ground so quickly. The photo above is from a week ago, and already the wall are complete today. We are so thankful for the donations we received already for this project. We do not have the complete funds needed, but will continue building as the Lord provides. Soon some of the children will not need to share their classroom with 2 grades but can have their own classroom! But even more importantly, how exciting it is to think that this room will soon house people who will come to listen to Gods Word taught correctly for the first time!

Lesson preperation progress

Phil has spent many hours in his office translating lessons, putting pratical, culturally appropriate examples in, checking lessons according to Tagalog and English, and checking for understanding in Agutaynen. We are excited at the progress being made even though there have been many delays and interruptions. It is so important that we correctly teach Gods Word and we want to be 100% sure to take time to do the neccessary checks in line with that. Please continue to pray for Phil as he continues with this important work.

Friends

Life on the island continues to be blessed. We are so thankful for the friendships the Lord has allowed us build. This past month we attended birthday parties for some of our elderly friends. Please pray with us for these dear ones to stay in good health so they may hear Gods Truth in the near future. These functions are always enjoyable to attend (now that we know what to expect 😊), and often include lots of reason to laugh. At a recent birthday we were seated under a beautiful tree. This was wonderful while the sun shone, but in the evening it became risky business. As the bats came to settle in for the night they proceded to dump huge fist size seeds from the tops of the trees. Angelique was unlucky enough to have one land on her head!

Our children

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One of the greatest reasons I have to be thankful for are our children. They are such a delight and I am often humbled when I see the how the Lord is working in and through them. This will be Valerie-Anne's last birthday and Christmas with us before she heads off to college. Im holding on to every minute I get to spend with her. Won't you please pray with us for the Lords provision for her? We are waiting on Him for His leading and provision before she can made definitive plans. Angie and Boeta are growing like weeds. They will soon complete grade 10. (Where has the time gone???!!). Please pray for them as they seek to serve the Lord here on Agutaya.

Grateful<
Amongst the things that we are really thankful for is YOU! You are such a vital part of God's work here on Agutaya. We could not do this without YOU, our faithful partners. Thank you for the part you play in reaching the Agutaynen people. We praise God for you!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

The le Rouxs

1 step forward, 2 steps back


It has been a while since we last sent out a newsletter. For the last 8 weeks we have really been struggling with our internet. It is non-existent most times, and painfully slow if it is available. This means that we struggle to download emails, do our banking, our newsletters and download our Sunday sermons. Despite logging various complaints, nothing has helped. Its frustrating to say the least. And it seems it may stay this way for the forseable future. It really had me examine myself about being content. Asking myself whether my contentment hinges on my circumstances or in my position in Christ. True contentment stems from a deep relationship with the Lord, one the is unaffected by our circumstances. It made me see how I needed to shift my focus on more eternal things. Which was a good training ground for other frustrations that were on the way..

Language helpers

Having dependable helpers for lesson translation is really important. We can only go as fast as we would like if they are faithful in coming everyday to help. The last few weeks have been challenging in that our main language helper has been unwell and has gone to the city for medical treatment. She has been gone for 4 weeks now. The other language helper, although keen, is really busy most days and cannot help as much as we would like. The third helper is really a big help, and she is very keen and involved, but because she is a barangay captain she has days she cannot help because of those commitments. Progress has not been as fast as we would like because of this. Phil can work ahead on his own to a certain extent, but lessons must actually be done with the helpers present. Our hearts are burdened to begin teaching, but we seem to be constantly held back by delays. Please pray with us for peace in our current situation and that the work will progress in God’s perfect timing. Please also pray for the Word to take root in the language helpers hearts.


The landing strip

For the longest time the landing strip has been plagued with delays too. First the work stopped and the reason given was that they would not continue until a consensus was reached amongst the landowners. So we sat down in negotiations and had them all agree to a set amount. When work did not resume the reason given was the fuel for the heavy equipment had run out and we needed to wait for fuel from Cuyo. Then after many enquiries we were told the machine operators were in Puerto and needed to come back to work the machinery. Next we were told they could not work because of rainy season and the muddy conditions on the strip. The last reason we were given is that a barge was on the way with supplies to build a hangar on the strip and with seeds for grass on the landing strip. However, much to our dismay, when the barge arrived on Sunday, they came to collect all the heavy equipment and had none of the promised supplies. Now we are being told they will return the equipment after the rainy season. We are not sure what to believe anymore. Please pray with us for the finalisation of this project and for God to be glorified through it all. 

College application:

After much prayer and research Valerie-Anne has decided to apply to the New Tribes Mission Bible Institute (now known as the Ethnos 360 Bible Institute) in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. She hopes to begin in August 2018. The Bible course is a two year course in which every book of the Bible will be studied as well as various other subjects. The Bible course itself is free, but we will be required to pay for her room and board. Before getting her letter of acceptance we need to provide proof of the first year of funds (a visa requirement). Having been on just over 30% of the recommended support level given by NTM since the beginning of our missionary journey we have always had to look to the Lord for His provision. This is no exception 😊. We are trusting in Him for all He has for Val. Please pray with us for the Lords provision as He sees fit. 

When days are long and challenges many, it is then that we need to be reminded of where our hope lies. We are thankful for joy that is ours despite changing circumstances. We are choosing to focus on the victories that are already ours. Today we praise God for the work He has already done and continues to do. We delight ourselves in the knowledge that despite delays we WILL get to the point where there Agutaynens will hear truth in his perfect timing. We rest in His Grace for today.

Thank you for continuing to pray for and support our family. You remain one of greatest blessings!

With love,

The le Roux’s

Recharged

The past few weeks have been a wonderful time of rest, relaxation, fellowship and fun. What a blessing to see our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ in Manila, and have friends from South Africa come and visit us and enjoy showing them around our home on Agutaya too. Time flew by so quickly but we are recharged and ready to continue our work here on the island. 


Bible Study Group

Things are going well with the Bible Study group in Manila. Our hearts are encouraged to see faithful men continuing to serve the Lord faithfully. While in the city we had an opportunity to get involved in a childrens ministry. What a wonderful time to see these men putting their faith in action! Please continue to pray for the group to grow and for them to continue to serve the Lord boldly.


Visa update:

While in Manila we were able to get Angelique’s visa updated. This is required once a child turns 14. We were also able to enquire about our visa renewal next year. It seems things are more complicated than we thought. 

The visa needs to be downgraded 2 months before it expires. That will be in August next year for us. Then they will decide whether we need to return to our home country or can just leave the country for a short while. They will only inform us of that decision a month after the visa is downgraded, which only gives a month before the time to plan to leave the country before our visa expires. 

This is really not ideal as getting international flights a month before the time will no doubt be expensive and stressful. Please pray with us that the Lords will be done and that we will have peace in the situation.

Valerie-Anne

Now that Val has completed her high school education we have been looking at various options for her future. She really desires to do a Bible Study course. We have been doing research and hope to decide soon where she will go. She will start her course in August 2018. Please pray with us that the Lord will guide us as we make the decision. Please also pray for His provision for all that she needs. Thank you!


Lesson preparation:

While in Manila we were able to get our lesson pictures printed. It so wonderful to finally at the point where we get to do this. There are more than 100 pictures depicting images from creation to resurrection that we will use during the teaching. We had them printed on vinyl so that they will last and can be reused and left hanging up for long periods. 

Phil is back to the grindstone translating lessons. Please continue to pray for him. Pray that he will be able to complete the lessons quickly and well. Please also pray for his helpers to be faithful in coming to help him. And of course, please pray that their hearts will be changed when they hear the truth. 

Prayer:

The time is getting closer when we will start teaching. Will you commit to praying earnestly for the souls on Agutaya? Would you purpose to pray once a day that many would come to know Him here? Or even once a week? We need your prayers. Please pray as the Lord bring us to mind that we would stand strong and that His will be done through us. Thank you!

Thank you for standing alongside us!

With love,

The le Roux’s

Unexpected news

Sometimes when my heart is overwhelmed I like to sit out on our porch and look across the ocean. I listen to the sounds of the waves and let the calmness wash over me. I like the order of things. The way the tide comes in and recedes just as it should. The way the water never fails to do what it should..to reach the sand. I find peace in the orderly, the expected, the typical. Somehow seeing how everything comes together to form this perfect picture calms me. 

It seems so often we are living life with the unexpected, the uncertain. We wait for what we hope will happen, all the while knowing that it might not. We make our plans and wait for the Lord to direct our paths. Its a good place to be because it puts us in a position of dependence. A place where trusting Him is all we can do. I know this to be true from so many past experiences. Then why does my heart struggle with the uncertain? 

This year is a big year for our family. Phil reaching efficiency in the Agutaynen language. Valerie-Anne’s SAT exam and high school graduation and hopefully the completion of the landing strip and the teaching lessons. So many milestones, but none guaranteed. The control freak in me wants certainty. To mark the completed boxes and know exactly what will happen next. My heart is always inclined to worry. What if she doesn’t pass? What if we don’t have the funds for college, what if no one gets saved? But, the only one who knows our future is Him who holds all our days. His plan is perfect. His timing: without error. His motive: His glory and my good. Even in the uncertain and the storms of life this remains truth. 


When my heart is overwhelmed I need to focus on what IS certain. That He cares about the little details. That nothing will escape His attention. That He has put a plan in motion long before me. A plan that will reach perfect completion. He knows my anxieties and will answer my prayers even before I utter a word. Not always with a yes, but sometimes with a perfect no. It is in these things that I find peace amidst the uncertainty.

Visa situation:

As I mentioned in a previous post, this year marks the 10th year our family has served the Lord in the Philippines. Immigration law says that after the 10th year, you are required to leave the country and return on a tourist visa. You then begin the whole process for a new missionary visa from the start again. 

We were aware of this and planned to go to a cheap destination in Asia and return after a few days. But, we were made aware last week that we need to be gone for a month and must arrive from “the point of origin”. Meaning from South Africa. This has been shocking, to say the least. None of this was part of the plan and many things will have to fall in place for this to be possible. But it is immigration law and so we have no choice. 

Next year is also the year Valerie-Anne will leave for college and that means that we will have the added expense of a trip to South Africa and her travels to college and all that that entails. It seems impossible. There is no way we can do this on our own. Only He can make this all work. 

Will you please pray for us as we try work through the various possibilities and make plans accordingly? Please pray for wisdom from the Lord and His provision for all of these needs. 

SAT results:

Much to our delight, Valerie-Anne did really well in her SAT test! Her results will be sufficient to apply at the various colleges and universities we have in mind. She has a few more weeks of school and then she will graduate! Thank you to all of you who prayed for her. It has long been her hope to first do a solid Bible College course, which she hopes to start next year and then move on to further her studies. She is not sure exactly what field, but is leaning strongly towards education. 

Please pray for us as we apply to various colleges /universities next month. Pray that God will guide us according to His will.

Teaching lessons:

What do you do when there is no word in the language for Trinity? Do you use the national language word, or rather explain the concept only and not give it a name? What about explaining , “in the beginning God created the earth”, to a culture that has no word for “beginning”? There is no word for Creation either, so every mention of “Creation” needs to detail every part of His creation (earth, stars, animals etc. ).

These are some of the challenges Phil is facing while translating the Creation to Christ lessons. Things that seem simple to us who have been speaking “Christianese” are completely foreign here and need detailed explanation. Most of the Scripture he use in the NT is foreign in the language and does not have any direct words to use. Therefore he ends up with more of an explanation that a translations. Here is a small example:

John 16:8
“And He when He comes will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”

Agutaynen no word for convict as it is not part of their culture. The word concerning as a link is not in their language either. No direct word for righteousness or judgment. So when the translation is done it ends up being more of an explanation and is much longer than the english vesre. Here it is in agutaynen:

John 16:8
“Mga komabot Tanandia, ipaita Naong ga taw ang kalibotan ang na nga mali tang aggisipen nira natetenged ong onopay enged tang kasalanan ig mga sinopay mato-lid ig mag monopay tang pagorosgaren tang Dios.

Please continue to pray for Phil and those involved in helping him to have godly wisdom as they seek to remain true to Gods Word. Please also continue to pray for hearts that will be receptive to truth. Thank you!

Good neighbours:


We have mentioned several times how God has blessed us with wonderful neighbours. This was even more evident when we shared a meal with all of them earlier this month. Their delight in a simple gathering challenges my heart about thankfulness. Their willingness to get up early and slaughter the animals and prepare the meal encourages me to serve. I am learning so much through them, and all of this is before they know our Lord. I long for the day that they will know Him! Its closer than ever now!

Prayers:

Please continue to keep us in prayer. We are closer than ever to bringing the gospel to Agutaya. Pray that the evil one will not hinder us but that we will stand strong in Him. 

With love and appreciation for you, our partners in the Gospel,

The le Rouxs

We need a building….

Size of the classroom we will build
All the teachers and the principle
The classroom they are currently using we want to replace with more stable structure

As most of you know by now, we are currently in the process with a building project at one of the elementary schools on our island. Once we start teaching in that area we will need a place to do the creation to Christ teachings. The elementary school in that are approached us and asked for help in a building. The have to many children for the amount of classrooms they have.

We initially thought of a two room but it will be to expensive. Expenses are always higher on the island as it cost a lot of money to get the materials to the island. Therefore we started with a budget of around R500 000 or $40 000 but quickly reduced it to a one classroom with a budget or approximately R300 000 or $24 000.

We will start making the blocks in August and once that is complete building will start. We will keep you updated. We already received one generous amount of R60 000 towards the project and that will get it going. We will continue the project as we receive funds.

We will start a second project Lord willing next year with the other elementary school in another area on our island where we will also need a teaching room and therefore use the school room at the other school. This school however already have a half built building which we just have to complete for them. We have not yet discussed this more in detail but will soon after starting the first project.

Should you want to get involved in this project by either funding or even come and help to build (we can discuss this if any are interested), please get in touch with Peter Thomas kpbc@global.co.za or peter.thomas.bbc@gmail.com.

Thank you again for each and every one of you that are in which ever way part of this ministry in seeing the Agutaynens receive the true gospel.

Philip

Inside of the school room
The classroom they are currently using we want to replace with more stable structure