September 2012 Update
Kurt & Barb Matthews (1990)
Dear Prayer Partners,
This week we all got back into the groove of school work. However, we have made lots of changes in that area this school year. We made some tough decisions to put Leah (5th grade) and Moriah (3rd grade) into the local public schools. We are praying that these next several months (until January, when we hope to return to Ghana, Lord willing) in public school will help to stretch both girls in many ways. You can pray that their lights will shine for Christ in every way - through their friendships, their behavior, their academics, and their relationships with their teachers.
Leah is excited about getting to take the bus to and from the intermediate school with her close friend and neighbor, Casey.
We are so thankful for Casey and her family as they have been great friends to us since we rented this house. After those girls get on the bus, Casey's mom, Greta, and I walk Moriah and Casey's little brother, Tegan, to the elementary school right up the road.
This has been a great time for Greta and I to talk - I love it! Then again in the afternoon we get to do it all over again. The day goes by so fast for us moms, but I'm sure it drags on for the girls as they are used to having their school work done by noon most days.
I think that they both finished before noon every day this week! I don't think that will last the whole school year, but it's an encouraging start for all of us. Hannah is continuing to work on getting her college credits through self study and exams. I'm excited about getting to spend more time with the older students as the younger ones aren't needing all of my attention during the day. You can pray that I would use my time wisely during the school day and take advantage of this time with my older children.
Another exciting change this year is that we've joined a homeschool co-op in our area. T.E.A.C.H. meets every Thursday and has more than 70 families who are cooperating together to give their children a good education. Noah is enrolled in only one class (middle ages history), but Sarah will be taking sign language, choir, and biology with the co-op. We will start those classes this Thursday and I'm really excited about having the opportunity to interact with other homeschoolers in the area.
Thank you all for continuing to pray for us. These changes are not always easy for everyone involved. Moriah told me the other day that she likes homeschooling better than going to public school. That certainly pulled at my heart strings! Sarah and Noah weren't real excited about allowing me to be more involved in their schoolwork either. But we all have lots to learn about loving each other and growing in our faith. You can pray to that end.
Barb, for the Mathews' clan
September 9 Update
I'm so glad that God created us to have relationships with other people - to be encouraged, strengthened, and inspired by them. One of the reasons that we chose this area of PA to have our "time out" to focus on our family was because of Cocalico Community Chapel and the small group that meets monthly from within that church body. The four couples who are a part of that group have been brave enough to let down their guards and take off their masks with one another to share from their hearts. They lift each other up in prayer regularly because they know specific things that they can pray for one another- sin struggles, challenges with their children, hurts from the past, relationships with family, etc. When I first attended one of these meetings, I thought to myself "This is what the body of Christ is supposed to be like."
We've also benefitted from another group of people, our neighbors. I know that God put us in this very house in this exact neighborhood for a reason - many reasons, probably. I love this neighborhood and I love our neighbors. Often on the weekends, we just enjoy all hanging out together. We all bring our food outside and some start a big fire and we talk and eat and talk and eat some more. The kids all play on their bikes and scooters in the ally between our houses and run around like their energy will never end. And I think to myself, "God is so good and life is good." We are people learning about love from other people. These people (including us) are not perfect and none are famous, but they are real.
You can praise the Lord with us that God has given us this time to learn from others and to grow in our relationships with one another. Thank you all for praying for us and for your support during this time.
Barb, for the Mathews
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