Matthew (17 months) enjoying
the first days of spring.
Spring is in the air! Along with the new buds on the trees and perennials awakening from hibernation, we, too, feel a renewal of energy and motivation in our day-to-day activities.
Since returning from our time of updating churches and supporters in Manitoba in January, Tom has spent most of his time writing and reworking software for various projects. The first was for Radio Lumière, a Christian radio station in Haiti. The software is for song storage, organization, and retrieval. This program helps to update the station from using records, tapes, and CDs for playing songs on the radio, to playing them digitally from their new computer system. A colleague traveled to Haiti two weeks ago to install the system and offer training. So far the program has been well received.
Tom’s also working on software to view data that comes in from new water pump monitors. These units give our partners regular updates, via satellite, on pump usage and maintenance issues. It makes sure clean water keeps running through the taps and into the glass (or bucket) of the persons relying on it. He also assisted with the first solar-powered lamppost shipped from our facility. This lamppost, which was sent to Uganda, will serve the community in two ways: offering light after sunset, and serving as a charge station for cell phones. In the developing world, cell phones are essential for communication, safety, employment prospects, and as a means of sharing important information and content, such as the gospel! However, unreliable power grids, or no power grid at all, can mean lengthy periods without service. The Solar Lamppost aims to overcome this obstacle.
Over college spring break a group of eight students joined the engineering efforts of SonSet Solutions (previously HCJB Global Technology Center). Tom mentored two students from Cedarville University, a Christian college in Ohio. The students gave a boost of productivity to a few of Tom’s additional projects, and they enjoyed the experience of using their technical expertise and interests in missions.
As for myself, my plans since December haven’t gone so smoothly. After raising sufficient funds (thank you to all who donated!) for the community health course I desired to study, and after sending in my enrolment package, I received the unfortunate news that the professor who ran the course (a retired missionary to the Congo) went to be with the Lord just a few days prior. I am disappointed I missed the opportunity to learn from such a well-seasoned community health advocate. I continue to seek other avenues for the education that this course would have provided, using the funds generously donated. Thank you again to those who supported my enrollment in this course.
In more positive news, a local church extended an invitation for me to join them for a week-long service trip to Peru in June. We will be serving at a Kids Alive orphanage in a similar manner to that undertaken in Haiti this past November. The details of the trip are still coming together, but I look forward to learning from the women there and working with them to improve the nutritional status of the children in their care. In the meantime I’m tasked with dusting off my Spanish!
A construction-themed birthday cake...
Matches the rest of our house!
In family news, our eldest son Jonathan turned four earlier this month. We are so proud of the train-enthused, construction-site loving, brother-doting, AWANA attending, beautiful boy he is. We celebrated his birthday with a few friends, neighbors, and my parents who were in town for the occasion.
On the home front, we are deep into a few reno projects. We’ve begun to tackle the water-damaged kitchen floor (it was like that when we bought it, not from any new accident)
Tom reconstructing the kitchen floor.
and continue to update the interior of the house with a fresh coat of paint from top to bottom. We are so thankful for friends who are willing to lend us a hand and those in the construction business for fielding all of our questions!
As we look ahead in great anticipation of how the Lord will use all of us this year, we are filled with gratitude for you, our dedicated partners in ministry. You are the ones who make this ministry possible! We are blessed to have you as our partners and friends. As such, we’d love to hear from you!
And for those interested in supporting our work with Reach Beyond, a registered charitable organization, click here for Canadian donations (scroll to the bottom of the page and select us from the dropdown) and here for the USA (at the top of the page, right under our name).
Thank you for all of your prayers and support.