Wednesday, August 6, 2014

hello, hello!

Hello Prayer Partners!! We are SOOOO sorry that it has been well over a month since you have heard from us. I am here to offer an explanation because I'm sure there are a few of you who've wondered why we didn't send out our normal monthly newsletter in July. So for those of you interested, here it is ...

On July 4, we said, "See ya later!" to our teammates, the Foxes, as they headed to the States for their stateside assignment. We decided that we'd take the next week as "stay-cation" because it was our last week before I started homeschooling Isabelle in first grade. On July 11, we welcomed 2 of our best friends who had come to visit us for 2 weeks. One was here to do water purification education with the Songhai people as part of his master's thesis & the other came simply to be a wonderful friend & give this mom a hand as I started homeschooling Isabelle. On Monday, July 14, we started our school year & I was so thankful that I had an extra set of hands to help me because homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! On Saturday, July 19, I turned on our computer to work on a project & quickly realized something was not right. After trying to troubleshoot it for well over an hour, we came to the realization that our hard drive had crashed. While we did have most of our files backed up, we did not have our 972 email contacts (that's y'all!!) backed up. I was sick to my stomach as I realized we had NO way to get in touch with you!!

After a week of trying more & more things, we decided that our only hope was to send our iMac back to the States to be repaired. But being the tenacious (that's what our friend called me; my husband calls it stubborn) person that I am, I decided to keep trying up until the day our friends left & would need to take the computer with them. Finally, with just hours to spare, we were back up & running. We joked that Apple should hire me because I restored a crashed hard drive in Africa! Ha!! But, really, it was just a HUGE blessing from the Lord that it was restored without having to either send it back or pay for it. We spent the next few days getting our computer back to it's working order with all our files (& emails!) where they belonged & I sat down last week to send an email similar to this one only for the power to cut. So now our nemesis was not the computer but the electricity! We spent the better part of last week with 3-4 hour power cuts throughout the day & night. When we finally thought all was well again, we had a huge thunderstorm on Thursday (which was a blessing because of the rain & the cool temperatures that came with it) but lightning hit our house, struck our phone line & shorted out our modem & wireless router. By Friday, we were thinking, "Can anything else happen or break this summer?!"

So before anything else does happen, I am sitting down & sending y'all an email!! Again, we apologize for the lack of communication but we know that so many of you are still faithful to pray even when you don't hear from us &, for that, we are so grateful. I know that some of you have also been concerned about us in terms of what's happening in other countries in West Africa with the Ebola virus. We are safe & it has yet to reach Niger's borders. Please continue to pray for those affected & for it to be contained quickly.

Also, you may be wondering why in the world I would start a school year in the middle of July. Well, as you all know, we will be heading to the States in mid-December for an 8 month stay in the States. I know that our traveling schedule will be very hectic as we will try to see our family (who is spread out over 5 states) & many of you & your churches who have faithfully prayed for us. So as you start planning your 2015 calendars, please think of us. We would LOVE to come see as many of you as we can & visit in your churches to speak about all that God is doing among the Songhai! If you are interested in having us come, please have your pastor, missions pastor, SS teacher (or whoever plans these things in your church!) email us as soon as possible. We really hope that we can see some of you face to face to thank you personally for all your prayers & what they have meant to us & our family!

And unless some other bizarre incident happens in the next 2 weeks, we will back with our newsletter in mid-August!

that ALL may know HIM,

Mark & Parker <><

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