Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Hello Dear Friends!
Warm Autumn Greetings from Sunny Suriname! Ah, October is my favorite
month of the year for many reasons--football, colorful fallen leaves,
crisp air, the first frost, orange pumpkins, and of course--my birthday.
We don't have any of that going on here in Suriname, so October kinda
makes me homesick. This has been a trying October this year, so we are
glad that we have only one more day of it...
As some of you know, we just about lost our little dog Doby on the
14th. He had a bad reaction to some medicated shampoo that the vet gave
him. Watching him die was very traumatic for Patricia and me. However,
we want to give all praise to God because you guys prayed for Doby and
God delivered him. We have taken him to the vet almost every other day
since that traumatic week of recovery. He is almost back to his old
self, however he is having some difficulty with his vision. He almost
went blind from the fever and dehydration and shock. His eyes are cloudy
gray. We ask that you continue to pray for his healing. Through this
experience, we have been able to witness to our students in the respect
of the power of intercessory prayer. The kids have had a chance to see
the "human" side of Patricia as she cuddled Doby at school all that
week. Some kids became as emotional as Patricia was. She shared with
them about how God cares for things such as animals (Matthew 6:25-34) and
how she never lost hope.
Some other things have been going on that I ask that you pray about,
but let me start with the good news....Praises!
Praise God that we are both in good health (although the minute I write
this in a prayer letter, the enemy attacks my health). No more rashes,
hives, fever, etc. So thank God for that....seems like a virus is
going through the high school. Kids are dropping like flies with fever,
vomiting, and diarrhea; so we want to ask prayer for our ill students.
Thank God that the electricity problem was patched up after a couple
days of inconvenience. You don't know what a wonderful invention that
the air conditioner is!
Praise God that we now have our residency status. All this means is
that we no longer have to go to immigration every 3 weeks to have our
passports stamped--we are now legal residents of Suriname.
Praise be to God for our after school bible study. About 8 students
come out each week. These numbers are down a little from last year, but
we aren't discouraged. We would have bible study if only ONE student
came out. Please pray for these young students that they stand on a firm
foundation and develop a strong personal relationship with Christ. All
of the students attending this year (so far) are Christians, so our
function is to disciple.
We are not working in Youth Group this year. This is due to our
philosophy that Youth Group is for the kids. There are a lot of adults that
come out to YG and just stand around. We feel that adults should only
make up about 10% of the people there, so we have opted out this year,
much to the protest of students. Instead, Patricia and I are
sponsoring Family Volleyball on Friday nights opposite of YG. This has been met
with tremendous success. So many people are coming out, we've had to
put up an additional net. The kids love it and can't seem to get enough
of it. We play some MEAN V-ball!!
Patricia wants you to know that her girl's bible study in the high
school classroom continues to bear fruit. Please keep her in prayer as she
guides these young ladies with life-issues that most girls have to deal
More Prayer Requests...
Pray for our students and our classes in general. The "honeymoon"
period is over for my students. This year is more challenging for me in
terms of classroom motivation. When the kids are not motivated, it is
difficult for even me to be motivated. They would rather talk about
other stuff than what I am trying to teach them. So I NEED prayer in that
Please pray for our staff. The enemy tries his best to cause friction
and distraction so that we loose focus. We have 2 teachers that we
want to lift up in prayer. Steven has been with us since last February
and he is suffering from major depression. He is bi-polar. We just ask
that you pray for his mental, physical, and spiritual health. Another
teacher we ask prayer for is Susan. She has a lot difficulty (in
general) with 'Life in Suriname'. Her class size is very small (will be
down to 2 students in December) and she is frustrated over things. She
feels regret over returning this year. We ask that you lift these 2
teachers up and we ask prayer for Patricia and myself as we
encounter/encourage these 2 on a daily basis.
We also want to ask prayer for next year. We will be losing 5 teachers
next year (65% of our staff) due to turnover. God willing, Patricia
and I plan on returning next year. We know that God provides and calls
people into His service, but we want to go ahead and ask you to be
praying on a continual basis. We are looking for teachers as early as
January. We were already 2 teachers short from the beginning of this school
year. This is a genuine prayer need. Along those lines, we ask you to
pray for teacher housing...housing here is NOT at all like in the
states. Houses are hard to rent. When they see white Americans, the rent
quadruples. We know that Doctor Marten's (our principal) lease will not
be renewed next year, nor the lease that houses another teacher. The
dwelling that we live in is the ONLY property owned by the school--so at
least, we have a home.
We ask prayer for Christy Phillips and her family. Christy is our new
science teacher. She and her husband, Miles, and her 3 daughters and 1
son have joined us for just this year. Well, last week some brazen
burglars broke into their home during the night while the Phillips family
slept. Miles was awakened when the burglars entered their upstairs
bedroom. Miles is a BIG man--he jumped up and chased those burglars out
with a tennis racquet. The burglars were lucky to make it out
untouched. Some property was stolen, but Thank God no one was hurt. They are
extremely traumatized from this event so we ask that you lift them up in
prayer. This news really shocked Patricia and me because this is the
same home that we lived in for a month last April as we cared for the
Davis boys. We ask that you pray for protection of our home.
A new school board president was put into position this week as the
former president stepped down. We ask prayer for the board as they are
the ones who direct the school. Also, the board makes recommendations
for who returns the following school year. Pray that there is unity
between the board and the school administration because this is a favorite
area that Satan loves tossing into turmoil.
I don't mean to be long-winded. We love getting emails from you
because this is a great encouragement for us. Please send any prayer
requests that you may have, so that we may pray for you. This is a team
effort. Thanks again for all of your prayers and support. We could not be
here without you behind us.
A lot of you have requested our mailing address so you can send us
goodies (another BIG encouragement *wink*wink*). We have 2 addresses....
The first one is for letters, cards, DVDs, and things that are book
John and Patricia McClung
in care of American Cooperative School
P.O. Box XXXX Miami, FL 33152
(WEBREADERS: If you need our address, email me)
This next address is for packages larger than a book such as TVs, 1968
Chevy Malibu, CARE packages, microwave ovens, hot water tanks, etc.
John and Patricia McClung
c/o American Cooperative School
XXXX NW 74th Street
Miami, FL XXXX (Private)
*Please Note--If you send a CARE package to the above address, PLEASE
tell us via email because Customs pulls the box until we give them the
estimated value of the contents AND a list of contents. Thank You.
Please drop us a line when you get the time. I am TRYING to respond to
your emails when I read them.
In His Service,
John and Patricia