We haven’t sent out an update in a while, so we’re sure you’re itching to hear how things are going with us. 🙂 As of this month, we have been back with YWAM Kona for 6 years already. Hard to believe! Though we miss our life in Washington, we still feel called to serve here, and believe we are where God wants us to be.
2019 started with a trip for Paul to Kenya, his first time in Africa. What a stunning country and beautiful people! The purpose of the trip was to run a “Family Reunification Workshop”. The week-long workshop was highly successful, with almost 200 attendees representing 120 organizations from 7 developing nations (Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, South Sudan ,Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). With the current movement around the world to shut down orphanages, there is an urgency to do something in this sector.
The purpose of the workshop was to share a model that has been successfully used to transition from an orphanage into a family reunification center. The goal of these FRC’s is not to house the children long-term, but rather to get the children back with loving, biological family. Keep in mind that 80% of “orphans” have living relatives. The orphan crisis is a large one with an estimated 8 million children in orphanages, and 100 million children living on the streets.
- Workshop attendees
- The team who put on the workshop
- Beautiful Kenya
- My travel buddies, David and Jeff
Back in Kona
Paul continues to drive the internal development of the University’s Salesforce system. This is our entire student registration system, and in the next year, will also host data on our staff and other types of volunteers. This new system will transform the University’s administration, and replaces a legacy system that is long past its use by date. With the University’s goal of training 5,000 students per year, the focus to streamline our systems is increasingly important.
Financially, Paul continues to be involved in the CFO team which oversees all campus spending, as well as the Finance Working Group (FWG), which sets finance policy and answers finance related questions. Campus finance continues to “mature” and we now have a lot of stability in this area. The dual focus of the campus is to pay down debt and to develop the property. The FWG has spent the past 9 months developing a finance policy manual, which will be a helpful tool for our staff. This policy manual is expected to be launched by end of June.
In James 1:3, we are told to rejoice in trials. We have had lots of opportunity to rejoice in 2019. The campus has been facing some headwinds this year related to development of the “62 acres”, the undeveloped parcel of land adjacent to the main property. The campus was required to have meetings with the land use commission (LUC), to do with the zoning of this parcel. After some stressful months, we are now seeing some favor in this area. The campus is rallying behind this, and the goal in the next 4-5 months is to draft a complete plan for the development of this parcel. We just held a “charrette” today, with around 30 key leaders, to discuss the use of this land.
At the end of 2019, we hope to have the LUC sign off on our plans. At that time, Lord willing, we can start in earnest to develop this land, as funds allow.
One of the campus’ focus nations is Myanmar (formerly Burma). In early May, we sent a team of around 50 to hold a 4 night evangelistic campaign in that nation. It was incredibly fruitful. Here’s some statistics: 10,501 people heard the gospel message, 561 salvations, over 100 physical healings, 25,626 bibles distributed, over 250 local leaders trained. If you’d like to hear more, let us know. We have a detailed report from this team, with specific testimonies.
Another school year has come and gone. Next school year, Austin (16) will be a junior, Kyle (11) will be starting middle school and Tre (6) will be starting first grade!
As for Josiah, he has now graduated high school and is off to College. This fall, he’ll be starting at Chapman University in Orange, California, about 15 minutes from Disneyland. Don’t worry, he’s going there to study 🙂 His major will be Applied Human Physiology. Move-in day is August 20th, so the plan is that Lynnette will fly him over and get him set up and moved in. Please pray for him, and for us, as he transitions out of the nest. While Chapman has offered him an incredible package, it’s still a stretch financially. Josiah plans to work part-time to help pay for college. Pray for provision for him during this next season of college, and also for costs related to Lynnette and him being there in August. They’ll probably need to be there for between 1-2 weeks.
Here’s a pic of Josiah’s high school graduation. In Hawaii, they give leis to the graduating students. Fun!
Since February, Austin is now the 4th driver in the family. He just had a successful sophomore year, and finished with all A’s. He’ll continue to attend the local public high school next year. He’s also been enjoying building his own model airplane from scratch, as well as taking motorcycle lessons.
Kyle will be heading into middle school next year, and is growing from a boy into a young man. We’re praying for Kyle to find his passion, something he loves (that’s not his phone or the computer).
As for Tre, he has “graduated” from Kindergarten, and is excited to start first grade in the Fall. Both he and Kyle will be attending the “Learning Center”, which is located on the YWAM campus. Very convenient for us, and has some excellent teachers.
You can also pray for our family to continue to develop good friendships. Sometimes, it’s hard in YWAM as there’s always people coming and going.
We’d love to pray for you too. Let us know what prayer requests you have.