Allow me to take a few minutes to reflect on the journey.
How has our ministry changed or grown over the last three years?
Two years ago, we were in a very different place emotionally and physically: exhausted by work, stressed out, overwhelmed, inexperienced. Marcel's health suffered because of his heavy learning curve and feelings of incompetence. There were big projects to be done--a Caravan engine overhaul, for one--and there were many small projects on the to-do list. We were surviving, but definitely not thriving. Yet, God was faithful--flights arrived safely, projects were completed, and even in the toughest moments, God would remind us of our calling here to Angola.
Incredibly, the amount of flying has steadily increased over the last three years--reflecting an overall growth in the MAF ministry. The number of flight hours reflects a growth in medical, church, and NGO flying to the far reaches of Angola. Yet, by God's grace, Marcel has not drowned in work. Since returning from our home assignment, things have gone much smoother. We've been much healthier in all realms, and much less stressed. God gave us rest, and it was just what we needed.
At the school, there have been several milestones to celebrate over the last three years. Our first graduate, Odon, finished his high school degree last year, and even attended the graduation ceremony in Nebraska. He is now studying business in Spain.
Over the summer, we were able to move into a new school building, which also allowed us to clean up, reorganize, and essentially have a "fresh start". While the last school year ended very well, this new school year started even better--we have four teachers for the year (Helena, myself, a German short-term teacher, Michelle, and a young Angolan, Crisio, who worked for us last year). We have 35 full-time or part-time students. Our internet has improved dramatically over the last three years. And most excitedly, we have had a gradual shift in the spiritual climate at the school--from anger and apathy towards God to much more interest in following God and seeing fruit in the lives of some of our "baby Christians" ... how awesome is that!
Thank you so much for your support through the ups and downs over the last three years! We are so ridiculously blessed, that's it's impossible to stay sad or mad with God when we consider how kind He has been to us in all the little and big ways!
Marcel, Kelly, Ethan and Avro
P.S. We have started a podcast to help stay in touch through a different media--a podcast! We love to listen to podcasts, so we thought it would be a good idea! Go to iTunes and search, "Breakfast with the Boers"--we only have one episode so far, but there will be more on a monthly basis!
|Then ... (2015, look how chubby, cute and bald Ethan is!)|
|... and now! (2018, at Tchincombe farm, my how we've grown and developed|
bags under our eyes!)