We hope that you are settling into Autumn well,
Our summer was a little crazy, but so encouraging. From the middle of May until the middle of August we had a grand total of three weeks during which we were not gone or hosting company! We made it from the coast of California to the foothills of the Smokies, and even Yellowstone, visiting family & friends, and sharing our heart for the Kwakum people of Cameroon and our ministry of Visual Translation. While we still have a ways to go to reach full support, our support is growing!
In September we settled back into school. David continues to work at Oklahoma State University while we seek enough partners to fund our full-time ministry with the Kwakum. I, (Amanda) am still homeschooling the kids, a task that I love more each year. Our kids will tell you that they don’t like “school.” But they obviously love learning. That excites us!
Johnathan (18 yrs) will graduate in December. Then in May he will complete his second and final year of welding training at Indian Capital Technology Center with all five of his welding certifications. Last year, he was the only first-year student chosen to compete in welding competitions on behalf of the school. His team took first place in regional AND state competitions. They placed 7th overall in the national competition! We are excited to see how God will use his talent for welding and building things, as well as his desire to get his pilot’s license one day.
Josef (16 yrs) is a junior in high school. He loves reading, writing, and computer coding. He taught himself enough coding to land an internship with NASA this summer, helping to teach computers how to interpret data about plants that lived on the space station. We don’t understand much of what he does. (Mostly we’re glad when our computers turn on!) But we are thrilled that God has given him these interests and pray that Josef continues to use them for the glory of God.
Our next letter will include an update on Mei and Jakob.
Every Autumn I think of a line from “You’ve Got Mail.” Tom Hanks’ character says, “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” This fall, I am thinking about the kids in the Kwakum village, not because they need pencils — but because they don’t. Kwakum kids don’t need pencils because most of them don’t get to go to school.
School in Cameroon is expensive and is taught in French, a language the Kwakum don’t really speak. Extended families typically choose one child from each generation to send to school by pooling their resources. The rest of the children roam about the village taking care of themselves as best they can while their parents work in their fields or find and prepare food.
During our visit to Cameroon, we got to know many of the village kids who visited us daily, thrilled to have a captive audience of adults with nothing else to do. I learned some Kwakum because the children thought it was HILARIOUS that I was so ignorant. Eager teachers, they never tired of quizzing me on the names of everything in sight. They especially delighted in how I knew neither the Kwakum nor the French word for ANYTHING in the entire village. Most white people in Cameroon can speak some French and the kids know words for some of their surroundings. They probably thought I had the education of an infant.
They also eagerly learned to write a few letters when I teamed up with a young Christian Kwakum mom who can read and write a little. But until teachers come to the village, there is no way for these children to learn more than how to copy funny shapes onto a scrap of paper.
This fall as you pack school lunches or even buy some pencils, would you also stop and pray for the Kwakum children? Please pray that:
· Even before they can read and write, God would begin his saving work in their hearts.
· The Hope of the Gospel will be clear and understandable to them because their hearts are soft and ready to receive this good news.
· That God will raise up teachers for the Kwakum children so that they can learn to read and write their own language in preparation for when the Kwakum Bible is complete.
If you are already supporting God’s work among the Kwakum, then we hope this update is encouraging to you. God is working thorough your sacrifice! If you are still wondering how God might use you to bring Hope to the Kwakum, please contact us. We need prayer partners–people committed to sacrificing time praying for us and our ministry. We need financial partners–people committed to sacrificing resources to support us as we seek to bring the Gospel to the Kwakum full-time. We need ambassadors–people who will reach out to their connections and put us in contact with churches, organizations, and friends who have a heart for missions and might want to help bring Hope to the Kwakum. And of course, if you are interested in going to the mission field we’d love to talk with you about how God might use you.
Until December~much love,