Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Merry Christmas dear friends!
We want to wish you all a blessed Christmas celebration with as much family as possible this year, and a 2019 filled with the purposes of our Lord to work in and through you! We trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration a few weeks back and are now enjoying a fresh experience of advent counting down to our Lord’s first coming.
We can’t believe it’s that time of the year again, a time to reflect on the year and what God has ahead for us. Quite different from last Christmas where we were so involved with Christian Heritage School, its students and all its wonderful programs.
We can’t help but look back at the beginning of our season here in Colorado Springs and be so grateful to God for all He has done in our family and the relationships we continue to build here. We have been blessed by my parents to be able to once again fly in to Seattle for Christmas, and will be up in Bellingham from the 22nd to the 29th. We hope to connect with some of you that are able!
Monday, October 22, 2018
Dear Faithful Friends,
It has been since July as we were heading out on a family road trip between renovations that we last updated you. You understandably may be asking: What are Bryan and Thandi up to now? We recognize the need to keep in better communication, and plan to as we get settled in here for this next equipping season. We have already had the opportunity to meet with seasoned missionary families here and are gradually finding our place in the community to learn and serve.
Busi and Eli loving Slide Rock State Park, Arizona, during our SW Road Trip in July
Right after a return from the family trip in which we got to spend some lovely (though very hot) time with my aunt and uncle in Palm Desert, we were full on with the 3-room renovations. Among other things, we knocked back some of the walls and cut out a window in the kitchen, thus opening up the entryway and living space a lot more. I was able to do all the work myself along with a couple friends who helped from time to time, thus saving a lot in labor and learning quite a bit along the way. It was only the carpet installation we were required to buy and hire out from a particular company, easily the most costly part. However, it looks great and we know it will serve many families long after we leave, so an investment we are happy to make. Thank you for those who have given a little extra for these renovations. It has definitely forced us to dig into our savings a bit, but we know God will continue to faithfully provide for us through faithful partners like you.
Kiddos doing their part and loving to learn…
In early August the kids were able to join some MKs that have been living in Cairo on a debrief week. During one of the exercises (pictured below), we were told Elisha quite confidently identified himself as being in the "Chaos" stage right now, moving between two communities...of course, he quite easily could have been drawn to the word as it explodes in the middle of a bridge:). Busi identified herself as being in the “Resettling” stage, and has been gradually making new friends, though not as quickly as Elisha. They really enjoyed the debrief week, and we saw its value in giving the kids greater expression for what they are feeling now and will definitely feel in the future as we continue to work across cultures.
Thandi has been loving having a kitchen again, including some used appliances in great condition we were able to purchase. Most of her time has been dedicated to homeschooling the kids since we began August 20th. I help most mornings before going to the office with teaching Bible and Math. We are registered with a local homeschool co-op that has really great teachers, and the kids love going there on Tuesdays. She juggles some of the subjects with another mother on base, whose three kids are doing the same program. What a blessing (esp. for carpooling)! The kids are doing well overall, though can be challenging for them to be focused while at home. We appreciate prayer for this transition, especially for Busi who so loved CHS.
Teaching Penmanship and Phonograms with another family on base (w/some trim still needed in the backdrop:)
I am slowly finding my place in the BAM (Business as Mission) department here on base, and am taking on the role of point person for getting involved with immigrant communities in our city. A lot of it is research right now, as well as meeting with one lady in the community who is trying to start a café in a part of the city with the greatest number of immigrants as a means to engage them in their various cultures and begin seeing greater integration among them, especially the women who largely stay at home and, thus, do not progress in their English. I, with another colleague with more experience in business, am helping here formulate the business plan and applying for some citywide grants.
I, of course, continue to run into other immigrants in the area through showing up at pick-up soccer games, among them an Egyptian named Ibrahim who I have sparked a quick friendship with. I dearly miss fellowshipping with my Gambian friends back in Texas. Ibrahim comes from a Muslim family, though is not practicing himself. It is a great opportunity every time I see him to hear more of his story, and plant seeds of the gospel that impacts everything we do here on earth in his heart. Please join me in praying for him to come to personally know the King of kings. Ibrahim also helps coach youth soccer teams with the same club organization I have registered the kids under and am currently volunteering with. I stepped in to coach Eli’s team, and help Busi’s team when I am able. The boys on Eli’s team are all first-time players, though has been enjoyable seeing them grow in their skill, confidence, and character even as I interact with the parents. Both Busi and Eli are enjoying being able to play a team sport three days a week! In relation, I am praying about an opportunity to take a paid coaching position with some older kids in the new year when it becomes available.
Soccer Match Saturdays!
This past week we enjoyed a wonderful visit from Grammy. The action shot of her on arrival day was taken by Busi, and we thought it captures so well the joy she is living in and spreads wherever she goes. We were blessed by her and Dad purchasing a much needed sofa set for us, which you can see in the "Livingroom" pic. We are so grateful for their amazing support and belief in us! Grammy also had the chance to see a local resident browsing one of our base dumpsters...a wandering black bear that simply refused to get out!
Thank you again for your prayer covering over us as a family as we transition into this new location with new opportunities. We seek to have balance and grow in all God is calling us to, and need prayers for discernment in that. We are still needing to raise our monthly support, and would like to continue to make you aware of a new tax-deductible way to give through the base using our personal donor code. This link takes you directly to our page: https://www.ywamcos.org/
We love to hear from you, and are inspired by many of you that we also receive updates from as you follow God’s leading in your lives. We also welcome any questions/thoughts you may have for us at this time.
God bless you to be a blessing!