In just four months we'll be back in the Portland area for a visit!
After almost two years away, we are all definitely looking forward to it. Exact dates aren't firm yet, but we expect to be there from around June 20-August 20. It will be a busy two months as we plan to visit churches and reconnect with family, friends, and supporters. Melody will go to horse camp, with Tonya as her cabin leader. If funds allow, we'd love to visit Tonya's grandma and other family members in Southern California.
We need a place to stay! If you are aware of anything in the Portland area, please let us know. We don't necessarily have to stay in the same place the whole time (although that would be ideal) so even if you know of something short-term, let us know. We also need a vehicle.
Skatechurch saw a dip in attendance around the holidays, and we were feeling discouraged. Ben and I walked through the neighborhood again, inviting kids. The last 3 weeks we've had a good group of kids coming, which is encouraging. The biggest challenge with this group of kids is that they love Mary and want to pray to her. We want to emphasize Jesus and His love for them and the price He paid for their sins, while being careful not to disparage Mary. Some of the Bible stories are very familiar to them, which is great, but we'd like to help them see that salvation is through Jesus; that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Ben has been a faithful part of the weekly Bible study at the prison in the nearby town of Moca. About a month ago, he approached the prison director about starting an English class, and received a very enthusiastic response. He has taught three classes so far, with around 25 men attending.
Next week I (Tonya) am going to start teaching English to the daughter of a lady from my workout group. I am excited about this opportunity. We are finding that teaching English is definitely an avenue for building relationships and sharing the Gospel.
I also hope to participate in a hospital ministry, visiting sick children and sharing the love of Jesus with them.
The owner of the house we have lived in for a year has decided to sell it. This means we have to move again, which makes us all sad. We have found a new house in the same neighborhood, but unfortunately it doesn't have a yard like this one does. We are really going to miss it.
-For the kids and men we work with to come to know Jesus.
-Decisions for our kids' schooling next year. We are considering either sending them to a private Catholic school here in La Vega, or homeschooling again.
-That all the details of our move will go smoothly.
-A place to stay and a vehicle for our two month visit to Portland. (June 20-August 20.)
Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support!
With love, Ben, Tonya, Jolie, Ivan, Samuel and Melody