Dear Loved Ones,
It is not easy to put into words how we feel. We just want you to know how very special you are to us. Some of you we have known for years and some, perhaps we have only met once and some only very recently. Thank you to so many of you who have been partners with us in the Lord’s work in Tanzania for many years. As Paul so often says of the people in the New Testament churches, we love you and thank the Lord for you.
It’s been awhile since you have heard from us so we will give you a brief update. We had a wonderful Christmas season celebrating with both sides of our family. While there is much about Christmas in America that we could do without, it was such a blessing to be a part of so many services reminding us of the incarnation of God. It was fun to see our children learn Christmas carols this year just because of the amount of exposure they had. We also brought in the New Year with Jon’s family, the highlight of which was seeing our kids getting to know their cousins and having a great time playing with them.
During the month of January, Jon worked out of town Monday to Wednesday, serving in a practice that was short staffed due to two of the doctors having babies around that time. He also had a wonderful trip to Florida to visit a college ministry that supports our work in Tanzania. At the end of January, Melissa and her mom, along with Rachel, drove up to Massachusetts. It was a time of connecting with friends and family. We also stopped at our mission headquarters and shared our work with the staff there. We enjoyed a spontaneous visit to the Mystic Aquarium. It was a special trip!
January and February brought us much snow. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it and to be honest, so did we. We all went out sledding. Jon made a fort one day with the boys, had snow ball fights, etc. The boys even tried out snow boarding with Melissa’s cousins.
We celebrated Drew’s 6th birthday in February. Once again, all the cousins had a great time together, especially beating hard on a shark shaped piñata! Boy, those things are tough!
The last few days of the month saw Melissa and her mom traveling again, this time flying out to Colorado to visit family there. We were blessed and encouraged during our visit. The scenery of snow covered mountains was a reminder of God’s majesty. We also enjoyed seeing some different kinds of wildlife. Our return trip was an adventure due to delays and missed flights but the Lord brought us home safely.
So, here we are in March, eagerly looking forward to spring. As much as we enjoyed winter, we are ready for a new season. We are now more than half way through our home assignment with about five months remaining. We are starting to think now in terms of getting ready to leave once again to head back to Tanzania at the end of July, though there is still much to do and many to reconnect with before that time. We should mention that after praying more about it, we decided that this summer would not be a good time to make a cross-country trip. The idea of seeing so many of you was exciting but traveling that distance with a three year old who would have no memory of it caused us to re-consider. We hope we will be able to make such a trip during another visit to the States when the kids are older.
The kids are all doing very well. The boys are enjoying school and they both have fantastic teachers. Josh’s reading has improved leaps and bounds with the extra help he’s had. It has been really neat to see them grow and change in so many ways this year, physically, socially, and spiritually. Rachel is also growing up so fast. She loves girly things but is a pretty tough cookie with two older brothers to contend with. She seems to add words to her vocabulary daily. The Lord has blessed us richly in our children.
We’re looking forward to six upcoming speaking engagements in April. Pray for us as we travel around Pennsylvania. To see our schedule, or read more about our ministry and see pictures and prayer requests, please see our web page/blog at https://jmeager.aimsites.org/. We look forward to seeing the Lord continue to work through the medical ministry this coming term. Jon is hoping to build up the village health worker network, and continue to expand the health center as the Lord directs. We would also love to have a teacher come for a year or two to help with homeschooling. Pray with us regarding this, and if you know anyone who may feel led to do something like this, please put them in touch with us.
As we have met with you, many have asked about our support. Recently, our support rate increased. At present, we will need an additional $800.00 a month before we will be cleared to return to Tanzania. (This amount reflects a two part raise, some of it is a standard of living raise for TZ and the other is that Drew is now school age—when Rachel turns 6, we will see another increase) Another way of looking at it is that about 85% of our support need is met. Again, thank you to all who continue to partner with us in service to the Lord in this way. If you would like to join our prayer team, support team or be added to our e-mail update list, feel free to contact us.
April addendum- Praise the Lord, some new folks and a new church have joined our support team, and we are now at 91% of our support need!