Merry Christmas to all of you from South Texas! We are still alive here, and apologize for not writing for a few months. We did want to take this time during the holidays to take a minute or two and update you on our current status and our plans to return to Papua New Guinea next summer.
Becky continues caring for her mom, who has been living with us since May. Ann is showing steady but slow improvement in her walking and use of her hands. We are still a few months off from her being able to return to her home in Dallas, but we are encouraged with the progress she is making. We are grateful to have been here to help her during this time, and we hope that she will be able to transition to living independently once again. We appreciate your prayers to that end!
Our kids are doing well in their various schooling pursuits. Ben is undergoing a time of transition as he is in the process of transferring to Texas A&M next Fall. He will be living with us here in Schertz this Spring, take a couple of classes at the local junior college, and work and save money for school. Although he enjoyed his time at LeTourneau, he really feels that the program at Texas A&M is better suited to his eventual plans. We benefit from this by having him here with us for a few months, and are glad we have been able to be here to help him during this time.
Andrew is wrapping up his first semester at A&M where he is majoring in International Studies. He looks forward to his brother joining him there this next year. He visited Maryland/Wash D.C. over Thanksgiving to see his girlfriend Maddie who actually goes to school at Colorado Christian in Denver. We look forward to having him home for Christmas as well!
Michael has transitioned well into public school life here in Schertz. He is doing very well in his classes and also keeps busy working at Chick-Fil-A. Katie and Cara put up with their parents homeschooling them, and enjoy taking care of Linus, the family dog. Katie has taken up knitting as a hobby, and Cara has joined a local junior triathlon team.
We mentioned in our last letter that Neil, along with the Master’s coursework he is pursuing, took a part-time job doing work for a Christian brother, Anthony, who runs his own IT company, in order to help pay tuition costs. We didn’t mention that Anthony is facing a serious battle with cancer. It has been great to be able to help their family out during this time, but please pray as we return to the field, that the Lord would take care of their needs and bring someone to fill the gap that Neil will be leaving. Pray especially for God’s healing hand on Anthony.
In other significant news, we wanted to let you know that when we return to PNG, Neil will be stepping into a new ministry. The PNG field leadership team has asked Neil to consider moving out of the school and help with overall field leadership. He will be training for a role as Director of Personnel. He has been gearing his masters’ coursework to help in the added areas of leadership he will be taking on. He looks forward to being involved in a more hands-on way in the overall church-planting effort in PNG. Your prayers for this transition are also greatly appreciated!
Well, this update has gotten too long very quickly! If you made it this far, please keep in mind how much we appreciate you all even if we don’t tell you that as often as we should. We hear exciting things regarding the things the Lord is doing in PNG! Recently, many people among the Pal language group made professions of faith in Christ as they heard the Gospel presented in their heart language for the first time. The Bagwido NT translation was also completed and dedicated last October. Exciting times in PNG. With all of the bad news that hits us every day, it’s good to know that God is still on the move!
Thanks again for your partnership with us!
Neil and Becky and family