March 2019 Newsletter
Our Alpha School kids really surprised us, by ALL responding on a response card that they would like the Holy Spirit to be in their lives! WOW! I don't think that would happen in a secular school in the States and it would most definitely not happen in Bosnia! Now I wonder what that means? Are they only interested in this special gift of God to indwell them for blessing, or are they in need of a Savior and counting the cost of being His disciple? And then this week, they told me they didn't believe in Satan!!! What! They thought evil was just from people - bad people vs. good people. Well, I was surprised! Then after they had left the class, I was surprised again! That was the last class Merle and I will be able to teach! We planned to finish the series before we depart, but the students have some kind of track meet this Friday and they have completed their exams for this period, so they won't come back to school next week! Then they have two weeks off school for Easter Break, including Easter Monday. So the teacher said most kids will not be there on the next day so that was it! We were shocked! There seems to be such a loose hold on the students. They seem to do what they want. Hmm.
Above are Merle, Denise, and Jenny working with their students in the noisy and rather chaotic class. This week we talked about evil and it is more evident here than in the States, or perhaps takes on a different disguise! One man was nervous about approaching us at Prayer Station, because when he did, he said flames of fire surrounded us, as he told Guy! There is much more witchcraft and satanic practice here on this island, even though it is considered a Christian nation! Of course, America was also founded on Christian principles and look where it is headed! But I am still surprised they see evil as only from "bad" people. I asked one girl, "Are you bad?" and she shook her head no. If you don't consider yourself a sinner, why would you need a Savior?!
Kids Club continues to grow as the kids invite others to join! We had 34 and 32 the most recent weeks. They get to be quite a handful when a couple boys want to punch it out! We are teaching them about Biblical truth and pray that they will be responsive to His Spirit and His Word. Pray that they will go God's way, not the world's way! We talked about photo shopping pictures and how man looks at the outward appearance but God's looks at the heart, and why God chose David to replace Saul as King. We were very surprised then we received a bunch of balls and yard toys from Debbie! What a blessing to these kids!
Above, Merle adds a lip to the concrete roof to encourage the runoff from the rain to drain to the side of the house, instead of making a mess on Marylin and Guy's front porch!
Another project that Merle did in the house was to fix the sink! It is extremely sharp metal and the sink had somehow separated. Silicone had been put in to prevent cuts to hardworking women, but unfortunately, it would get yucky and not really do its job well. Merle was able to fix it to be almost like new for basically nothing! Mr. Innovation!
Merle keeps the yard nice, and we have prayer for all the various ministries in which we are involved and planning weekly. On the right, can you see the truck load of men heading off to work? We see them every weekday and I always admire these hard working guys. I finally was fast enough to barely catch their picture.
I ordered new music books for Asaph, which sweet Debbie sent, as the ones Heather brought for me required more than he is able to do right now. I gave Asaph and Amora a joint lesson in the dingy room, above. I have 3.5 piano students, but it is hard to teach them enough to continue when I am gone. I love playing Scrabble, using it to help Asaph spell and count. Salma and Delphinia on flute lead worship with a little instruction and counting from me! Above, the picture is of us on our 26th Anniversary and beautiful exotic flowers to celebrate! This baby bird was being protected from the dogs, literally (Asaph's favorite word, with the emphasis on the T), and when it's mother came calling, it flew to her! That was so fun to see! It is fun to take newbies snorkeling at such an easy and great spot to see fish for the first time! Above Denise goes with us, and Amora went a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Merle's phone was stolen off the beach that day. What a bummer and a loss!
We are able to swim and snorkel very close to where we live, so we get some exercise a couple times a week. Merle is great at spotting unusual fish, flounder, an eel, a snake, or an octopus! We saw two fishermen with a spear and a string of fish and octopi that they caught! Wow! I am excited to see how our creative Creator made polka dot and stripped fish and every combination you can imagine. Some even change colors depending on if they are above the sand or the rocks! God is so incredible!
Monday when we got in the chilly water, I was wishing I could see a sea turtle again and just mentioned it to the Lord. We saw one in December but that is all. We snorkeled as we swam and saw a lion fish, a flounder, 6 giant sea stars - 3 yellow, 2 burgundy, and one white, a sea snake, and a twenty Eastern Caribbean dollar bill! It must have floated out of someone's pocket! And then I was swimming along and saw a sea turtle on the bottom! As he slowly turned and headed out to sea, I popped my head up to see if Merle was close by, but since he wasn't, I just started following the turtle. He started going a bit faster and so I kicked harder to keep him in sight. I didn't want to scare him out of the area, so I finally backed off. I know that they can swim very fast because the first one we saw fled away when Merle dived down closer to it.
Later we sat and watched the sun set, one of our other favorite activities. The sun was a brilliant gold ball and lit up the clouds so beautifully. A girl on the beach clapped when it went down and yelled out, "That was beautiful!" It brought tears to my eyes, as I was also praising My Lord!
We went to Soufrier, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours away on windy mountainous roads, to a Missions Conference that Marylin organized and met Marcus, another adventure guy who loves Jesus, who encouraged us to use social media to share the gospel and encourage people to consider Christ, as 3.8 billion people are on-line. Abby, on the right, who worked for 5 years in Zambia, shared her story of Jesus transforming a village of witch doctors to follow Him! She was encouraging more people to GO and make disciples, as we are admonished by Jesus in the Great Commission. Have you considered how you yourself can have a part in going to the nations?
I love this giant tree fern from the jungle! You can't tell from the picture, taken from above, but is is huge! This is the sun setting in Soufrier and the famous Piton behind Merle and I.