Monday, October 28, 2013

Another Dear Friend Rejoicing in Heaven

Elizabeth William is now with Jesus
*Photo taken by Tohru Inoue

The very next day after I, Bethany, returned from my retreat in Bali, we received a phone call in Nairobi, Kenya that one of our students at Gideon Theological College, Elizabeth William, had passed away. About a month ago she traveled to Egypt for medical treatment due to heart problems. She unexpectedly had to undergo surgery for appendicitis and it must have been too much for her heart. None of us were there so it is hard not knowing exactly what took her life.
But as the picture depicts above - we know she is dancing and rejoicing in the presence of her Lord and Savior now. Our campus and community here are still very much in shock. Our family hurried to get back to Melut and we made it in time for Elizabeth's funeral. She left behind 8 children and her husband John. Please pray for their whole family. Elizabeth was one of those extraordinary women that you knew from the time you met her that she was amazing and God was using her in a BIG way. We don't understand why she had to leave us at a young age of 47 but we trust that God is with us, comforting us and leading us forward.
With only four weeks until graduation here at GTC, this has been very hard on the students. The college cancelled classes for a whole week and resumed today, October 28th. Please also pray for them as they are missing their classmate and are reminded of her absence every day when they see her empty chair and desk. Pray that they will finish strong.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Catch up on October

My small group at the retreat

After a very full 5 months here in Melut, I (Bethany) was blessed with the opportunity to fly to Bali, Indonesia for a Thrive Women's Retreat. I never would have traveled so far for a conference but one of my best friends serves in Indonesia and we met up a few days before the retreat to spend a few special days together - just the two of us. With our husbands holding the fort down with our kids at home, we walked along the beach, talked,  drank Starbucks, shopped, talked, lounged by the pool, and talked some more. :)
    We also opened our hearts to the Lord for reflection, processing, and healing. It was just what both of us needed.

Nan and I drinking Starbucks on the beach

I was excited about McDonalds

After 9 days away I flew back to Nairobi, Kenya where Eli and the boys had flown a week previously. We enjoyed four days as a family and re-supplied to return to Melut. We arrived to a difficult situation on campus but we are so thankful for the rest and refreshment God gave us during our two weeks away.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Looking back at September

The students gathered to send off a man who came to apply for the job of Principal.
September was quite a doozy. But on this first day of October, my heart is overflowing with thanks for God's Great Faithfulness to our family and to the Bible college ministry going on here in Melut. I have been reminded that this is not a sprint. We press on, setting our pace, so as not to fall over in exhaustion but to finish the race God has marked out for us. Finishing seems a long way off so we plod on...
       This month started off the birth of another baby to one of our students. The labor was full of challenges due to the mother's high blood pressure and grim state of our hospital in town. We praise the Lord for a healthy baby named after Claire, our teammate who is a nurse and literally saved the mother's life that day!
     This month we also continued the process of searching for a new Principal for the college. Several men have come to Melut in person to fill out applications and have a casual interview with Jamie and Eli (see picture above.) It has been a roller coaster ride but we are hopeful October is the month we will finally have a new Principal. It has now been 4 months since our beloved Principal Philip Eisa went to be with Jesus.
     Another highlight of September was a visit by two lovely ladies on our SIM team from Kenya. Their mission was to encourage our team. It was a very special time.

Quite the playground!

Meanwhile our boys are doing great. They continue to enjoy homeschooling and playing outside with their friends as long as there is daylight! Last week a storm blew over our large tree in front of our house so it has become their new playground.



A joy to this lady's heart has been eating from our garden. My garden wasn't super successful this year but we have been enjoying cucumbers, spinach and now squash and even a few carrots!