Friday, January 18, 2019

Finding our New Normal

My spot on our kitchen step where I spend my mornings "charging up" with Jesus before my day starts
Our home school set up

They're getting lots of practice with their sling shots

Carson is so easy going and just hangs out or joins in during our school mornings. Here he is sneaking some cuddles while Joshua reads his literature.

Project: Chicken House has commenced

Joshua loved raising chickens of his own while we were living in Doro a few years ago and so he's asked if he can have chickens again. We told him once he builds a shelter for them we'll buy him a few. As you can see, their friends all pitched in too.

These are some of their new friends: Fred, Gabriel and Emmanuel

The more hanging out we do with our neighbors, the more comfortable Carson is becoming in others' arms. This young lady, Pasklyn has been coming the last few afternoons to hold and play with Carson while I cook or do anything I need to do. So sweet of her!

Our little water cistern has been the perfect refreshment during this dry hot season

I have begun my "Hospitality" ministry and enjoy serving cold water or coffee to new friends or pastors who come to meet with Eli.

Carson's making friends too.

Blurry but shows the action of a recent rat hunt!
 One of the dry season activities for boys here is rat hunting. The grass is now tall and dry and the rats hide in it - until a group of about 6 boys with their sling shots and sticks come hunting them!

Spending the heat of the day with neighbors
 Since it's so hot in the afternoon hours, most work stops. It is the perfect time to sit and visit with my neighbor friends. So far I'm able to communicate well in English or Arabic but I'm trying to learn the local tribal language which is called Maadi.

Eli's new normal is heading out to the refugee camps a couple times a week. Right now he's in the phase of continuing to gather information from the churches that are present. He's asking what is happening as far as training and discipleship and how can he partner with the local churches to train and equip believers. He's done a great job networking and meeting with many pastors. Instead of jumping right in and starting up a program, he is taking his time to first find out what would be most beneficial.

This is a photo Eli took on a recent visit to South Sudan in December

Eli will also continue traveling up to South Sudan every now and then to encourage and check on the Theological Training programs that are ongoing in the area where we used to be.

Needless to say our days are full.
Bethany with homeschooling, keeping track of the circus of village boys in our compound every afternoon, tracking down my crawling 9 month old and getting out to visit with and love on my neighbors every chance I get.
Eli with meeting daily with local pastors, learning what is going on in Adjumani ministry wise and what the greatest needs are. Traveling out to the different camps, meeting leaders and pastors in the camps and offering partnership. And then after those full hot days, coming home to love on his wife and boys and continue persevering through his PhD classes!

We would so appreciate your continued prayers. We are beginning to feel more keenly our need for teammates. There is so much to do! We are also realizing that we need to set aside time to rest and boundaries we might need to put in place in order to keep our family healthy. Please pray for wisdom and love in all these decisions.

Evan's Essay

Evan’s Classification Essay:                                                                                                                     January 17, 2019

               Though we’ve only been in Adjumani for 1 month, we have found plenty of activities to keep us busy. First of all, we have found things to do inside the compound. For example, we can swim because we have this awesome pool made out of a cement cistern that the builders of our house used to make cement when they were building our house. It is maybe 20 feet around and 4 feet deep. We have a special pump to filter the pool and a chlorine floater. Another thing we like to do is fix our bikes. We have cheap bikes we bought from somebody and they’re always breaking. So that gives us something to do. We also have a cool water tower made of cement we can play on. It has a little storage room on the bottom of it where we can stores our tools and even our bikes.
               Secondly, we have stuff to do outside the compound. We can ride our bikes around the village. Isaac, Josh and I have made a special bike trail that goes through the wilderness. It is around 2 km long and it is half uphill, half downhill. There are some really challenging parts to ride, like deep sand and steep hills. But it is a fun place to ride. We also like to explore around where we live. We really don’t have a lot of places to eat here but another fun thing to do in Adjumani is to go out to eat. There are two places that have good food. We usually just order pork and chips because that is really yummy and usually the only thing on the menu. But one place called Zawadi Hotel has a new chef and a new menu so now we can get burgers, fish, and more.
               Lastly, we have things to do with our friends. One of our favorite things to do is hunt rats. There are a couple of places swarming with mice. So we take sticks, sling shots, and big stones and we dig up the rat homes and kill the rats. The most rats we have ever killed at once is nine. Another thing we like to do is swim with our friends and we like to have epic water fights. The last thing we like to do is play soccer. There is a nearby school that has a soccer field and every evening at five we gather some kids to play. We’ve only lived here a month but we agree that Adjumani is a place where you just can’t get bored.