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November 2014

Greetings from beautiful Michigan

Fall is my favorite time of year due to the leaves turning colors & decorating the green landscape. Michigan is there right now, so we are enjoying more of God’s wonderful handiwork. We are settled in Michigan now, and are involved in our home church. I am teaching a Wednesday evening Bible study in I Corinthians, and the kids are helping out in various ways in Awana. All of them are enjoying school (as much as that is possible for teenagers & preteens), with Hannah & Hadassah attending a public school for the first time. One of the deciding factors for us in choosing a public school over home school was their attitude toward it. They wanted to be in a place where they could share their faith with peers and to live out their walks in an environment that needs Christ. So we prayerfully sent out our 2 missionary daughters into the public school system. They are doing well, and are standing up for what they believe.

Hadassah in the marching band

Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps”. I am reminded of Paul in the Book of Acts (16:6-7) where he intended to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit stopped him. And then he made plans to go to Bithynia, but God also stopped that intention. In God’s perfect timing, He then revealed to Paul where He wanted him to minister; and Paul obeyed by going to Macedonia. That is what we are living out in this season of life. Among other things that we have pursued, Dawn & I were planning a trip to PNG this Fall, but that has been cancelled due to our family’s ongoing health situations. The stress of moving from MO to MI has exposed some weaknesses in Dawn’s & Hannah’s health, so we didn’t see how an overseas trip would be very beneficial to their healing.

Hannah in fact is getting worse (increased fatigue with more down days than up days, as well as sporadic dizzy spells, digestive issues, and heart palpitations). We continue to pursue avenues to get some answers to what she is fighting, with the consensus among various doctors being that she is having autoimmune difficulties, and probably gluten/wheat sensitivities. That seems to be the most logical since her thyroid, digestive system, and adrenals are connected, but are not functioning properly. Please continue to pray that we will get some answers and then solutions for our daughter. At the most recent check-up for Dawn, the doctor said she is about 80% back to good health, after only about 4 months of treatment. According to the doctor, most people don’t respond that quickly, so we are thankful for that good report.

While we are in Michigan, we are speaking at supporting churches, as well as pursuing opportunities to speak at other churches to share about our ministry. I recently spoke in chapel at two of our NTM training facilities, and I am attending the weekly elders meetings of our home church. We are also enjoying time with Dawn’s family and our church family.

Singing with friends from Kansas City at a recent visit in Michigan

Havannah holding our friend’s new baby boy — born the day before we moved to Michigan

In PNG news, we have not heard anything from the Bena church or from fellow missionaries who sometimes have opportunity to speak with people from our village when they go to town. Please continue to pray for the Bena believers, that they will hunger for God’s Word and will stay faithful to the One who is always faithful.

The news we have received from PNG recently is another prayer request. A New Tribes missionary pilot, John Leedahl, was in a serious motorcycle accident on the highway. He lost a lot of blood at the accident, but was eventually stabilized and was flown to Australia for surgery. The result of this experience was that his right leg had to be amputated above the knee and his left knee & ankle need surgery. His wife, Adie, is with him in Australia, and they are working at getting their 3 young sons down there so the family can be together again. Pray for John’s healing, for their family, and for the many adjustments that they will have during the coming months. They are encouraged in the Lord, and are trusting in their wonderful Father who makes no mistakes.

Trusting in our God, and not in our circumstances,
Rich


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