In October last year they had three weeks of meetings and seminars. One seminar was on how to develop biblical lessons for the foundational teaching. This was very helpful and timely since as a team they will soon launch into teaching the Isan people.
In December Martin and Christiane did a project when an eye doctor came out and checked the eyesight of a selected group of people in their village. A week later they were able to hand out the new glasses to the proud owners. This is really meeting a need in the society. Many people struggle with reading medication prescriptions, threading a needle and other daily task that require good eyesight.
January and February were filled with visitors from their home countries. First two couples visited from Martin’s home church. This was a refreshing time and Martin and Christiane enjoyed being able to share with them what ministry and their daily life looks like. They left with many impressions and a good insight into the work.
Shortly after that they had a German Exposure Team (a group of ten people) spend ten days in their village. Martin and Christiane introduced them to village life, church planting methodology and to a few other ministries in their area that are in different stages of church planting. They had a very good time with this exceptional team of young people. Pray that God might use what they have learned and experienced in their service for the Lord.
Recently language consultants evaluated Martin and Christiane’s proficiency levels. Martin is officially done with studying the Isan language and culture. Christiane had also made progress, but still needs to continue to study. However, this does not mean that Martin is totally done with language study. He will continue to learn and improve his language ability. It does mean that he is able to move into other stages of ministry. This next stage is called pre-evangelism. This means he will be talking to different people in the village about their beliefs. The purpose of this is to make them realise that their beliefs and traditions have cracks and are not built on a solid foundation. Once they recognise this for themselves they will be willing to look for a sure foundation. So this is a preparation stage to prepare the soil of their hearts for the seed that the missionary team are going to sow. If they skip this stage it is like giving answers where there are no questions.
As a family Martin, Christiane and Sam were glad for the nice cold season they had this year. It actually got cold and it lasted a few months. Hot season has now arrived. This is also the school summer break. Sam has been off from Kindergarten for three weeks already. In mid-May he will start at a different school in a larger town. They think that this new school will suit them better.