“Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind either in locality or in speech or in customs . . . They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners . . . Their existence is on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven . . . They love all men, and they are persecuted by all.”
- The Epistle to Diognetus, A.D. 150
Winter Has Arrived
Greetings from sunny and chilly Mokhotlong! We are hunkered in for winter with our coal stove burning and lots of warm meals on the menu. Our water pipes freeze nearly every night despite being insulated and buried but they typically thaw out by about 10am. There is something cozy about a warm fire and down blankets so we quite enjoy the winter!
TEE and AIM Conferences
Last month Jonathan and his coworker Ntate Bongata held the first TEE conference in a village about an hour and a half from here, where a new group of about 20 students has formed. They had a great turn out and a lot of eager interest. The students wrote exams on their first two books - New Testament, Part One and Following Jesus (Discipleship) - and the lectures were on biblical hermeneutics. Bongata commented to us that this is such an important topic for the pastors, because nobody is teaching it at all! We face a lot of questions about Bible interpretation because the students have never heard anything about it before. Bongata even suggested “taking this on the road” and holding weekend conferences on the topic around the country. Perhaps we may do that in our next term here while we work to start new TEE groups throughout Lesotho. The Mokhotlong TEE group is still going well although the cold air and early sunsets usually deter people from attending weekly meetings. Nevertheless the students continue to study on their own and are studying for another conference where they will write exams this weekend.
I (Abby) have volunteered along with another of our AIM teammates to plan this year’s AIM Lesotho team retreat. We have recently set dates for late November and booked a location and a speaker. Our sessions will cover Matthew 24-25 and how to live in expectation of Christ’s return. It is our hope to balance deep theological teaching and worship with recreation and time to fellowship as a team. Because we are all so spread out, we typically only see each other quarterly at our Prayer Days.
On May 24th...
…we celebrated Ellee’s second birthday! My parents were able to be here for that as they arrived two days prior. Ellee got to eat a cupcake for breakfast and wear her new special birthday outfit. My parents were here together for two weeks before my dad had to fly back to return to work. Lollee (my mom) stayed an extra four weeks and just left this past weekend! I spent the whole of March, April and most of May very ill with this pregnancy and my parents decided to leave my mom here to hopefully help nurse me back to health. Thankfully the intense sickness subsided just as they were arriving (about halfway through the pregnancy) and we were able to enjoy a nice long visit together. I am nearly six months along now and the baby is growing very well, the doctor says. Her name will be Sadie Kate and we expect her in October.
…Jonathan finished his first eight weeks of his online summer semester with Liberty and completed three more of his classes. He now only has two classes for the next seven weeks before he has a long break during the time the baby will be born (He will have completed 30 credits between January and August). His semesters are so grueling, especially when he is juggling three classes, so we are thankful that he is down to two and almost done for this year!
It is hard to believe…
…that our Home Assignment is fast approaching. We are planning to book our tickets soon and expect to be home for Christmas! Our actual Home Assignment won’t start until January but we want to spend Christmas with our family after two Christmases away. Our immediate needs for Home Assignment are a vehicle to use for our travels as well as a place to stay in Aiken. We are hoping to find a place that we can use or rent which is already furnished, if someone has an extra space or apartment on their property. Please join us in the praying for these things and let us know if anything comes to mind. To read more about our Home Assignment plans you can visit my blog: http://abbymtstclair.blogspot.com/2015/06/home-assignment.html. We are looking forward to eight months at home before returning for our second term! We want to catch up with as many of you as we can and will begin to plan our schedule for that time in the coming months.
We covet your prayers...
…over the next months as we prepare for the many transitions ahead of us. It is our prayer that Kyle and Ellee will adjust easily to the changes coming. Certainly being parents has taught us to pray and trust God so much more.
Jonathan, Abby, Kyle, Ellee & Sadie Kate St.Clair