“Heads Up” from Scott & Elmarie
I’m trying to get in better practice of using this Blog to give a weekly(ish) “Head’s Up” on the Nuts & Bolts of things going on with our work.
This week we got a message from Presbyterian World Mission headquarters informing us that we are well on track with our fundraising goals and commitments. So…Elmarie and I want to thank you, all of our Church partners and individual partners who believe in and are partnering in this work that Christ has called us to in the Middle East. You are providing for us not only financially, but also through praying for us and supporting us with regular contact. THANK YOU for making it so clear that we do not do this work alone.
I’ll quickly explain the BORING DETAILS (because some people actually love this stuff): “Support and Sending” is the $$ we raise for our salary, training, living and , etc. PC(USA) Mission Co-workers (That’s us) are sent out on four-year terms (We are currently about 8 months into our second term).
Soooo…when Elmarie and I are raising and receiving funds, it is for that four-year term. Any “extra” we receive any given year goes into the next year.
Ok, on to other news:
Iraq Visit: After having to cancel our November trip to Syria, December Christmas trip to Iraq, and January rescheduled trip to Iraq (FLEXIBILITY is good these days), we are pretty sure we’ll be able to travel to Iraq for about two weeks in March. At this point, Americans are not getting visas into Syria, so we are not able to support them in the flesh, but are praying for the Church and our dear friends there during this uncertain time.
Strong Kids / Strong Emotions: The play-based trauma resiliency program for Iraqi and Syria refugee children that we began in July will have it’s second pilot run starting next week (Feb 17) We will meet on Saturdays for eight weeks with a group of Christian and Muslim kids, and will be using curriculum developed and implemented by a Lebanese child therapist. We will still do lots of art and puppet play, and Rocko will be there too, but we are expanding the professional therapeutic content of this program in order to best minister to the needs of these kids.
Arabic Classes: Next week I begin an intensive five-week course in Lebanese Arabic. My Arabic skills are enough to get by with the markets and taxis, but I really am wanting to be far more adept at building relationships with Arabic speakers, so I am looking forward to this next step.
Photography Classes: I am also five weeks into a 12-week professional photography course (thanks to a continuing education grant from Presbyterian World Mission. I have appreciated the feedback on how significant it is to receive “visual stories” from this region, so it is exciting to be taking my skills to the next level.
That’s enough news for one post. Time to do something frivolous like take down our Christmas decorations.
Again, Elmarie and I are so grateful for your love and prayers and messages.
In Christ’s Joy,