Renewing visas is really a miracle in this country with a predominant religion! We renew our visas every 5 years. This visa makes us able to minister in tribal areas. We are free to preach and teach! Our organisation has like-minded men working on our behalf, helping us obtain visas. They organise our paperwork, send it to the capital, and present it to immigration. All we do is show up, get a picture taken, do fingerprints, and sign on the dotted line. It’s really a very smooth process. Every 5 years we have to pay $15,000 to renew our visas. We are currently paying this debt off to the field of Asia Pacific since we had to borrow money from them. If you would like to help us meet this need, please make a note on the gift you send to New Tribes Mission. Here is the address: New Tribes Mission, 1000 E First St, Sanford, FL 32771 – make all checks payable to New Tribes Mission with a note saying “Visa Renewal for James & Nicky Poarch”. Has Everything Changed? Happy Thanksgiving! It is hard to believe our family has been back in Asia-Pacific for almost 7 weeks now! To say time has flown by is an understatement! Nicky and the kids have been staying in town these past weeks. This was so that we could save money (instead of traveling in and out of the tribe) but also because we were waiting to sign the renewal on our 5 year visas. PRAISE THE LORD we were able to sign for these visas this past Monday (see picture of Luke above). We praise the Lord that we are still allowed to preach His Name in the Da’an tribe through the allowance of these visas. While Nicky and the kids have been here in town, I was able to take a short trip in and out of the Da’an tribe. We had been getting word that the Da’an people, specifically the church, have been having some very challenging times. Most of the leaders in the church are no longer living full time in the tribe. They have moved out of the tribe and are now living 3 hours downriver partly because of work or because of their children going to jr high school or high school there. Because of this, the church has been suffering. There is no longer consistency in teaching and discipleship. These were already becoming hurdles while we were there, but now it is even more so. We have also heard reports of the desire for the Da’an to have God’s Word in their language changing as well. We heard that they were no longer desiring it as they were before. As I went into the tribe I immediately saw the change in the church, the few people I talked with were discouraged and not having so many of our friends (who are the leaders in the church) was a noticeable change.
Another hurdle we are up against is transportation into the tribe. As you know, we have mostly traveled by river in and out of the tribe. Our boat has rotted out since we have returned from home assignment. There were some other boats that were being borrowed, but those boats also have rotting wood and need to be repaired. There is a rough road that is passable on motorcycles, but I can’t possibly bring the whole family in that way. We have tried looking for a 4×4 truck to rent, but this is also proving hard to find. We do not have the extra money right now to purchase a truck, although this is the plan in the future. Used trucks here can cost around $15,000! Not cheap! So as you can imagine, we have felt pretty confused and discouraged as these very real obstacles have arisen since returning from our home assignment. Unfortunately, there is little we can do at this point in time – we are looking for a vehicle to rent to bring us into the tribe, but until we can secure one, we are still living in town. We are asking the Lord to give us wisdom and to provide. We are asking you to do the same on our behalf.
In regards to the Da’an still desiring to have God’s Word in their own language we do not feel we can rightly assess this situation outside of the tribe. We feel we want to get in there and talk to the church leaders and really get a feel for where they are at and what in their hearts has changed (if indeed there has been a change of heart). Please continue to pray that Nicky and I would be encouraged throughout this whole process. It has been hard not knowing our plans and hearing these different things and not being able to return to the tribe.
Although we still have national co-workers on site (Korengkengs), our German co-workers are still unable to return due to some serious medical problems that Markus is having with his heart. They will be getting a check up in January, but it is looking like their return to the tribe is a long ways away. We do feel a bit nervous and sad with not having English speaking co-workers in the tribe right away, please pray with us in this as well – there are other new families that would consider joining the work – but with all the unknowns going on (with the desire of the Da’an people, and if our German co-workers return or not) it is hard to plan at this time.
Thank you all for being part of this journey with us. We know these things have not taken Him by surprise although it has knocked the socks off of us! We have found our hearts being thankful knowing His control and His sovereignty will reign and because of this truth – we can rest in Him through all of these unknowns.
Thank you for praying – if ever we needed it, it is now!
James, Nicky, Emily, Luke, & Samantha Poarch
NTM Missionaries among the Da’an people of West Borneo, Asia-Pacific serving as Bible translators.
One More Month “D” (departure) day to Asia Pacific is coming! We are looking at only 4 more weeks to prepare. What typically happens is that we begin to cherish (even more) the times we are spending with our family. Some dear friends allowed us to spend a weekend in their cabin up north. Not only were we able to escape the hot weather in Phoenix for a few days, we were able to connect with my parents and have a special time with my nieces and nephews as well. Sometimes when I am out with my nieces and nephews, I often think “this is the last time for……. (fill in the blank)” and it brings tears to my eyes. I do tend to get very sentimental these last weeks in preparation of saying goodbye for the next 2-3 years! We are saying goodbye to elderly grandparents (on James’ side), to my dad who is terminally ill, to my baby brother who is getting married in the spring, and to my nephew who will be in college when I see him next. If we focus on these things too much it’s enough to stop us from leaving. We are purposing in our hearts to focus on our HOPE instead. Our hope that these goodbyes are truly only temporal and only on this earth. Even if I don’t meet any of those mentioned above here on earth again, I know I will see them in Heaven. Please pray for our family that we would instil heaven into the hearts of our children and that James and I would continually focus on the unseen and not on the temporal which is so easily seen.
Please remember to pray for our children. They have mentioned that their return to Asia-Pacific will not be as an easy transition as in other years. For one, they are older now and changes are more difficult, number two – they LOVE being in school here. Going back to homeschooling will be an adjustment to say the least. Luke told me the other day, “We can do it, Mom!”.
It is not our intent to mention all of the hard things in going back to Asia-Pacific and leave it at that. We do want to tell you that we are encouraged and readiness has filled our hearts and strength to do these tasks as well. It has always been our intention to be transparent with you, this allows you to know exactly how to pray for us! Leaving, goodbyes, and packing is hard! And as you are part of the body of Christ and part of the team assembled to reach the Da’an tribe, we need YOUR prayers at this time!
Since the beginning of the summer, we have been receiving word from our German co-workers that they will be postponing their return to the Da’an tribe. Markus has been diagnosed with a heart condition and he is not able to be far from proper medical care at this time. Please pray for our team at this time as we adjust to going down to a 2-family team (along with our Asia-Pacific co-workers) this will be the most difficult for our children as the Sindel boys were dear playmates of theirs. Even though this has caught us by surprise, we know this change of events did not take Him by surprise.
Thank you again for praying for us. Many of you have written & sent us encouraging messages lately – thank you! Sometimes I do not respond right away, but know I read them & am encouraged! One prayer intercessor wrote, “Nicky, if you are debating whether or not to buy a certain item, buy it! Don’t hesitate!”. I tell you what, that is the exact word I needed to hear just that day. I went out and bought the items I kept debating whether or not to purchase. Others have met with us face to face and told us something the Lord put on their hearts. Others have purchased items for us that I needed but never told them about ahead of time! All of this tells us and confirms God’s plan for our lives in returning to the Da’an tribe. And this is the body of Christ in action! All praise goes to Him! Thank you for your obedience and love for Him, it’s only through that, that you have been able to encourage and love our family! We will continue to keep in touch as “D” day approaches. Thank you ALL for praying for us!
THANK you, thank YOU, THANK YOU! If you remember, in our last update, we stated that we were in need of $3600 total for needs we had in preparation for returning to Asia-Pacific. We were completely blown away by your giving. Even as i write this thank you to you all I have tears in my eyes. Your giving to us reminded us of the tender love of the Lord. You gave more than double what we asked for, over $7000 came in! I can not even begin to explain to you the burden that was lifted from our shoulders as we have been able to go to the stores and buy what we need without worrying about costs. We are so thankful for YOU! A NEW Sister in the Lord in Da’an! On the far left of the picture above is Bogah. She is our new sister in the Lord! Bogah started to work for our family (as a house girl) when we first came into the Da’an tribe (2010). She worked for us faithfully for two full years. Over those two years, she became a dear friend not only of Emily’s but our WHOLE family. After two years, she went down river to go to Jr High school. I set her up to work and live with some other missionaries. As she has been working for them, she has been able to continue studying through the Bible. I just got word that about three weeks ago she became a Christian. I am so happy and can not wait to see her again! Bogah comes from an unbelieving family, her grandparents are very much into animistic/spirit worship as are her parents. Her uncle, however, is a deacon in our church. It is only his family that have been believers all this time, but now Bogah has joined God’s eternal family, praise the Lord with us!
In His Great Love, James, Nicky, Emily, Luke, & Samantha Poarch
TRANSPARENCY! As we have traveled throughout our extended time in the USA, we have strived to be transparent as we have shared of our triumphs and struggles in working in the Da’an tribe. We have intentionally done this so that our relationship with you would be deeper and so that you would know exactly how to pray for our family. We are not some super-human missionaries with super faith! As we all are, we too are vessels the Lord is using and molding to bring us to becoming more like His Son.
10,200 MILES, 25 STATES, IN JUST 2 MONTHS! We have just returned from a 2 month long road trip! We were able to visit some churches, supporters, friends and family! Some family we visited had never met our children! Some fun things we did while traveling was camp out, visit the Creation Museum, go to Disney World, swim in the ocean, go to Good News Camp, and tube down a river! Thank you for sharing your home, meals, and fellowship with us!
THANK YOU for extending grace to us and for hearing our struggles with hearts full of love and concern for our family. Thank you for rejoicing with us over victories won in the Da’an tribe. As we prepare our hearts and minds for our return to the tribe, it truly helps knowing we have a strong body of believers supporting us in love, encouragement, finances, and prayer!
MID OCTOBER! is the date when our family is planning to return to Asia-Pacific. Now that we are back from 2 months of travels, we have so much sort through, purchase, and pack! Our children will be returning to the christian school they attended last school year. They will go for just the first 8 weeks. Please pray that we would continue to have clear minds as we finish our time here in AZ, pray for some medical issues for Nicky to be resolved before leaving in Oct, and pray for finances to purchase needed items.
NEEDS! Just imagine what it would be like for you to think about basic things you would need for the next 3 years!?! This is what is going through my (Nicky’s) mind as I am preparing to return to Asia-Pacific for the next three years. I am thinking about gifts for birthdays and Christmas. I am thinking about games, puzzles, and craft items my kids might enjoy doing. I am thinking about what homeschool books to buy and what sizes of clothes and shoes we should purchase to bring back with us. To say it’s overwhelming is an understatement. But it’s part of what goes into our preparing to go back.
As you think of our family in the next several weeks, would you please pray Colossians 1:11 over us? We truly desire to endure the task the Lord has placed in our hearts to do in the Da’an tribe, and we desire to endure with all patience. At this time of preparation where so much money is spent, so many decisions have to be made, and items to be packed, stresses can be high. Our desire is also to endure this time with all patience as well. Pray that this endurance would produce joy in the midst of it all.
Before Jonathan (my twin brother) and his family went back to Central Asia, we were able to spend 4 days with them. Having all the Poarch cousins together was so much fun!
Stories of God’s Work. What God has been doing in the Da’an Tribe.
As we have visited with so many of you, reported back to supporting churches, and answered your many questions of what life is like in the Da’an tribe for our family…we have been reminded anew of how God has been at work in the Da’an tribe. You might think to yourselves, “Of course God is at work in the Da’an tribe!”, as we have visited and shared our experiences over the past three years Nicky and I have noticed how easy it’s been to forget this truth. That God is indeed working, He has a plan for the Da’an people, He is using our family as a tool to meet His plan and goal amongst these people, and that all of this praises and glorifies His Name!
One of the favorite “true” stories has been one of the broken bottle: One of the first believers in the Da’an tribe was a man named Tubo’ (kind of pronounced “Toobok”). Before he became a believer, his family had a special job to do. It was his family’s job to take care of and appease a spirit that his family kept in a bottle. This appeasement took the form of a type of offering (blood and uncooked rice) given to the spirit (on the top of the closed bottle) every Friday. The granddaughter of Tubo’ remembers her grandpa doing this job every Friday.
Well, after Tubo’ heard the gospel and put his trust in Jesus as his Savior, he decided not to follow the ways of the Da’an people anymore, he didn’t want to appease evil spirits nor did he want to keep the spirit in the bottle anymore as his father had done. One day, he took that bottle and threw it away and it broke into pieces. To this day, the unbelieving Da’an people say that because of what Tubo’ did, this “dark animal spirit” bothers them and can even cause them death.
This is just one clear evidence of God’s work amongst the Da’an people all of these years. He has been faithful and light in the village is shining. We have sat down with you, told you stories such as this one about the broken bottle, and we have been reminded of what God is doing. It’s funny how we can lose this focus and at times the ability to see things clearly.
We are so thankful for the encouragement you have brought in our lives! Thank you for partnering with us all these years.
Where we’ve been, where we’re going
We have been traveling almost all of February and most of March. Our travels have taken us to PA, WY, and most recently to New Orleans.
This summer we plan to visit FL, SC, PA, MO, and IL. Our family will take off from AZ at the end of May, then travel until mid-July to the States listed above. Going on road trips is one of the highlights of coming back to the States!
If we’re in your neck of the woods, don’t hesitate to ask us over. We would love to stop by and visit!
In a few short days, our family will be returning to the AZ area for about 7 months of home assignment. We are thrilled to be home for the holidays and to be with our family. As we said before, we are really looking forward to connecting with you all and sharing with you of how the Lord is working in the Da’an Tribe. If you have some openings at your church, small group, or even your family’s supper table, feel free to ask us to come and share. We would love to fit you into our schedule! We will start posting our travel schedule in our next newsletter so you have an idea of when we will be in your area!
Early November marked our family’s 10 year anniversary serving here in Asia-Pacific! We came as a young family, with only one child. Remembering those early years and adjustments and now seeing how far the Lord has brought us,reminds us of His faithfulness and provision in our lives. He HAS BEEN and CONTINUES to be so good and faithful. He called us as a family to serve in Asia-Pacific and He will continue to do His work until it is finished because of His faithfulness!
Saying goodbye to our Da’an friends was bittersweet. Emily was saying goodbye to many of her fellow sixth grade friends, who, when Emily will return from home assignment, will no longer be in the village since seventh grade through high school schooling is done in a different town way down river. Emily had some sad moments saying goodbye to several close friends knowing they wouldn’t be coming back to play together again as before. As we were saying our goodbyes, it struck me as so amazing that these were our friends whom we now considered “close”, even as family. I loved knowing that it was God’s work in our lives. He has given us a deep love for these people. We were touched to see so many Da’an come to the river’s edge and wave goodbye to our family as we took off downriver. It was a touching moment, one that I’ll keep in my heart and give back to the Lord in total awe and praise!
It’s Just Daily Life
The picture above is of James bandaging a little girl’s burned arm from when she fell into a fire! Responding to physical needsis just one area in the Da’an village that we “do” regularly. Before we left, James was also furiously working on several true storybooks to have ready for printing when we return to the village next summer. Now that these “daily life” tasks are left for a time, we find ourselves….TIRED! Our daily life has already changed drastically just by leaving the village and being in town for these few weeks. Please continue to pray with us that as we enter home assignment that we would be refreshed both physically and spiritually and recharged anew in His strength!
His faithfulness to us has also been visible through you and your care and love for our family these 10 years. We praise the Lord for blessing us with such wonderful supporters and team mates.
In His Love,
James, Nicky, Emily, Luke, & Samantha Poarch
I knew that Biet’s mom was going to give birth any day. I have become close with her three daughters and little by little have been building a relationship with their parents. Her husband is one of the head shaman in the village, holding close to the animistic ways and making sure these ways are followed especially in their home. Over the course of Biet’s mom’s pregnancy, I had bought her some prenatal vitamins, taken her blood pressure, and visited with her.
Finally the night came when she started her labor pains. A friend came and told me. A big dilemma went on in my mind…should I go, should I stay (I’m easily grossed out!)? Finally, I decided to go. When I got there, I was surprised at how many people were in the home, in her room, giving her advice, rubbing her feet, rubbing her back, making sure incense was burning, and finally…feeding her a bit of porridge (they say) to help her have strength. After an hour of sitting there sharing birth stories with the other ladies in the room, Biet’s mom’s water broke. After this happened….everything changed!
People started yelling – “OPEN ALL THE DOORS, PULL OUT THE NAIL OUT OF THE DOORWAY!” They were walking quickly back and forth in front of the room where her Biet’s mom was starting serious labor. They started chanting. The old lady next to me told me to take the batteries out of the lantern and put them back in. I knew what she asked me to do and I knew the reason why, but I just acted like I was involved in seeing the birth…
Opening up all the doors, taking out the batteries in the lantern, pulling out the nail in the top of the doorway assures a smooth birth and the child wouldn’t tarry in coming out. Chanting is a way of asking or summoning the spirits.
The final act was when the mother in law came and broke a glass jar right in front of Biet’s mom! CRASH! I knew this was also an act done to appease the spirits.
Finally the baby was born. Another girl for the family!
IF YOU WEREN’T THERE PRAYING FOR ME… were the words I was greeted with when I went back to visit Biet’s mom and her newborn daughter. I discovered then that Biet’s mom had a hard time delivering the afterbirth. I had left the house the night of the birth, soon after the baby was born, I had already been there for three hours. Before I left I had told several people that the reason I wanted to see the birth was so that I could pray the whole time. I also told them that I’d continue to pray after I went home (I was leaving early according to them, but I was tired).
After I left that night, trouble started with not being able to deliver the afterbirth. They even started down river (in the middle of the night) afraid Biet’s mom would bleed to death. But almost after immediately getting in the boat, she passed the afterbirth and was able return to her home.
When I went the following day to visit, she told me that she knew because I prayed that she was alive and the baby too.
WHAT IS THE LORD WANTING TO DO THROUGH THIS? This is the question I’ve been asking myself. I know this family will continue on with their animistic ways for now, but their ways were challenged and a confession of how prayer works was made! Please continue to pray for God’s timing with this family, that they would continue to see God working over anything else that they could possibly do.
THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE… the doors of building a deeper relationship with Biet’s mom has developed. I’ve visited her several times since her daughter was born. Before this, I had never been invited inside their home.
HUMBLING… As we continue to work with the Da’an, deepening relationships with them, it’s a humbling experience. Just knowing that as we live in obedience to what God has for us here, He chooses to use us. This is a great example of that truth. Nothing inside of me wanted to go and see that birth that night, but I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to go. I sat in the room (with a rat chewing on a shirt right next to me) praying that God would help me not faint and had the opportunity to pray for this dear lady and her child. And through this, a relationship has been deepened and has become more natural in visiting. Who knows what doors this opportunity will open in the future. Acting and responding in obedience is what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me lately.
This diet first starts out with a couple of day’s trip upriver to some of our outreach villages. We have a number of small churches there that we visit on a monthly basis. We do teaching and basically try to encourage the people there. We go on the boat for about 2 hours upriver, pulling it over the rocks. When it becomes too shallow, we get out and hike the rest of the way, about 1 hour over the mountains. I normally bring along a good water filter, but that is only for my personal drinking water. The whole time we eat and drink with the villagers there. Once, I even partook in eating “rujak” at a neighbor’s house. This consists of lots of very sour veggies/fruits cut up with a very not clean machete (I think the same one used to kill a pig, then clean your toenails). This is then dipped in some spicy homemade chili that was really spicy. Then you put some salt on it all to make it go down.
After eating and drinking river water with everyone, you realize that the river water that you drink actually looks a lot like tea (just tea has a better taste). When it rains, the river gets sort of murky and it seems that then is when the people dip it out and serve it to you. This is not actually what happened, it just seemed like it. After all this you have to go to the church meetings. During the meetings, every so often you have to excuse yourself and go find a place in the jungle to squat (there are a number of choice words or phrases or sentences that you can use for this and I could use a whole page for discourse analysis of the subject; there are also a number of new phonetic sounds that go along with it) without anyone looking at you. You are the only white foreigner around so that is a hard thing for you to do. It is also hard to find a flat place that has few bushes, but is surrounded by other taller bushes and trees. The key is to BYOTP (bring your own TP), as some of the plants in the middle of the Bornean rainforest have a tendency to leave your backside very itchy if you pick the wrong leaf.
When you get home, you realize that you have started to lose some weight. This is great news for those who WANT to lose weight. I did shed a few of the extra pounds I had, but in the process I had intense stomach aches and I don’t think that was supposed to be a good thing. After having the runs for quite some time and it is time to start on some medicine. One of the key things to remember when you have “Hershey’s Squirts” is the color and texture of it. If it is “yellowish and foamy”, then that is a tell-tale sign that you have “Giardia”. The medicine of choice is this stuff called “Metronidazole”. I remembered to look on the packaging of the pills to see the expiration date. There was none. However, I did not think it would hurt anything. I have eaten expired stuff before. These meds are bad tasting and you have to take them 3 times a day for 7 days. Soon, my stomach was feeling better, but I started to get headaches, nausea, diarrhea (imagine that), numbness, and confusion. I then looked up the medicine to read if these are side-effects of the meds. They were.
Little did I know, if you use expired medicine, some of the side-effects are “aggravated”. So, I had a dilemma. Go back up on the “Giardia Diet”, or live with the plethora of unwelcome “extras”. I went back and forth with these fun meds, on the meds (stomach feels better, everything else is worse), off the meds (stomach feels worse, everything else is better), on the meds, … This went on for a number of days. Finally, someone told me on the radio to “check the expiration date”.
Since I did not know the expiration date, I finally decided to switch meds. This was a blessing and a curse. My “Giardia Diet” ended!! I started gaining weight!! But my stomach pains were gone, so were the “runs”, “Squirts”, and “Montezuma’s Revenge”. No more headaches, numbness and confusion. I could finally understand my wife again when she talked to me.
We now have a good stock of unexpired medicine. We even have a type of medicine that you take for only 2 days, 1 pill a day. This stuff is great. I was sad to go off such a great diet, but I don’t think it was a healthy diet after all now that I look back on it.
Along for the Ride!! James & Nicky Poarch (and our kids)
Translation Seminar The whole Da’an team traveled to another province to join in on a translation seminar. This event was vital for our role in translation in the Da’an. There were four of us, Anton (church elder) Veci, Markus, and myself. For two weeks we studied translation principles, exegesis of the Scriptures, and language patterns of the original Hebrew and Greek. Basically, we are taking the meaning out of the original Hebrew and Greek and putting the meaning into the Da’an language, and doing it all with Da’an words and Da’an phrase, sentence, and discourse level features. This is a challenge as you can imagine, but it is an amazing thing to be a part of.
Anton’s Words The other men that joined the translation conference have not yet heard the Gospel. Anton was able to challenge them to get their hearts ready for the message that the missionaries were working towards telling them. His parting words were “If we plan to meet again, it will have to be in heaven. So, please listen to the missionaries’ message so that we can meet there someday.” Anton came home to Da’an telling people he was helping by planting seeds.
Home Assignment December 2012 Our family is now planning a 7+ month “home assignment” or “furlough” starting in December of this year. We are very excited to think that we will be able to spend Christmas with our family. We do want to start forming a schedule of visiting you all. If you have some specific dates at this point in time, from Jan 2013-summer 2013, of when an event is happening either at your church or small group, feel free to start letting us know. We will be contacting churches and making a schedule soon, and then we can let you know when we’ll be in your area. We are sure looking forward to this time of reconnecting.
You here, God? Relationships are key in speaking into someone’s life. Perhaps this is key in each and every culture. It rings true in Da’an. To always be pouring ourselves into the Da’an and not being careful to rely on the Lord for the filling up beforehand has been, to say the least, challenging. God is doing amazing things in and through us. We can sense Him preparing the Da’an for His Word in their language. We can sense Him preparing unbelievers to hear the truth. Why are we sensing Him? Because HE IS WITH US! Please pray that Nicky and I continually recognize His presence in the midst of darkness. That we would be reminded of His guidance and wisdom, and reminded that we are merely His tools, that He holds His plans towards the Da’an. Please continue to pray with us as we seek to draw near to His presence daily and that our steps would be purposeful and our words would be Spirit filled. Despite the fact that we are in a battle, we know Who is He who has already won! We want to draw near to our Victor who strengthens us with all we need.
Abiding in His Care, The Poarch Family James, Nicky, Emily, Luke, & Sami
The past couple of weeks flown by in a whirlwind! We’ll try to give you to abbreviated version through this update First of all, we had some friends come and visit and help our team out with physical needs we have. Physical needs such as fixing our lawn mower, fixing some solar panel and battery problems, giving us a lesson on jungle medicine to treat sicknesses that arise in the tropical climate, etc. We had a great 7 days with the Mellingers and if you’d like to read about their visit from their point of view, check out and read their blog at http://blogs.ntm.org/jason-mellinger/2012/03/11/how-do-you-get-to-work/
Recently, our co-worker came down with a very high fever. For about 24 hours, he had a fever of 105. No matter what we tried to do, we couldn’t get it to go down. This just happened last weekend, we ended up taking another trip in the boat downriver to bring him closer to medical care. James has been driving our boat (with an outboard motor on it) now regularly, but I have never sat in the front of the boat directing James and pointing out big pieces of wood to avoid.
As you see in the picture attached (the ambulance), we took our boat and made a canopy for our co-worker and I sat in the front and James drove us downriver. We made it just fine (PTL). A few days later, he still wasn’t getting better, so his family then went to the larger town on the coast. After they arrived in the town, they found out that he has dengue fever. He is doing better now, but is still very weak and would appreciate your prayers.
Since we brought the boat down, we now had to bring it up to the tribe again. So I became James’ “first mate” again in helping direct and steer the boat. It was kind of fun just having our family in the boat, without relying on the already busy tribal men.
Now we are back in the tribe, Valentine (the girl staying with us and teaching our children) is continuing to teach our kids. Valentine is with us until mid May. Nicky is plugging away at finishing a 100+page report with conclusions on what we’ve learned about with the Da’an culture. This report has to be finished before we take our final language evaluation. James and I also have been adding words into our Da’an dictionary. At this point in time we have 2000 words! Not too bad for a language that has never had a dictionary before!
James is getting ready to leave for a trip to another province. James will be joining a two-week translation gathering there. This will be the longest I (and the kids) have been left in the tribe alone (23 days). Please be praying for our time of separation. We have asked an elder in the Da’an church to keep an eye on me and the kids, if there is any emergency that arises or any needs.
Many of you have been hearing that our family is taking an early home assignment this year. In December 2012, our whole family will be basing out of AZ for seven months. Originally, we were going to be back in the summer of 2013, but because of wanting to start translation that same summer, we will move our home assignment up 1/2 year. We will keep you updated on our plans as the time gets closer.