Furlough has begun
It has been a crazy month for sure and at the same time a great month. We arrived in Arkansas and after attending our church here in Monticello we headed north to see our families. We had two weeks to see our families before school started in Arkansas for the kids so we were moving. We were able to see our families in Indiana and we made it all way to Maine to see my dad as well. It was so good to see our parents and brothers and sisters, although it would have been nice to stay longer.
After our quick trips to see family we were back in Arkansas in time for the kids and I both to start school. We will be in the states for the entire school year then we will return to Kenya in July, Lord willing. This is the first time ever that our kids have attended public school so please keep them in your prayers. They are doing well so far and enjoying the newness of it all. We are so grateful for school system here in Monticello.
Putting the kids in school is also the start of transition for Josiah especially. He will only be with us in Kenya one more term before he will have to return to the states for college. Attending public school this year is a step towards preparing him for this transition. We have several other steps in this transition process over the next three years to try and help our kids make the transition into US life. Please pray for God to give us wisdom.
We also have a house to live in thanks to Mrs. Paula Gathings who has been a part of our East Kenya Missions team since we started. Mrs. Paula moved this last year to Louisiana to take care of her aging parents who needed assistance, which left her house empty here in Monticello. She graciously offered to let us use it while we are here on furlough. Words cannot express our thanks and appreciation.
Several families in the church also had the house full of food and furnished for our needs before we ever arrived. Our EKM chairman Ben Higginbotham spear headed getting everything organized and in order. He is AWESOME! It was so nice to just move in and start living and working. We are very grateful to our church Pauline BC for purchasing a mini-van for us to use while we are here on furlough as well. We praise God for all His provision.
Back to School
This furlough is going to be very different. I am attending the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock working in their specials Masters program. I felt like I needed to take some time to “sharpen my axe.” In Kenya we are constantly pouring into others and teaching with little time to be poured into so this is an opportunity to be poured into. I want to be sure I am equipped to meet the needs of the work as well as our team.
I attend classes this semester on Tuesday and Wednesday 8-12 and Thursday nights 5:45pm-10pm. The classes are amazing and I am learning so much. It is a heavy load with all the reading, writing, and traveling back and forth from here in Monticello to Little Rock(1hour 45 minutes one way) so please pray for me and our family as I go to school as well. I really believe that this time invested in education will be of great value to the ministry and I am thankful to the Missionary Baptist Seminary for the opportunity.
We have been working on our furlough schedule and it is filled until January already. We are focusing on our supporting churches and trying to visit them all while we are in the states. Unfortunately Kenya and the kids will not be able to travel with me to see most of the churches since the kids are in school. We want to apologize in advance for them not getting to come. They love traveling with me, but it is just not possible.
We will be continuing to contact our supporters and trying to fill our schedule up until our departure. Our plan now is to return to Kenya the first of July 2016. Please pray for safety as we visit the churches. It is such a blessing to be able to go to say thank you personally and rejoice in everything God has done this past three-year term. We are grateful to all those who are a part of our support team.
Upcoming Furlough Appointments
September 20 Victory MBC, Madison, MS
September 20 Emmanuel MBC, Bogalusa, LA
September 27 Peasant Valley MBC, Batesville, AR
September 27 New Testament MBC, Lonoke, AR
October 4 Cypress Ave MBC, Marion, AR
October 4 Victory BC, Cabot, AR
October 8 Missionary Baptist Seminary MTM
October 11 Hyde Park MBC, West Monroe, LA
October 17-18 Hillcrest BC, Ackworth, GA
October 25 Nothcrest MBC, Andrews, TX
October 25 Westwood BC, Odessa, TX
November 1 Harmony MBC, Ponca City, OK
November 1 Lakeview MBC, Spiro, OK
November 8 Florence Blvd MBC, Florence, AL
November 8 Skyline MBC, Madison, AL
James Taylor PO Box 417 Monticello, AR
Phone (870)723-7640 email@example.com
We started the month out in Bangor, Maine with James’ dad, James and new wife. We were glad to have a quick visit to meet Lysa and her two kids. On the way up we stopped at Niagara Falls to stretch our legs. Once we got to Maine, we spent a couple days just hanging out. It was fun swimming in the freezing cold lakes, buying fresh Wild Maine blueberries, and taking our first ride out on a Lobster boat. We are so proud of James and how far he has come. We love seeing him with a fresh start in life. Our time with them was short, but we had fun. On the way back to Indiana we stopped in Hershey, PA at Hershey World to stretch our legs. It was a fun little stop. We ate chocolate and even made our own chocolate bars, which was a really neat activity. When we got back to Indiana we went camping with James’ mom, Joyce, brother and sister-in-law, and sister. It was fun relaxing, playing games, hiking, and swimming.
Once our time in Indiana was over we headed straight to Arkansas to get ready for school. It was bit hectic trying to get everyone signed up and make sure they had everything before the first day of school but we did it with a lot of help from Pauline BC and the kids’ adoptive families. When we got to our house there was a crowd of friends gathered and the whole house of stocked with everything from toilet paper to a freezer full of deer meat and other foods. We cannot thank our church enough for all they did for us to help us get settled for this furlough time. It is going to be a lot different. The kids are in public school for the first time ever and James is in seminary full time for the first time in 15 years. Our travel time as a family will be limited but we know God is going to use this time to refresh us and grow us so that we can minister more effectively.
Speaking of public school, the kids are adjusting well. They come home everyday talking all at once about how much fun it is, how crazy some kids are, and how they enjoy most of their classes. We are glad they have this experience to help them transition and see what life is like in America in the school systems. It is definitely opening their eyes to a great need in so many kids’ lives for loving parents and godly values. We send them to school each morning praying they will be a light of hope and love to those they interact with.
Everyone keeps asking me what in the world I am going to do with my time. And the honest answer, besides laundry and dishes, is I don’t know. My first priority after my relationship with the Lord is James and the kids. So I plan on doing my best to take care of them and help them as they are the ones with the busy schedules. I want to be the voice of peace and restfulness in our home. I am truly enjoying it so far. I love having a mini van, watching my kids get on and off the bus each day, making lunches for James, and yes, cleaning the house. It is for a season, but I am going to enjoy it for these few months that we are here.
We celebrated some birthdays this month as well. We got to Maine on my birthday, James’ dad had a cake waiting on me. Lydia turned 11 on the 23rd and Sarah turned 9 on the 27th. Lydia wanted a monster high cake and Ms. Ashley came to celebrate with us. Sarah wanted a Frozen cake which took on a very melty look when we got to the park for her party. It was fun. These kiddos are growing up so fast.Thanks for reading and praying.