Well, this is our last email update for the 2002-2003 school year. It
is amazing to me that this school year has already ended. We are sad
to see it end so soon. We've said a lot of 'Good byes' to many people
this past week, who sadly, are moving away from Suriname for good.
Patricia and I were just discussing how we couldn't wait to board the
plane to fly back to the states last summer, but this year, we aren't in
a hurry to leave. We really love it here: the people, the school, the
scenery, but not so much the rain. We are ready for drier weather, hot
water, and fast food. We are excited to see family and friends and
share about our experiences of this past year.
God has a lot in store for us in Suriname this coming fall. We are
very anxious to see how God is going to move among our students during the
2003-2004 school year, so we look eagerly to our return.
To update you since my last email (the Trinidad update), things have
really moved along swiftly here. I spent a week of torment finishing up
our school yearbook. I don't think I ever want to oversee the
production of a yearbook again. I think I got a glimpse of what Hell is like.
Just kidding. But the yearbook team and I, got the thing finished and
into the hands of all the eager students. Everyone seemed happy with
the end result.
Dr. Martens and his wife, Ruth, are now happily retired and are
traveling somewhere in Hong Kong.
We now have 5 dogs keeping us busy. We took on 2 additional dogs from
a missionary family that has sadly departed. I will miss Jake and
Janie, probably as much as they will miss their dogs.
I did the final chapel service of this school year. God laid on my
heart to really challenge the students. About 14 of them are leaving us
for good. I shared with them my personal observations of 'Things I Have
Learned' in the past 17 years since graduating high school. Some
observations were humorous, some were serious; but the main point of what I
have learned, is that God keeps His promises. Every single last one of
them. You probably can not open to a page in the New Testament and not
see a promise from God.
I shared several promises that God has made that I have been able to
witness in my own life. I gave them time to reflect on their own lives,
after laying out the plan of salvation for them. I ask them to ponder
on what lay ahead for their future and how much of that is God
included? I offered an invitation and we had one rededication.
I also gave my last sermon at our church about 2 weeks ago. The church
has asked me to continue upon our return. I feel blessed to be used in
As far as security issues, we could not afford the security firm's
price, so we did not get an alarm system. However, God seems to have
handled things for us. The people on street where we live have hired 3
armed guards. They patrol our street every night. But the real kicker is,
the gang that has been doing all the robbing and terrorizing is no
longer in operation. 2 are dead (shot), 1 is paralyzed (shot), 2 are in
prison (surrendered), and one is running for his life. Isn't it written
"you reap what you sow"? So, Suriname is now the safest it's been for
the entire school year.
Well, Doby knows that we are packing up. He is excited. He can't wait
to see his "Nana". Just pray over our travel issues for us. The
airline told us today that Doby was a pound overweight, but I trust God will
get us on that flight that leaves in just 10 hours from right now.
Most of you will probably read this Tuesday morning, hopefully while we
are in flight. We are expected to land in Miami around 1 PM, then we are
renting a car and heading down to Key West. After a few nights there,
we will be driving up to NC rather than flying. Pray for safety and
that I remember to drive on the right side of the road. We drive on the
left side down here.
Look forward to seeing everyone in just a matter of days/weeks. Drop
me an email, so we can arrange a time to visit you.
In Christ's Name,
John and Patricia