God blessed the guys with a very productive trip in March. They managed to tear down the Cann house completely, storing salvaged building materials in a temporary structure. They also marked out, dug holes and poured cement footings for the office building.
Many have asked where the guys stay when they’re in the village. The whole area on the tip of the ridge (from where the Canns’ house was) is designated as ‘mission area’. In addition to our two homes, there is a house that is made available for the use of any Lutheran pastors who rotate through the area. The earthquake that broke our homes also shook the ‘pastor’s house’ off its posts. A new house was built quite soon after the earthquake. It is a normal bush house, with two rooms, each with a central fire pit. At the moment, friends of ours (the village leader who is over us and his wife) are staying in that house, and they host the guys. Bangena also cooks for them. We send in some rice and noodles, and she cooks dinner for them, adding some locally grown vegetables. The fridge inside our house is still connected so they’re able to take in cereal and milk for breakfast and ingredients to make sandwiches for lunch.
We are incredibly thankful for the progress made so far. Please pray for endurance. Please also pray for SIL’s aviation department – they serve an essential role reaching remote areas with the gospel. Even with a small staff under a lot of pressure, they’ve continued to serve joyfully and are trying their best to comply with all our requests.
A dear friend who served as missionary for many years mentioned how the simultaneous deconstruction / construction reminds her of the reality of our spiritual lives. Thank God for his continual work in us – tearing down remaining sin, and building up holy habits in their place. May we all “work out our (your) own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in us (you), both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13)