December 2019 Newsletter

One of the things software developers do together is something called a “hack-a-thon.” Developers from different backgrounds come together and write software for a common purpose.  Recently a group called Indigitous has been putting together hack-a-thons for Christians.  This year Ryan got to participate in one that happened in Pretoria over a weekend.  He worked with two other developers to try and make a discipleship site more accessible to blind users.  It was a good time to meet other like-minded developers and work on something a little different.

Looking back on this year, Elyse was sad that she was not able to work with TWR. There was just no need for her skills at this point. However, she has not been idle. The best thing that has happened these last few months is the progress of a student Elyse volunteers with every Thursday. Elyse listens to reading but with this student, she does more. He is a student who speaks English as a second language, so he struggles. In the last month, something has clicked. He has started reading better, focusing, and finishing his work. He is still far behind, but his teacher said, “He always does better every week after you have spent time with him.” Elyse is so glad to be able to be there even if it was just to help one kid do better.

Rare family photo with everyone looking in the same direction.

We had Thanksgiving with our church on November 23rd. Everyone brought a meat dish, a side, or a dessert. You know Elyse, she had to cook more. It was a wonderful time to remember what we are thankful for and celebrate with our South African family.

We will be in South Africa for Christmas as well.  It’s Ryan’s turn to be on-call to solve any technical issues during the holiday season.  This means we won’t get to travel anywhere for the summer break. However, we will still be celebrating Christmas with Elyse’s friend who is a single mom and her family.

Ary and Owen’s Corner

Ary and Owen playing on a re-purposed tractor.

Ary has a vivid imagination and is forever playing make-believe. She is becoming very artistic. She loves coloring, stickers, painting, and any opportunity to make something pretty. Ary is developing strong friendships with kids at church and school. She is always excited to read our Jesus stories and go to Sunday school.

Owen is a completely different child than last year. He speaks very well. He is happy. Right now his favorite thing to do is climb and jump, which makes mommy wonder if he will make it to his next birthday sometimes. He is still on a wheat-free diet which can be challenging here in South Africa but we have adapted well to it.

Listener story

Every day I am blessed with everything I need, not always what I want, but God knows what is best for me. TWR broadcasts the most encouraging messages which I listen to as often as I am able to; messages based on God’s Word, the Bible. I glean nuggets of eternal truths, leading to a deeper knowledge and understanding which become wisdom and peace in my life. As I put into practice these lessons, others also learn who Jesus is. He is the Light of the world. We are created in His image and must shine for Him in our daily walk for others to follow.

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