the past year
Author: Emma Jones
Well, a lot has happened since my last post!
Last year we really grew into our community. We found good support systems and friendships and made even deeper connections at our church. We also got all settled into our house and got it decorated enough to truly feel like a home.
In 2020, Covid only changed things slightly for us. We both still went into work everyday and carried on our jobs as normal. We got to spend time with family and had two gorgeous sibling's weddings last year.
Brandon's spring semester at GCU was cut short in person, but he finished it online. He took two classes online over summer and then returned to school part time on campus and part time online for the fall semester. In December, Brandon graduated from GCU with his bachelor's in Christian Studies with an emphasis in Global Ministry, not to mention he did it Magna Cum Laude! (My degree is in Educational Studies)
It feels so good to be able to say that we both completed our bachelor's degrees. It's something we initially saw as a burden or a roadblock to our path to PNG, that God has shown us was the right thing to pursue.
In regards to training, we officially started training twice a week beginning in January. The first thing we are studying is Melanesian Pidgin/Tok Pisin. We are currently working our way to the first language check which deems you 25% fluent and takes roughly 80 hours of work to get there. As of today, we are about 25% of the way to the first check, so don't ask us to say anything beyond basic sentences! (Though we can tell you the story of the Three Little Pigs entirely in Pidgin)
Learning Pidgin has been both fun and confusing. It's a simple language, but learning any language takes lots of time and practice. We both still work full time, so we try our best to squeeze thirty minutes to an hour of training into our evenings after we get home from work and in between Bible studies and other commitments. It feels like homework and isn't always the most exciting thing, but seeing progress being made and knowing how valuable this knowledge is has been a reward in itself.
In what feels like the biggest news... we're having a baby!!!
Our ideal plan was always to try to have one baby before we go to PNG and after Brandon had graduated. And God has blessed us and heard our desire! I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and due in July with a baby BOY! It feels surreal and we are so excited for this new phase of our lives. God's design for life is so intricate and awe inspiring.
As we continue on this exciting journey, we ask for prayer regarding the health and safety of our baby boy, the progress of our training, and the process of beginning to fundraise and get church support.
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