Then in the evening Sara hosted an Easter party for the kids in our community. They had a blast running around the yard looking for Easter eggs and eating the hot dogs and potato salad we made for them, but most importantly she shared the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. Many of the children come from families who follow a different religion, and this was their first time hearing the Easter story. Please pray for our Sunday night Bible club, that these children, teens, and young adults will continue to come and feel loved, and learn of God's love for each one of them.
These last four months have been incredibly busy. Here are a few highlights:
- In February, we traveled to Monrovia for SIM's annual Spiritual Life Retreat. This was a refreshing and encouraging time.
- In March, two animal-capture experts flew in from South Africa and hiked with John-Mark deep in the bush, trying to gather evidence of the gbahai (a huge reptile believed to be unknown to science). Although they heard more compelling eyewitness accounts, they found the area around the river to be severely overhunted and
did not see any signs of the creature.
- We turned our house into a bed-and-breakfast! OK, not really, but we've enjoyed hosting a variety of people over the last few months including three American Mennonite ladies, the two South Africans and an Australian friend, as well as a man from Ethiopia. We currently have three American guys who are staying with us for a month while they work with Samaritan's Purse to rehabilitate the local airstrip.
We've also faced some serious health challenges along the way. While in Monrovia for Christmas break, we learned that our son Noah had a congenital condition that would require corrective surgery. Providentially, there was a team of American medical professionals visiting Liberia at the time who were able to complete the procedure at no charge. Then last month John-Mark slipped on some gravel while riding his motorcycle, cracking a rib, spraining a wrist, getting scraped and bruised all over in the process. He had to take it slow for a while, but is almost back to normal now. Finally Baby James was weak and lethargic recently with a high fever, but thankfully responded well to treatment and has returned to full health.
Despite these challenges, John-Mark and his assistant Abu have continued to make good progress in the translation work. In early April, a Manya pastor from Guinea came and helped with the review of John and James. We are now doing a final read-through of the four Gospels in preparation for recording. Currently only a handful of Manya people know how to read their mother tongue. In order to address this problem, we have prepared a primer and book of folktales to be used in a pilot literacy program. People are very excited to see their language in writing for the first time. Thanks again for your prayers and support. We couldn't be here without you!