27 August 2011

Sickness and Continuing Preparations

Broken Cinderblocks = Makeshift Speedbumps
Just after my last update I became ill with giardiasis. The protozoa were most likely introduced to my system through some uncooked vegetables I had eaten at a local restaurant about two weeks before. Two things that I have come to appreciate about living here is access to medical personnel who can quickly diagnose diseases like this and access to inexpensive medication to treat them. I was back in classes the day after beginning the medicine, and I was feeling back to normal before a full week had passed. We are thankful to God for his provision and answer to prayer in this quick recovery.

The students in Research and Writing have narrowed down their topic choices and outlined their research paper plans for the rest of the semester. I am eager to read their work on some very intriguing topics. I am also excited about the progress we are making in Hebrew. Monday will be the first major vocabulary test, and I am confident that the average for the class will be quite high. It's encouraging to see the diligence and seriousness with which they have been taking this class. In Wisdom/Poetic Books we are going over the book of Ecclesiastes. As I look back at the roots for my own affinity for this OT book, I realize how much of that fondness rubbed off on me from my own teachers as they explored the book with me in seminary. What a privilege to have the opportunity to share that truth and excitement with others!

"Uncle" Kevin and the Kaunda Boys
In answer to your prayers, Jamin and Jenny have continued to stay healthy. Jamin surprised us last night with a full six hours of continuous sleep. We'll see how he does tonight, but we are grateful for this hopeful direction. Josiah and Jonas are also well. We have recently begun to concentrate more on Scripture memorization for Jonas, and he is already making some exciting progress. Pray that God would grant us wisdom in raising our children for his glory.

Kevin Sherman and I are continuing our preparations for our trip to South Sudan. Last Sunday we met for a bit with Phil Hunt, the school president, to work through logistics and pray. Please pray with us as we prepare that God would give us wisdom and energy to develop solid material to help these men. Our plan is to teach a foundational level doctrines course called "Apostolic Doctrines" during the first week. This class will trace the grand storyline of the Scripture from Creation through Fall, Christ and Redemption, to Kingdom and Consummation. The second week of classes we will be teaching Doctrines 1 concentrating on Theology proper, the Trinity, and Creation. Please pray for our safety and health as we venture out of our new comfort zone here. Pray that God would grant us an effective ministry among these pastors, most of whom have had little access to solid training.

Product Pillars at the Local Market
Last Tuesday I had my first opportunity to be a part of a life radio interview. Pastor Francis Kaunda and I discussed the meaning and motivation for prayer on CABR's Biblical Christianity. When we understand that our God is the God who answers prayer, when we know that we have confident access to his immense power, unsearchable wisdom, and indomitable goodness through his Son, when we know that we're really in trouble without him, prayer should become second nature to us. But there's always a battle in bringing our lives in line with the Scriptures.

Thank you for fighting that battle on our behalf, and continuing your consistent prayers for us!

10 August 2011

Being Five

Playin' with Jamin
 The Pittsleys are growing into a workable life schedule as we become accustomed to being a family of five. Many things are still the same. Josiah and Jonas do not have reason for much more than occasional acknowledgement of their new little brother. So they run around and play—as rascally as ever. However, their parents, especially Jenny, are adjusting again to having a very little one around. Our nights have me going to bed early, and Jenny staying up late. Then I get up early with the baby to let Jenny, in theory, get some rest. Usually, Jamin is getting a few hours of sleep in there somewhere. The schedule actually works really well for me because I usually need to be up early anyway to prepare for the morning's classes. Please pray for continued health for Jenny and baby.

Newborn Nation
Hebrew, Research/Writing, and Wisdom/Poetic Books are all proceeding well. I am grateful for the privilege to teach these men, giving them tools to understand God's written communication and to proclaim it to their generation.

Another privilege that God has granted is an opportunity to teach in the newborn nation of South Sudan. CABC has been conducting regular block classes in the country this year, and Kevin Sherman and I have volunteered for the next set of two courses coming back-to-back this September. I am elated about this chance to reach out in a land so thirsty for the gospel and to equip leaders there for the spread of Christ's fame. Please pray for Kevin and me as we study and prepare, squeezing in course development while we teach. Please pray too for a safe and productive journey this September.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!