June 2013 Update
Kurt & Barb Mathews (1990)
Dear Prayer Partners,
These past few weeks have been somewhat discouraging to us, which is one of the reasons why I haven't sent out my regular update. We've also been having some internet challenges, which is another reason. But some of you have written that you are praying for us. Even though you don't know the details about what is going on here, you have been praying - and for that we are exceedingly grateful! I can't really tell you all everything that is happening here, but I can tell you that it feels like every time we take a step forward, we seem to take two steps back. But God is teaching us a lot through these trials and we know that He is faithful.
Just yesterday, Kurt and I made the big decision of what house to live in. There were two different houses that we have been looking at, but neither one seemed to be just what we were looking for, considering our family and guests that may come. But they were our only options in the area near the Bible college, which is where we believe we need to be for now. As we met with the landlords of each house, we asked God to show us which one to take (if it was indeed one of those two that we should live in). Anyway, through the meetings with the landlords, God clearly closed the door to one of the houses and opened the door to the other. Unfortunately, the open door was for the house that needed the most work. But at least we know where we are going to live now and I have hope that we will be able to move in sometime in July. That was the first encouraging thing that happened in a long time.
The second encouragement actually came the same day as the first - yesterday, to be precise. Some of you know that our vehicle has been in the shop for about two years now. Most of that time we were in the States, but we fully expected it to be done before we returned to Ghana. Upon our return, we learned that the fitter (that's the mechanic) was not being completely honest and was not doing the work as he said he would. So, recently Kurt towed our vehicle from that fitter's shop to another one. Yesterday Kurt got advice to buy a used engine from Togo to replace the bad one we have in it now. So, today someone will do some research in Togo as to the condition and price of the replacement engine. If we get this engine, our car could be ready for us within three weeks. Yay! Then we will have a vehicle again and that would make our lives so much easier.
We praise the Lord for these encouragements that He sends our way just when we are about to lose all hope. He knows what we need to keep us going. Please continue to pray that God will guide us and direct our every step.
Noah, Leah, and Moriah have all finished this year's school work, but Sarah is still working. So, for me, I am nearly free for the summer! Yay! However, as I have been working and thinking about my responsibilities with teaching our children, God has been showing me that our high-school students would benefit greatly from another teacher who could concentrate on their level of learning. I am trained as an elementary school teacher and that's the area of teaching that I get the most excited about, so I naturally tend to spend more time with my elementary students and the older kids get neglected. So, here is my plea:
"GOD, PLEASE TOUCH SOMEONE'S HEART TO COME AND HELP US BY TEACHING NOAH AND SARAH FOR A SCHOOL YEAR." Noah will be in the ninth grade and Sarah is moving into eleventh grade in September. Won't you please pray with me that someone will come and help me teach them?
Thank you all for your prayers and your encouraging emails. God uses those emails to give us joy and encourage us in difficult times. Thank you for following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Barb, for the Mathews' clan
June 29 Update
Since we learned that it might take a very long time to get approval from the project office at ABWE to build something onto Vicki's house here on the Bible college compound, we have been looking around the Bible college for housing. The duplex that we found and thought we might rent fell through because the owner decided that he wanted to finish it in his own time before he rents it out. We were going to use the rent money to hire the workers and get the supplies needed to finish the house. So, I was kind of in the dumps when he decided that he didn't like our idea.
But just this week Kurt decided to take a walk around the area again (at six in the morning in order to catch people at home). People wake up very early here, so that's the best time to meet people in the house. Anyway, I did not go around with him, but asked him when he returned if he found a house for us. I was kind of asking in a joking way because I didn't expect that he would find anything as I had already been all over the neighborhood looking for weeks. But he said "Yes." I thought he was pulling my leg, but I went along with the charade. "When do I get to go and see it?" I asked. He said that we would be meeting with the landlord in the evening as he was preparing to go to work in the morning and couldn't really show us the house or talk about it. The more he talked, the more surprised I was. When he finally convinced me that it was a reality, I wanted to go and check it out for myself. Vicki came over later that morning and she and I went to check out the house. I expected no one to be there because Kurt didn't say anything about the owner's family staying there. But when we arrived, we found a nice lady and two small children in the house. After we greeted her and introduced ourselves, Yawa showed us around the house, which is mostly unfinished. They are living in just two rooms of this 5 bedroom home. Only those two rooms are finished. She explained that the house is really too big for them, so they would like to rent it out and use the rent money to finish the rest of the house. They will find someplace smaller to stay in for the meantime.
As I looked around, I fell in love with it! It meets all of our needs and the yard even has the big mango trees that we like and flowers and some carpet grass. As we have met with the landlord several times now, he has agreed to our price and our idea of using the rent money to finish the house before we move in. The only catch is that they have to find some place to live very quickly so that we can start work on the house and get in there before Vicki needs her house back. But I am praising God that it looks like we have a place to move to in about a month or so!
Last Saturday was an encouraging day as Grace Baptist Church here in Ho hosted a ladies' conference. About 50 ladies came from Ho and the surrounding villages to learn about a faith that pleases God from Hebrews 11. Our main speaker was Da Abra Sakpa, a pastor's wife from Togo, and she did an excellent job. It was so encouraging because the ladies from Grace initiated the whole thing by coming and asking the missionaries for help in planning it. We all worked together and it was so refreshing to not have the missionaries do everything for an event like this. We didn't even pay for everything! The men came at lunch time to serve which made the ladies feel extra special. Overall, I would say it was a successful day. Thank you all for praying for us as we seek to encourage the churches here to grow in their faith.
Barb, for the Mathews' clan
Return to the Prayer & Praise List