Recently the mission has been given some great gifts of personal property which are known as “Gifts-in-kind.” We have been given two vans, four cases of copy paper, three furnaces and two acres of land. These gifts are tax deductible and you will get a gift-in-kind receipt if desired. Of course we continue to need good new and used clothes, household items, and school supplies, but it has been great to see God supply even bigger items for our use.
Dear Friends and Relatives,
The trip to Israel has come and gone but the memories and photos will continue to be mine. This truly was a trip of a lifetime with many deeply moving sites and experiences. I will try to highlight just a few of those.
Early on in the tour we went to where it is believed that Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea. Divers have actually found coral-encrusted chariot wheels buried deep under the water there in the Gulf of Aqaba.
My favorite places were the places Jesus walked. In Nazareth there is a village depicting what His life would have been like, a wonderful recreation with costumed guides. It was especially moving to go into the synagogue and to be reminded of Jesus entering. Picking up the scrolls He read from Isa. 61, “the Spirit of the Lord is on me; he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” We saw a typical wine press and olive press as well as a home and carpenter shop and the tools that would have been handled by Jesus Himself.
I loved sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane among the 2000-year-old olive trees and wondering if Jesus sat under this very tree? Then remembering the crucial decision Jesus made there—”Not My will, but Thine be done”, and feeling ashamed at how I struggle over not getting my way in simple things. And then Golgotha and the Empty Tomb. This is me at the Tomb.
Another favorite spot was Ein Gedi where David hid in caves from King Saul. In the middle of the most barren wilderness is this gorgeous oasis with a waterfall and lush vegetation. Many ibex, small deer, roam the hills nearby and I thought of David’s psalm, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee Oh God.” It was well worth the seemingly hundreds of stone steps up to the waterfall and imagining David encouraging himself in the Lord at this place.
And lastly in the way of highlights for me was the Sea of Galilee where we had a boat ride to Tiberias. The guide read passages from the Gospels that pertained to Jesus and the Sea and we sang praise songs. It was a wonderful worship service to the One Who continues to calm our storms.
This only touches on a few things but I hope you get the idea of what a tremendous blessing it was for me to be able to go. Many of you were eager for me to have this privilege, and I am deeply grateful. Others care for us month by month, year by year, and for that I hope you know we are thankful.
Greg and Kathy
I said I wanted to come back! Three and a half years ago I left the Mission with mixed emotions. I was happy because I was heading back to school to earn my degree in Elementary Education, but sad because it meant leaving people I had grown to love. When I left the Mission it was my hope to return after earning my degree. For the three years that I was in school I focused on doing my best in my classes and prayed that I would be able to return to the Mission. In January I began student teaching and continued to pray about Immanuel Mission. As my weeks of student teaching ticked by, my hope of returning to the Mission began to look like a distant dream. Although I still wished to return to the Mission, the reality of repaying student loans and other issue began to discourage me. In April, on my birthday no less, I received an e-mail from John Bloom asking me if I would return to the Mission and teach first grade. I spent the next two weeks praying and finally concluded that my God is a great God and He wants to give me the desires of my heart. All I have to do is let Him worry about the small stuff. I am now back at the Mission teaching first grade and am so grateful that the Lord is faithful. I cannot even begin to imagine what He has in store for me!
We had a rough time financially in September, but we had just enough oil in the jar to make all the cakes. That is just like God to make sure that we have enough to keep on going. We were given a couple of gifts…they seemed like miracles to us. We are doing ok again. That propane truck always seems to wipe us out. Because of where we live we have to have it delivered and we have to buy the whole truck or the price is more per gallon. These days it costs almost $6000.00 every time we order. There are no gas lines out here so we only have the option of choosing which propane company. We are learning that God is good all the time and He provides.
The school currently has 79 students enrolled for this school year. We have three senior boys who are anxious to graduate. Several families moved off the reservation for work so our numbers are down a little from last year. We have adequate staff although we can always use more help. We are happy to have Michele Lawman back on staff. She left three years ago to finish her schooling and now has returned a fully certified teacher. We also welcome Elizabeth McNeal from MO. as a teacher’s aide and coach. She also teaches Jr. High science and substitutes for sick teachers. We have had some sickness among the students but thankfully no H1N1 as of yet. All the teachers are staying healthy so far. Our new auto shop program is operational this year. Six upper class boys are learning about small engines, body work and car repair. Greg Staley agreed to teach the class for one year so still be spreading the word that we need a long term teacher for this program. We also need another high school teacher and/or coach.