“Are you nervous?” my senior missionary, Judy, asked while we were at the print shop. “A little, but I’m excited. I've been praying for this day.” For months I had been wrestling with what I might be able to do with Jonas this summer. School was done, and my heart became sad whenever I thought about not working with him anymore
Then a few weeks ago, as I was heading to Amou Oblo (Jonas’ School), a thought came to me. “This may be a crazy idea, but what if Jonas, his mom, and teacher came to the MK school, and I could teach a sign language class there?” Christy turned to me, “Yes! I think it’s a great idea!” It was set in motion.
The weeks passed quickly, until here I was in the print shop, printing materials for the first class session. Judy handed me the papers. “Well, here you go, Liz. I pray that the class goes well. You’ll do great, don’t be nervous!” I thanked Judy and walked over to the school. Jonas seemed confused about what he was doing so far from home, but he was clearly happy to see me. The class went better than I could have hoped. Everyone enjoyed the class, including Jonas’ mother and teacher. I saw a spark of confidence in Jonas’ eyes. For most of his life he has felt behind or left out because he can’t hear. But for the first time, he knew something others didn’t. He was proud to demonstrate the signs he knew. He started making connections with the meaning behind each sign by seeing other kids sign. We will continue to meet for class every Tuesday throughout the summer. It has been encouraging to see Jonas grow. Praise the Lord!
The one thing no one tells you before coming to the field is how many goodbyes you will face. I mentioned in my last newsletter that several teammates were leaving for furlough. The trend has continued. This month has been filled with even more goodbyes. A total of 9 families and/or individuals have returned to the states just in the last 2 months. A year ago, they were strangers, but now they are dear friends whom I miss. One nice aspect of my role with media is that I get work closely with many different ministries and individuals that I might not normally get to know so well, and God has blessed me with many friendships through my work.
Although, goodbyes are hard, the relationships are worth it.
Praise God for the progress Jonas has made!
Praise God for the developing Deaf ministry!
Praise God for the opportunity to work with Jonas this summer!
Praise God for the friendships with other missionaries
Pray wisdom in teaching the Sign Language class
Pray for teammates going on furlough and teammates remaining in Togo
Pray for an ASL interpreter – big opportunity for one!
Pray for God’s direction as I consider full time missions