Pastor Jue is now leading the Wednesday night meetings. He is providing critical leadership to our small group. Jeu and his family live on our island during the week. On the weekends he returns to his own home and preaches at his church as a full-time pastor. This partnership with the Monkey island church and us has worked out well. It is through his effort that we can return the United States and have our ministry there continue without interruption. The leadership for this church plant is in his hands. Please pray that he will be encouraged by the Holy Spirit and that there will be the fruit of transformed lives.
Ellen is tired of waiting to get well. Here is a picture of her outside working one-handed in the snow. If you look close, you will see she is missing a mitten. Last week the doctor said the did not need to wear the arm sling to immobilize her left arm if she was not doing anything to re-injure it. Ellen is recovering from rotator cuff surgery she had at the end of November. It has been a very frustrating time for her because this is the second time it has been injured this past year. She has physical therapy twice a week with daily exercises. Unfortunately, the recovery time from this type surgery is many months, and it is a painful recovery. She is very limited in what she can do and at this point very frustrated that she has to spend a lot of time sitting one armed.
How can you help encourage Ellen? She likes to get cards in the mail. We are temporarily living in Kettering Ohio. The address is:
2361 Vale Dr.
Kettering, OH 45420-3538
We are praising God that today’s surgery went well. Ellen went in a 7 am in the morning, and by noon it was out the door. It is impressive how fast outpatient surgery can happen. It is what great joy that the doctor reported that is was not as bad as he had anticipated. It still means many months of physical therapy and exercise. We are hoping that this part of our life is over and when she is healed we can return to the field. Please pray for a quick recovery.
We have landed safely in America. Our trip went according to plan, no hitches or surprises. We left Belem on Monday and arrived in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Coming a week before Ellen has surgery permitted us to visit our family for Thanksgiving. It was a great time sharing with our families and eating some great food. Ellen did not get to eat turkey because of her allergies. She when and purchased a piece of tuna fish and spiced it up. Wayne’s favorite is the pie. There was pecan pie, squash pie, apple pie and pear pie. A great selection to celebrate this rare gathering. We are rarely in the country in November, so this was an exceptional time for us. Ellen has surgery on Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers as you feast and shop.
This party is goodbye to all of our friends at this blossoming church, but not for good, just for a while. We have been through a number of these goodbye parties before, but because for many of new friends it is unimaginable that someone would leave this small island and go to the great land of America and every return, is inconceivable. The missionary life is not a typical life. It is hard for us as you might imagine. We have invested heavily in these peoples lives and putting down deep roots into this community. Now to be plucked out of our lives to care for our medical needs is not easy and come with many emotional strings.
We plan to return to live with them once again in September if the Lord continues to keep this door open. A lot can change over that much time, but we are trusting the Lord has His plans. He has been good to us as we have served Him over the years. Please pray for our departure on November 20th.
To be honest, I wish I could say building leaders is easy, but it is not. We had our meeting of new leadership for our church plant. We prayed and discussed where we should start meeting Wednesday nights. It was a lengthy discussion with a few unanswered question. Cordero, the man pictured above, offered us his workshop that is at the front of his house on the main road. They all thought this was a sound idea after deciding it was too expensive to build a building at this time. Afterwards, they had some second thoughts about the matter. It does come with some issues.
This issue is one of those plates that we are dropping as we hop on the plane. I told them this was their decision and held back my opinion in the discussion. It is all about passing leadership to new leaders. It was hard to do, and I pray that the Lord will care for this as we leave. Please pray for us.
Yesterday was our last river trip out to the islands. It brings tears to my eyes as we traverse the waters where have been forging a ministry to reach people who did not know the love of our Savior. I know that the work will continue without us at this point, but it still saddens my heart that we will not be back for almost a year. The Lord has given us dear friends, and we have watched the Holy Spirit take drunkards and turn them into men full of spirit and a desire to serve our Lord, Jesus. We know a lot will change while we are gone but pray with us that this work will continue in our absence. Pray for us as we hop on a plane in just over a week.
We are praising God for what he has done. He has provided a house for us to rent while we are on our US Ministry assignment. Our home church is working on outfitting the house with all the necessities of life. It will be just two weeks, and we will be arriving in Cincinnati, November 21. At the moment we are not ready to leave. The tasks seem to be endless to pack up the house and ministry to return to the USA. In what appears to be chaos, we understand to be a plan that our Lord is using to forge our charter to be more like Him. Pray for us as we walk this path.
At this months first small group meeting, Ellen was designated as the Sister In Christ We Love. As part of our little group meeting, we play some type group game. They love it, and it fits into the culture well. Every few months have someone who is “Loved”. The group makes a circle, and we go around and find some encouraging words to say about or brother or sister in Christ. It is very supportive and uplifting for all. As you can see is in the picture Ellen wearing a cardboard heart. At the end of our time, everyone will sign the heart, and some will put a phrase or expressing for Ellen to remember her time. It is a great game and one that we have come to look forward too.