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 ❤️

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