The first thing that I must do is apologize for not updating this blog for so long! I just realized that the last time that I posted anything was May! I am so sorry. There have been some major events going on in my life since then so I will do my best to keep it brief but get you all caught up.
The biggest event of all is that I got married in August to an MAF pilot, Brent Mudde, who lives and works here in Angola. (I don't' know if any of you noticed the name change or not:) .) We have been in and out of each others lives since 2004 when he first arrived in Lubango and moved in across the street from me and my family. Since then he has remained a close friend of the family but last March we began dating and in May got engaged. We were married the beginning of August in Greensboro, North Carolina at my home church. It was such a special day, surrounded by family and many friends! We feel so blessed that the Lord made our day so special for us.
Another major event is that I have changed mission organizations. Brent is with a mission organization called Mission Aviation Fellowship and it seemed to make sense that I join his mission instead of both of usbeing part of different missions when we ultimately have the same goal of furthering the Kingdom. So in July I officially joined MAF. Brent was due for his home assignment in August and it seemed a perfect time for me to go with and meet his friends and supporters as well as for him to meet mine. So we spent from mid-August to mid-November in the United States and Canada traveling around and meeting with as many friends and supporters as we could. Once again the Lord made it a wonderful time of refreshment as well as encouragement as we met and talked with people who are excited about His work all over the world. I think at times we can get so busy with just every day life that we forget that we are part of a bigger picture and that there are people all over the world who are excited and are doing their part with you. So thank you so much if you are one of this people! Whenever I feel overwhelmed by life
and work and I remember that you are there with me, praying and encouraging me along! You mean a lot to me!
My younger brother Daniel, came out to Angola
to fill in at school for me. He had just graduated in May and was looking for something to do. So he very graciously said that he would fill in for me for a few months while we were in North America. He did a fantastic job and the students and their parents all loved him. He went back to the States in January to see what the Lord has for him next. My students and I are all praying that the Lord will call him back here!
Brent and I arrived back home to our "new home" in Lubango in November. Brent before we left in July, worked on renovating our house that was right next door to his old house. He made the living almost double the size but he only had time to move his stuff in before we left. So when we arrived back we finally got to set up the house like we wanted.
In December we had to move from our classroom at the seminary because they needed it back for a previous contract. Fortunately there was an empty house at Mitcha, the missionary gated community that we live on, so I asked if we could rent that for a school. It needed to be cleaned up and a new paint job but nothing that was really that serious. We obtained permission to rent it and spent the we-
ek between Christmas and New Years painting and cleaning and building shelves and moving so that we could be ready to start school January 9th.
There was an old shipping container here on the compound that was full of all kinds of books and magazines. However the container was very rusty and musty and had holes in it so it was leaking. It also was home to several mouse and rat communities! Needless to say many of the books were ruined however we were able to save quite a few! Brent took apart all the shelves that were in the container and moved them to the new school that now has four rooms, three of which are classrooms and one that is a library room. It is such a blessing to have shelves and not have to have books in boxes anymore. The compound manager was able to find all the old furniture from the old school
house and he moved it all to the new school so we did not have to buy desks and tables, which of course was a huge help as it seems that everything here costs a lot of money!
School started on the 9th of January with 15 students and a couple new faces in those 15. The students were all very excited to be in a new location. I am pretty sure that most of them have never seen so many books in one place before! So learning how to take care of books is one of the most important lessons we are learning. It never occurred to me that I would have to teach children who are 2nd and 3rd grade how to put books away on a shelf! They all love to come to school each morning and are excited about learning not just their school work but also during our class devotion time. They are all engaged and asking questions and they all want their own turn to pray each and every day! Absolutely thrilling! The children are also very excited by the fact that now they have swimming lessons once a week with Brent! Brent is also helping my high school boys with their science course.
Our biggest need at the moment is another teacher. I have new parents coming to me each week asking if I couldn't possibly find space for their child in the school. However I am very much at my maximum capacity. I can't take on any more students but at the same time I don't want to miss out on help these children and their parents. So if you could please pray with us about staffing and what our next steps should be to grow that would be very much appreciated.
Once again, I apologize for taking so long to update you all.
Thank you so much for all your prayers! They are most certainly not unappreciated!