We headed out the door for our early morning walk around Bethesda’s church and school. It was cloudy, but the weather forecast mentioned rain in the afternoon. Halfway through our walk, it began to rain hard and we took cover under the shelter house. With eyes closed, we listened to the rain as it came down and felt the breeze as the wind blew. It was spectacular! It was a great time to focus on God and praise Him for His mercies that are new every morning.
Thoughts of sadness from the previous day’s events pricked our minds. The day before, we took Lauren to the airport to leave for Canada where she is taking classes at the Canada Institute of Linguistics. She will graduate in December with a major in TESOL and a minor in linguistics. Then one week later she will marry her sweetheart Aaron. After dropping Lauren off, we came home and took our family dog, Snickers, of eighteen years to be put down. Hard saying goodbye to your daughter and your dog in the same day.
As the rain slowed, we grinned as a small sparrow hopped underneath a picnic table to peck at a piece of food. We started walking again. We passed the cows in the pasture, listened to the frogs croaking, and watched the ducks and geese. As we arrived back at the missions’ house, the sun poked through the clouds and we watched three squirrels chasing each other in the yard. Thank you God for your mercies that are new each day!
Andrew continues to excel at his position as Phil hands over the reins to him as a computer programmer. Lately Andrew has been working on camera vision systems, databases, and robots.
Last week we visited Phil’s family at the Walton family reunion in Tennessee. Even though we were unable to spend the day with our dads for Father’s Day like we usually do, it was great to spend time with his mom and see cousins we hadn’t seen in a long time and meet new ones. Sunday morning we traveled to Hixson Tennessee to Life Gate Baptist Church and had a wonderful time of worship with folks there. We also had the opportunity to help with VBS at Grace Church in Lebanon earlier this month. Both churches are a huge blessing to us. On the way to Life Gate, we had our first flat tire as missionaries. God provided a sturdy spare tire that got us to church just as they started singing the first song. We made it all the way back home safely on that spare. Praise God for the little things!
In the past two weeks we received our renewed passports in the mail and are now working on the required paperwork for our visas. We began stocking up on malaria medicine to take with us. We are currently at 75% of our monthly support and 90% for our Outfit and Passage. We are praising God for a new ministry partner and a monthly increase from another ministry partner! Our monthly requirement did go up, but only by $40 per month. We are praising God it did not go up more. We continue to contact churches and individuals to join the team God has put together to get us and keep us in Papua New Guinea. Please keep praying! We continue to take classes through Moody Bible Institute’s Distance Learning program and will finish our Major Prophets class in the next two weeks.
Papua New Guinea prepares to celebrate 40 years of independence in September. Praise God the door is open for the Gospel. Please pray with us for lives to be changed by God’s Word.