Ben Elliot’s Thankfulness Bag

They made this in child care last week. Ben Elliot's teacher asked them every day what they are thankful for and wrote it on sticky notes. She also added some treats to the bag. Ben Elliot was so excited that some of them didn't even make it on the photo... :)

They made this in child care last week. Ben Elliot’s teacher asked them every day what they are thankful for and wrote it on sticky notes. She also added some treats to the bag. Ben Elliot was so excited that some of them didn’t even make it on the photo… 🙂

A Night Hike

Today Frieddy and Ben Elliot went on a little night hike right before bedtime. It is impossible to describe how excited Ben Elliot was!! He had a blast!! I guess it was his first time going for a walk in the dark. He loved spending time with his Daddy! And he loved using his little headlight to explore different things around campus – like cars, tractors and diggers of course… 🙂

I was reminded of how God wants to use as lights in a dark, dark world… How many people are still living without the hope of a Savior. And how just a little light can make an incredible difference! Please pray for us that we would stay focused on the task as we are studying Linguistics this semester and are getting closer to going overseas. Pray for us that Christ would be magnified in our lives and that we would be faithful servants. And please pray for the millions of unreached people that so desperately need the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Our Family and Babel

Here is a summary of our first weeks of Linguistics! I had the choice between writing a boring post about how to analyze a language you do not know OR to share some of the things that are happening in our life as we are studying this thing called linguistics. I decided to do the second (and maybe you are glad I did so… :))

Working on Orthography

Working on Orthography

This has definitely not been an easy semester for us so far! At the same time God has been so faithful in teaching us a lot of different things. Frieddy and I are both taking the course and it has meant a lot of adjustments for us as a family. Especially the first month was very intense. We are learning new stuff almost every morning, some days we have afternoon classes and we usually work on homework assignments until late at night which is why we are often tired. We will have studied parts of the grammar and the sounds of about 140 different languages by the time we have completed this course next spring, which is really exciting! A few days ago we looked at German and it was so funny to see how both Frieddy and I got so confused with our own language – it is one thing to be able to speak it, and another to understand what is going on on a grammatical level… After spending some time analyzing it, German does not seem that easy after all! 🙂

Frieddy studying

Frieddy working on Homework

We both have been enjoying classes a lot so far (at least most days :)), and still feel like there have been many challenges that God is using to bring us closer to Him.
We realize how much we still have to learn in the area of managing our time well and finding a good balance between taking the time necessary for homework and things that need to be done, but also making sure that we spend enough time with our boys and as a couple.  After the first weeks of classes which were extremely busy, we decided that I would step back a little in order to have more time to take care of the boys. It was simply getting too much and I was under too much pressure. I am still going to classes in the mornings and I am doing some of the homework, but not all of it. This decision has been a huge relief. Especially in the beginning of classes, Linus was still having some health issues. Also, we seem to have caught every single virus that is going around on campus this semester and had to miss many days of classes. Things have been going so much better since I am not taking the full course load any more.Frieddy is still hanging in there and learning a lot every day. He says what keeps him going is the fact that God created all these languages – so they must be predictable!  [Is it cheating to ask the Creator of all these languages for help when you are stuck on your homework?! I don’t think so… ;)]

Studying with Linus :)

Studying with Linus 🙂

God has been so so faithful throughout these past weeks. We really feel like He is a good Father, taking good care of us. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He gives the strength for each day and surrounds us with friends that we can have great fellowship with. And we just love to see how he uses times like this to bring us closer to Him, showing us our desperate need for Him and the life that He gives! We are so needy, and we are learning to cry out to Him for wisdom daily. It has been amazing to see how He answers every single time. Yes, it has been tough – but we do not want to miss this time!

Summer Update In Pictures

Wow, trying to sum up everything that happened this summer could fill endless pages… So I decided to just post some photos that speak for themselves 🙂 Our summer break started at the end of May and we spent most of it at the MTC, while Frieddy was able to work on campus for a few weeks. This was especially nice because our visas do not allow us to get jobs off campus. The biggest highlight was of course the arrival of our son Linus! We are so thankful that everything went well and we are so thrilled to be a family of four now!  Just like Ben Elliot, Linus had trouble with his digestion for the first months of his life. After a lot of visits with his midwife and his doctor, many sleepless nights and trying to figure out what could help him, he is now feeling much better. Praise God!

We also loved spending a whole month with my mom, sister and youngest brother who came all the way from Germany to visit us! They were such a big encouragement to us and we soaked up every minute that we spent talking and having fun together! Ben Elliot turned two in July and we had a fun little birthday party for him. We spent lots of time with friends and also as a family. Ben Elliot is talking a lot now, both English and German and often at the same time, haha… 🙂  He loves tractors and diggers, the pool and the lake, helping in the kitchen and reading books. Linus  smiles all day long, except when he does not  – usually when he is hungry or tired… They both love to go on walks. Ben Elliot loves to run around, and Linus usually sleeps through the whole thing in the baby carrier. Frieddy and I had a pretty good start into the semester, although Linguistics does not come easy for both of us. This semester has proven to be one of the hardest so far, considering the time we need to spend studying but also the adjustments for us as a family to a much tighter schedule… God has been teaching us a lot of different things. But I will post more about Ling in another blog entry. Enough for now, before I really start to fill endless pages…

 

 

Graduation

Today we graduated from the Missionary Trainings Center! We had a wonderful ceremony in the Chapel with a lot of people who came. Our official standard training with New Tribes is finished! But we are staying for another year here at the NTM Missionary Trainings Center to receive additional training in Linguistics. This is not required but encouraged for people who would like to dig deeper into the language.

Check out the gallery below to see the pictures from our graduation!