2013 November 14
Dear newsletter family,
Many of you are wondering where we are and what we are doing. Here is a much-delayed update.
Earlier this year when Melody was having pre-term labor in Chad at 27 weeks, we made an emergency return trip to the States. At the time, we were in the middle of a Bible school session. We did not understand why things happened the way they did. Yet God provided a way for the students to complete the course. God protected my wife and our baby. Gideon was born healthy and strong. God provided a vehicle for us to use for the summer and we have travelled thousands of miles and have been able to fund raise and share our project with hundreds and hundreds of people.
Melody and I also spent a significant amount of time working on our next book. The first book explained the reasons for being a missionary. This second book will be our life stories before and after they merged. While significant progress was made, we were not able finish it yet. We hope that this book will encourage many people to commit their lives 100% to God's service.
Though our time in the States has stretched far beyond our initial plans, we have seen God leading in many ways. One of the main things that has happened is that our vision and goals for the work in Chad are much more clear and focused now. Our time in Africa has been very busy and often we rush from one thing to the next. Looking back, we realize that sometimes we have become distracted with tasks that, while important, should have been lesser priority. Spending some time away from that busy and stressful environment has allowed us to think and plan so that we are returning with a clearer focus. We are also now better organized to operate more efficiently and effectively.
For now we plan to devote our primary attention and energy to developing the Bible Learning Center with secondary areas of focus on producing audio and literature material. We plan to explain more on this in a future email within the next couple months.
We have experienced several delays, but we were finally ready to return to Africa. Our departure date was set for November 12, 2013. Our tickets were purchased, and we were doing final packing and weighing. Less than 24 hours before our departure, we received an urgent phone call. Due to an urgent family crisis, we changed our tickets and flew up to Minnesota on November 12. We have many questions and do not understand why, but we trust that the Lord is in control of events.
Our 8 bags are packed and ready to go back in Tennessee. We hope to return to Africa as soon as possible, within 2-4 weeks, but do not know exactly when at this point. Please pray for us.
For those among you who are donors, we would like to write a quick note. Donations given for the work in Chad will still be applied to the work there. Unless you have specified that your donation is for personal use or some other use, the donations are simply accumulating for when we arrive back in Chad.
In His service,
Jonathan and Melody