Dear family and friends,
It has been just over two months since our last prayer update. Do forgive our tardiness!
Things have progressed at 100 mph it seems, and there are many praises and prayer requests to share (see bold italics for praises and prayer requests).
Tessa continues to progress well with language school. She and her classmate (another missionary lady – she and her husband have a toddler Oscar’s age) have advanced quite quickly through the first few stages of Amharic vocabulary and grammar. We Praise the Lord for His grace in helping Tessa grasp the language so far.
Oscar is growing so fast! The other day he learned how to throw a baseball. So far he’s a southpaw, so he has better changes for the big league (I kid). To be honest, he throws it more like a cricket ball, as he has mostly thrown it straight to the ground for a good bounce. Oscar was a tiny bit sick with a virus a couple weeks ago, but he has bounced back like a champ and he is back to full health. Praise the Lord that Oscar is thriving here in body and in spirit.
My (Jacob’s) teaching has got into full swing. My class on ecclesiology and eschatology is going really well. Just two weeks ago we had an “ecclesiology workshop” in which students wrestled with the issues of what church looks like among believers of M background, and how these BMB groups could be connected with culturally evangelical local congregations. I’m only teaching part-time at the moment. Opportunities to preach in local churches or to go on ministry trips to the countryside come at least once a month, but for now through prayer we feel that God is asking us to focus on settling in well here and on Tessa’s language learning. Praise the Lord that teaching is going well, and that God has helped us prioritize our family needs before we over-commit to extra ministry involvements.
I (Jacob) recently gave a devotional at our SIM Ethiopia prayer gathering before the November council meeting, which will make key decisions regarding some ministry projects. I spoke on 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2 that Christ is the means of our reconciliation, and our mission is to herald this message to whole world as Christ’s ambassadors. It is really encouraging to see our organization united around the centrality of the gospel in all of our areas of ministry. Praise the Lord for a fresh vision for the gospel as the most important thing we have to offer as we work alongside the Church here in Ethiopia.
We have finally settled into our new flat. It is in a building owned by a lovely, very godly Ethiopian couple. We are very blessed to live here. The view is incredible – we are on the outskirts of the city, a little bit up the mountain, and so every morning we can see the beautiful sunrise cut across the city – a visual reminder of what the gospel can do by the power of the Spirit. Our landlady and her husband regularly wake up around 4 AM to pray – and do they pray! They have quickly become good friends, and their children love playing with Oscar. Praise the Lord for these new friends and landlords.
Jacob, for Tessa and Oscar too