Spring has come and with it lovely flowers and an opportunity to open windows and listen to the birds and monkeys. It also means the heavy clothes can be packed away and only light sweaters or shawls are needed in the evenings.
Thank you to all who have been so supportive by praying, sending notes, e-mails and cards of encouragement. Your support in so many ways means a great deal. I know that I am not here alone, but with your support to serve where the Lord has called.
The students are in the midst of exams as they begin to count the days until school closes in early June and they return home for the summer vacation.
As I look back over the last year I can see God's hand in so many ways. After more than 20 years in one apartment I made a move, up the hill, closer to the school buildings. I thought it would be an easy move - just pack up and move! It was not quite like that. I had collected more than I realized and a lot of sorting needed to be done during a busy work time. The day of the move, in the midst of the monsoon, dawned sunny. Right as the final 'things' were being moved and carried (no road to either apartment) the heavens opened! God telling me I really did have too much 'stuff'! Settling went well although I did not realize how many changes in routine it would mean. There are still trunks unpacked - the next adventure will be sorting again. I am enjoying being much closer to the academic buildings and being able to go home for lunch some days. The way the apartment is configured and being closer to school has meant I am able to host people when they visit. I have enjoyed having people stay. One challenge I did not expect was the monkeys. They seem to enjoy the area of my residence as much as I do!
In September the admissions office moved to a beautiful newly remodeled area nearer the entrance to Woodstock. I have been involved with student admissions for about twenty years and had always had just one room, often with the secretary sitting just outside. Now there are three lovely well-lit rooms with windows on two sides! A challenge settling as it was at a time when I was scheduled to travel to represent Woodstock in other parts of Asia. My fantastic assistant set things up while I was away. Testing of all prospective students is now done in the admissions area. The room is also used for meetings and consultations. This is the area prospective families come to first and it now is very welcoming and warm. Hopefully it also helps the prospective students to be less nervous as they settle down to take the admission test. Recently a family from a nearby country visited seeking admission for their children here. They want the children to grow in a Christian environment. A number of students whose families are involved in Christian service in this area of the world have been offered places. These are often families who need scholarships for their children.
Woodstock treats these families as a priority and seeks ways to help them. There are now students from 25 countries studying at Woodstock - more than half of them from Christian homes. Do pray for them as they grow and share, learn about Christianity and observe the staff who seek to live as Christ would have them. I pray that through the contact people have as they come study here or just come seek admission or learn more about Woodstock they will see the Lord's light shining through the people they meet.
In December I bid farewell to an excellent assistant who had been hired as a secretary and had become an administrative assistant and good friend during the four and a half years we worked together. She resigned to get married and move to another country. It was difficult to discover the right person to help in the office. After interviewing a number of people, it was suggested that we put a notice in a church in a nearby town. Word came the next Monday that someone was interested. After an interview we knew she was the person for the position. God's hand was in bringing the right person at the right time.
This is a very busy time in the office and it has not always been easy for the new person as she has tried to learn so many new things at once. Great progress it being made and she is happy to be working here where no two days are ever the same!
It has been four years since I have been in the US on home assignment. I am looking forward to being on home assignment in August and September. I would love to share in your area and make personal contact with as many of you as possible. I will be at the World Mission Conference in Green Lake, WI, August 2 – 9, and then available to speak in your church. If you would like me to come to your church, please contact the Minister of Mission Support in your region and ask them to make the arrangements. If you are not sure who your Minister of Mission Support is click here to look them up: http://www.abcusamissions.org/contact/ministers.cfm