Welcome, but don't get too comfortable!
We have had a very warm reception to the support base here in Goroka. Chris has plugged right into the Computer Service Department, and already Russ Nelson who'd recently been the only full-time computer services tech is feeling a sense of relief! The kids are all making friends, and it hasn't taken long for us to find a rhythm to life that seems to work for us here. We even received a warm welcome from our partners, Joey and Brooke Tartaglia, who are still in the states! However, their welcome came with plea that the Computer Service Department understands that, "they know that [we're] returning to Mibu real soon"! :) We do indeed count it a privilege to help out on the support side of things for this short season, but it remains our goal as much as we believe it is still God's calling for us to return to Mibu after this time here.
1st Grade Again!!
For any of you who have ever had to repeat a grade, or had kids who've had to do so, you can appreciate our request for prayer here. We had Jael screened last week for the possibility of a learning disability. Reading has always been a struggle for her, and it hasn't gotten easier over time, as we had expected and hoped it would. After discussing different options with some of the great educators here on the center, we have decided to go ahead and enroll Jael in the MK school here...in the 1st grade. We met yesterday with the 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Morton, and fell in love! We are confident that she and Jael will be a good match, and that she will be able to help us help Jael crack this code of the written word. We feel very good about our decision to enroll Jael.
If only Jael felt the same way. When we told her about our decision last week, she seemed fine. Although we kept an eye and ear open to any problems, none became evident until about a half hour before our meeting. At that point, she was in tears about going back into 1st grade. She'd already made some friends in the 2nd grade class when she visited there last week, and was concerned about what they would say or think when they saw that she was back in the 1st grade class. And then she didn't want to leave the house because of her tears. Poor girl. Daddy came to the rescue though, and talked with her (he also had to repeat 1st grade) and when the time came, she was able to meet her teacher with almost a smile on her face, and was laughing with her before the afternoon was out! We haven't had much opportunity to discuss this change in plans with her further, but we would ask that you pray for her as her first day in 1st grade (again) approaches...that she will be able to enjoy it as much as we know she could. Once she gets involved in the classroom, we are very confident that she will love her class, and the kids in it.
Not for us, but for our other partners! Geoff Husa was experiencing difficulty breathing and it was deemed medically necessary to evacuate them. Once they arrived in Goroka, the symptoms were quickly explained and brought under control and they found themselves unexpectedly here when we arrived! Although we wouldn't have wished for them to come out of Mibu for medical reasons, what a joy it was, getting to see them and spend some time with them and their girls! As they've now returned to Mibu, we ask that you continue to pray for them and the ongoing work there...they are in Mibu on their own right now, and it can add to the stress and feeling of isolation.
Thank you to all of you for your prayers during this time of transition and adjustments. Only they can explain the rapidness with which we have found our feet again. In so many ways, we do feel like we are at home again!
Because of HIM,
Chris, Angie, Jael, Baruch and Titus Walker