January 2013 Update
Kurt & Barb Mathews (1990)
Dear Prayer Partners,
The kids made paper chains to count down the days until we leave for Ghana. As of today, it is 22 more days until we fly. While the kids were busy making paper chains to count down the days, Kurt and I were busy making lists of things that have to be done before we leave; packing, getting Hannah settled into her new home, going through stuff that we've accumulated here and purchasing things that we want to take back to Ghana. But the hardest thing that we always have to do when we leave is say "Goodbye" to friends and family.
We had the opportunity to see my mom and two of my sisters and their children over the Christmas holiday in CT. It was a great time of visiting and sharing, but then we had to say "Goodbye".
That's one of the sacrifices that every missionary has to make and it's not fun. However, God always gives us grace and joy wherever we serve Him. I'm so thankful for that! We love our families very much and would love to be able to spend more time with them, but we feel privileged to be able to serve God. We are blessed in that each of our family members have been very supportive of that decision. Some missionaries do not have that - their family members may make it much harder for them to leave. Remember that as you pray for your missionaries. They have these hard things to work through too.
Hannah has always amazed us with her intelligence and she continues to do that. Even though she is only 17, she has managed to finish high school and almost two years of college at the same time. We took advantage of the time with my family and used that opportunity to "officially graduate" Hannah from high school. Hannah has a lot of changes she's going to face soon - moving to live with friends, saying "Goodbye" to her family, driving on her own, and finishing her college degree. Hannah is studying humanities with an emphasis on linguistics. She hopes to attend the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota in the summers of 2014 and 2015. Until then, she will continue to study various subjects online or on her own to earn her college credits (with the encouragement of her College Plus coach). We are so proud of her and can't wait to see what God is going to do in her and through her in her future. Thank you all for praying for her and for us as we make this transition.
Thank you all for continuing to pray for our family as we prepare to jump back into the ministry in Ghana. Pray especially for Kurt and I as we communicate with our national partners soon to discover where we should live and work when we return. We are excited to see what God has in mind for us!
Barb, for the Mathews
January 27 Update
Dear Prayer Partners,
MY AMAZING HUSBAND
I have called Kurt 'the energizer bunny' for a long time now because he just doesn't ever seem to run out of energy. Once again, he has proven this to be true. He started packing our suitcases about a week ago and has had to unpack and repack them four times now - all with no complaining or grumbling and even with a smile on his face. :-)
He says it's a fun challenge to try to get everything in. I'm so glad that God gave me a husband like Kurt! He's such an awesome example of a hard worker.
OUR LAST SNOW
It snowed on Friday night here in PA - really it was just a dusting - but our kids were thrilled that they got one last chance to play in the snow.
So, what did they do? Well, I'll let you see for yourself.
As I said in my last update, the goodbyes are the hardest part of leaving the States to return to the place where God has called us to serve Him. Last Sunday we went to our sending church in Laurel, MD for one last opportunity to share with them. It was a great opportunity to share about what God has been doing in our lives and how we are anticipating Him using us to help others in Ghana. They ended with a time of meaningful prayer for us, committing us and the ministry in Ghana to the Lord.
Then on Tuesday this past week, we had one last neighborhood get together with our wonderful neighbors that we have grown so close to. Yesterday we all braved the cold weather to get some photos.
Some of us have been sick with fevers and colds, so not everyone is in the photo, but we are going to miss these special friends tremendously.
This morning at church and then tonight there will be more goodbyes to say. Our close friends, the Westons (who Hannah is staying with), are having our small group friends over for a farewell party later this evening. We've grown very close to these special people that God has used to help transform our thinking and way of looking at things, so this will be another very difficult goodbye to say. And of course, tomorrow before we get on the plane, we will have to hug our very grown-up first child for the last time in a long time. Just thinking about this tears this mother's heart into little pieces, but I'm excited to see how God is going to work in and through Hannah in the future.
Thank you all for praying for us during this difficult transition for our family. We love you all!
Barb, for the Mathews' clan
January 29 Update
We are in Accra tonight, exhausted, but praising the Lord for all of the wonderful things He has done to bring us back to Ghana safely. The British Air employees went beyond the call of duty for us - checking in four of our heaviest (51 pound) carry-on bags along with our 18 regular suitcases with no extra charge and moving our seats to sit us near Vicki and with two window seats. Then we had no problems at the security checks (except Kurt had accidentally packed two big bottles of shampoo in Noah's backpack which we had to throw away). All of our suitcases arrived safely and, believe it or not, we sailed right through customs without anyone even touching one suitcase. It was amazing! God is so good! Now I'm going to crash for a good night's sleep before our travel to Ho tomorrow. Thank you all for praying!!!
Barb, for the Mathews' clan
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