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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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