June 2013 Update
Ed & Dorothy Woods (1971)
Dear Prayer Partners,
Memorial Day weekend began with a cold, windy rain that saturated our yard. So much for camping! All 15 future first time tenters agreed to try Sunday evening instead. Thus began a memorable 24 hours of togetherness with our students: pitching tents, hoping they wouldn't blow away, playing croquet and ladder ball, cooking on a wood fire, discussing John 3 around the campfire, enduring a 35° night, making pancakes, driving a tractor, and hiking in a nearby state park. What a special time we had! A lot of work? Definitely! Worthwhile? Absolutely!
The next Thursday and Sunday these same visiting scholars and family members came to ESL class and the Bible study. Recently one of 3 Chinese girls who attend Sunday School and a teen Bible study trusted Christ as her Savior. Praise God...and pray for D. as she desires to know more and apply the Word to her life situations. Attending B's 8th grade graduation and Yerko's high school awards ceremony enabled us to strengthen relationships with these surrogate grandchildren--and their parents. Yesterday we had lunch with G. who is returning to Kazakhstan next week. Our conversation included opportunity to share truths from God's Word with her.
Summer is transition time, with some scholars returning and new ones arriving. Last week's class was designated a farewell party for all who are leaving soon. About 30 people, including some new folks, enjoyed a wide variety of delicious Asian food and a time to publicly share personal thanks and reflections. This was followed by hugs and tears. We are more than co-learners, more than friends--we are family.
Next on the calendar is a fishing trip this Friday evening. A family in our church makes this a special ministry which is greatly enjoyed by the students. Recently another family opened their home to our students and the church folks for a relaxing evening basking in God's great outdoors. Keep in mind that even during the travel to and from such activities, significant conversations are a normal part of the ride. Luanne, a professor at Ithaca College, faithfully assists with the ESL class; and soon Carla hopes to become trained and involved as well. God is blessing in so many ways!
Family wise, we're praising God that David will be here in two weeks, with Jon and family joining us for July 4th. Then Deb and family plan to spend a week with us in early August. Brendan (5) was finally diagnosed with a partially paralyzed colon which doctors hope to treat with medication. Praise God for an answer...and pray for healing.
You are, indeed, partners in ministry, and we thank you for your prayers, gifts, and encouragement as we seek to "declare God's glory among the nations."
Rejoicing in Him,
Ed and Dorothy Woods
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