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Pest of the Month

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A few days ago, our neighbors came over with a plastic container and said, “We caught a spider, a rather large spider, and we think it might be a wolf spider.  What do you think?”  We opened the container and this guy was angrily looking up at us.  Now he (or she) wasn’t really this big, but he was still a good size and rather intimidating.  We looked on the Internet and, sure enough, he was a wolf spider. If you look closely you can see four sets of eyes (I think there are four sets; I didn’t get real close because he was staring at me four times more and that gave me the creeps.)

Love in Jesus,
Ed, Debbie, Jonnie & Jennie

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End of Term One…

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1) The Rains have come… I have to tell you that for being the “short” rains, we have had A LOT of rain here in Kenya.  The rains began in mid October and have continued since then.  This picture was taken yesterday so that you cAN see how green the Great Rift Valley is.

2) Rain Drops, Debbie loves taking pictures of reflections in rain drops, and she has really had fun running outside with the camera between (and sometimes during!) rain storms.  This is one of our favorite shots.

3) Jennie with Sho Sho (Elaine Barnett).  There is a bit of a story behind this picture.  Elaine and her husband, John, were the first ones to tell me (Ed) about RVA back in the summer of 1985.  Elaine said, “The Lord needs art teachers on the mission field too, Ed.”  Two years later, I was a short-term missionary at RVA for a year, and one of my responsibilities that year was helping sponsor the senior class with John & Elaine.  This is where the pizza comes into the story.  As a fund raiser, we decided to introduce pizza at a basketball game.  We made about 40 huge pan pizzas (147 batches of pizza dough!) and had a hard time keeping up with the demand because they sold so quickly.  When all was settled, we had made a profit of . . . (drum roll). . . $20!

4) Big Brother Little Brother.  Jonnie and Jennie are really glad to be able to have a “little brother” and “little sister” from the grade school (Titchie).  Here Jonnie and his little brother are dressed up as Phillies fans for the Carnival Night.

(Pictures 5 through 9, Outreach)

5) John & Helen Karanja, and their family.  John is the man that I shared so much about last year as the one who is so committed to the Tree Church down at the IDP Camp.  He goes down almost every weekend to make sure that the people are able to meet as a church family at the Tree Church;  he has a real pastor’s heart.  He and Helen have been wanting us to come to their house for Chai (tea).  We arrived for tea and had a full-fledged Kenyan meal (African hospitality), and then we had tea afterwards.

6) Outhouse?  Normally in a prayer letter, people don’t put pictures of outhouses (Kenyan Longdrops).  But this is exciting, believe it not, because it is the first structure to go up on the Tree Church property at the IDP camp.  If you look in the background, you can the church tree.

7-9)  Young men  from our Sunday School class.  We were able to take my Outreach Sunday School young men down to the IDP camp twice to help with the Sunday morning services.  It didn’t take long for them to make friends and build bridges in Jesus.

(Pictures 10 through 12, Activities at Rift Valley Academy)

10) Pinewood Derby.  Here is a picture of the car Jon created and entered in this year’s Pinewood Derby, an annual race for all the students and staff.  Jon engineered his car for speed this year.  Because the Juniors and Seniors were the last group of the day to race, it was rather suspenseful since we had already seen some very fast cars in the previous races.  When Jon finally raced his car, his first race set the new fastest time record for the day.  In fact, his car won the award for the overall speed record for the day, and we were very proud of him.

11) Varsity Basketball B Team.  Jennie made the Varsity B basketball team this year, and we were very excited for her.  She is a very enthusiastic player, and it was fun to watch her play.

12) Multicultural Day.   Every October, we have a day during which we celebrate the various cultures and nationalities here at RVA.  There are 28 different countries represented in the student body at RVA, with students from 77 different missions organizations, for a total of 485 students.  Here are Jennie and Jonnie with two of their friends who are also brother/sister twins; their parents serve in Ethiopia.

We think of you often and miss you.
Much love in Jesus,
Ed, Debbie, Jonnie & Jennie

A Solitary Place…

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We are now beginning our break.  The first term finished last week, and this past week we finished our annual AIM Conference here at Rift Valley Academy.  Though it was intense and busy, we feel it was a very good term.  I have been looking forward to the chance to finally think and process some of the “rapids” (very busy lifestyle) our family has faced these past two and a half years in planning for home assignment, home assignment, and then three and a half months ago returning to RVA. We are putting together our “Rothfus December Scrapbook” (which will be coming soon in two parts, the captions and the picture) and also the “Pest of the Month” which is a wolf spider (please feel free to delete it if you don’t like spiders).
I would like to share a thought with you from Mark 1:35, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Many times when I read in the Bible, I find certain passages so refreshing and they tend to call to my heart, and this is one of those passages.  There is not much in our daily lives (world) that is called “solitary” especially coming off such a busy term.  Yet, I believe that there is that “solitary” quiet place to meet with my Lord Jesus even in such a busy schedule.  I have appreciated the time to get up early this past term when “it was still dark” and spend time in prayer.  I have found that the more I spend time with Jesus, the more His quiet peacefulness spills over and calms the loud restlessness of the daily rapids.  Sadly, the less I spend “solitary” time with Jesus, the more the daily rapids tend to press in and distract me from the little time I spend with Him.

We appreciate each of you and the way Jesus has used you in our lives.  We miss you, especially during this Christmas season, but hope you have a very good Christmas in Jesus.

Much love in Jesus,
Ed, Debbie, Jonnie & Jennie