July 08, 2017

In America

Our entire family made it back to America.  It’s sure nice to all be on the same continent again!

 We are unpacking and settling in some. It’s hard to “settle” without “settling”, which is what we are attempting to do.  We have to settle some, mostly for the sanity of our family, but we really don’t know what God’s plans are for our future so we don’t want to get too settled.  However, with lots of prayer and looking at the political situation in Congo, it looks like the soonest our family will be able to move back would be next spring. (More in “Looking Ahead”)

 Please continue to pray for the kids as they adjust to yet another intercontinental move and deal with the emotions involved in dealing with the events of this last year. 

 One of the things we told Titus we would try to do when we arrived was get a dog.  This was for many reasons.  However, with our “non-settling” we weren’t sure how this was going to work, exactly.  Since we stay on Sparky’s family’s farm while in the States, we talked to his parents.  They agreed to adopt a dog with us so that no matter where or when God moves us, the dog will be able to stay on the farm.  Bringing Kona into the family was huge help for Titus and his outlook on life.  So, if you see our son walking around with a 1.5-year-old Great Dane, you’ll know why.

Meanwhile in Congo

 Because of the contract we had to sign with the internet provider in Congo, we still have to pay for the service even though we aren’t there.  While this is a hard bill to pay each month that we are away, this cloud has a silver lining!  We left Pastor Emanuel with the keys to our house again, and were able to give him one of the donated tablets. Because of his access to our internet, we have been able to communicate with him almost daily by e-mail and by phone using this connection! This has already helped in so many ways. Please continue to pray that the service will stay working well so we can have consistent communication with the work in Dibaya!

On the Other Hand

Thank you for all your prayers for Sparky’s broken hand! He arrived in America on June 5th, and had surgery scheduled for the 6th.  However, after meeting with the surgeon and more x-rays in the States, he was informed that they have recently decided that this type of break no longer gets surgery.  In fact, they found that surgery usually does more harm than good. Instead, they use imaging technology and the casts as they are hardening to push the bone into position, as much as possible.  This took several doctor visits, 3 different casts, multiple x-rays, and now a brace.  They have found that the sooner physical therapy can start, the more range of motion and strength can be recovered, so he started therapy on Friday.  We are already seeing improvement! None of this would have been done in Congo and we are thankful for God’s provision for wise doctors and technology! 

 While it still looks awkward and out of place, we are told it is healing better than expected for this type of break.   Praise the LORD and thank you for your prayers! Please continue to pray for his range of motion and strength in that hand as it is still unknown how much he will regain. 

(This is the latest x-ray, and the now permanent position of the bone.)

Looking Ahead

 The most common question (or some variation) we are receiving right now is: “What are your plans?” Here is our newly adopted answer and theme as we look ahead: “We plan to be in the center of God’s will.  Every day.  No matter what that looks like.”

 We realize this may seem like a cliché Christian response that relieves us of committing to an answer. It is anything but.

 There are some specific things we are looking ahead to, Lord willing.  Even though it is not feasible for our family to live in Congo at this point, shorter-term trips are much more workable.  Sparky would like to take 2 interior teaching trips to Congo: one this fall/early winter and then again next spring with a group of men from some of our supporting churches. (If you are interested in joining them, please contact us.)

 Peaceful in HIM, no matter what it looks like