Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Back Home!

Hey All!

So excited to be writing this update from home! Last Wednesday, I headed out from St. Louis Airport on a long but smooth trip, picking up all my bags reuniting with my family. I wanted to take a minute and share with you all about the last month and let you know how things have been going.

So one of the primary reasons that I made the trip to the USA was due to the health issues I have been experiencing over the past several months. I was able to see a number of doctors and get a number of tests done. The good news is that they were able to rule out many things. Nothing worrisome showed up, and actually, the erosion that had been evident and the h.pylori infection that I had when in India, both have cleared up. In addition, I was told I could resume a normal diet, only to avoid foods if I notice they bother me. The doctors weren't really able to explain why I am still having nausea, but knowing it appears to be nothing serious is comforting. Hopefully, as I continue to heal from the GERDs, it will subside. I have seen some improvement in the frequency and severity of it over the past few months.

Me feeling a little woozy after my endoscopy, ha ha. 

Opportunities to Preach
As I was in the United States, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with and share at a couple of different places. 

It was great to get to see Brian and Jael (and Zeal and baby Berea). I enjoyed a wonderful birthday weekend (turning 32), with them, and had a chance to preach at the congregation in Illinois where Brian is a minister. We do indeed miss their help, but know they are making an impact for the Lord in the United States. 

I enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with saints in Warrensburg, MO, and to be able to preach as well as share about the mission work in Cameroon. They were a great encouragement to me and continue to help move the work in Cameroon forward. 

I also had the chance to preach in Fulton, MO, which was a tremendous blessing as well. 

Hannah had the opportunity to go with me to the States, as her grandparents bought her a ticket to come and spend a few months with them. I enjoyed spending some quality time with her, as she got to travel with me. She will be returning with Rhys and Sharon in some weeks, so we look forward to having them and her back. 

Meanwhile, on the Homefront
With me gone, our home assembly continued, with Abel, one of the disciples here, teaching lessons from the book of Titus. It was encouraging to hear reports of him doing a great job and of people being encouraged and continuing to be edified. 

Brittney kept busy while I was away, visiting various congregations as well as hosting visitors to the house. She also stayed busy with the gym program. 

Home Again- some good news and some challenging news.
It was good to get home, to see Brittney and the kids after being apart for a month. Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement during the past month. It is much appreciated. 

We shared last month about the need to find a volunteer teacher for this coming school year. We are excited to announce that our super volunteer from last year, Alima, will be returning for this school year. We also are so grateful for brethren in the US who have helped to sponsor her to come. This is a great answer to prayers! Thank you! 

We have been hit with some setbacks, of the financial nature, recently. I was not able to get insurance worked out in time for my trip to the States. International health insurance is not, unfortunately, ACA compliant (at least that we've been able to find), so all my medical expenses had to come out of pocket. The doctors I saw were very good about recognizing this, and avoided unnecessary testing and extraneous costs, but it was still quite expensive. 

Another major expense that we are unfortunately also looking at now is replacing our vehicle. In the past 3 months, we have had to change the brake discs and rotors, the shocks, ball joints, radiator, and yesterday, on our way back from the church's assembly, our land cruiser developed an issue where it will only work in 4 wheel drive. Trying to drive in normal mode results in a terrible racket and no movement. We suspect it may be the transfer case, but will find out tomorrow. Previous repairs have been quite expensive, and two of them, the radiator and now drive-train issue, would have left us stranded had they happened on the highway, which is really not something we would want to happen here in Cameroon. We had hoped to be able to hold off for another year or two, but it seems that our vehicle is reaching the end of its reliable life here in Cameroon, as repair issues seem to be snowballing. We honestly don't feel we can trust it, given the last 3 months. We will need to repair the present issue, sell it, and try and find a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, due to all the unforeseen medical costs of the last month, we have depleted much of our savings, so this comes at a really bad time for us financially. Please pray we can find the financial resources to be able to afford this major expense (we are thinking we will need to add around $10,000 to what we get from the sale of our vehicle- cars in Cameroon cost roughly 2-3 times what they would cost in the US), and that until that time, we can coax a little more time out of our present vehicle. 

Such is life and missions, full of a mixture of victories and challenges. Moving forwards means stuff sometimes breaks down. We continue to take one step forward in faith, and know that God will supply. Thanks for your prayers, continued encouragement and financial partnership. You are very much a part of this work! God bless!