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Special thanks to Aryanna T. from Waukegan, IL for drawing our Easter header.


Dear Praying Friend,

You can watch our one minute update video here. It's amazing that 6 months have already elapsed since we arrived here! Lots of adjustments are behind us and even more lie ahead. Most missions sources say that full adjustment takes at least a year, and some suggest as long as two years. Even as we recognize the work that remains ahead of us, we are enjoying our time here immensely.

Some of our biggest hurdles so far have been practical—finding a home, immigration, buying appliances, transportation, learning where to get water, paying bills, and discovering how long food stays fresh. Joel was also teaching full-time during that time. The Lord helped us and it's now a great relief to be settled in. Our missionary family here has also been a blessing to us in these months and we are blessed with many new Filipino friends.

Our focus has shifted and we are now studying Tagalog full-time. Nothing is more elemental to culture and adjustment than language. It's immediately fulfilling to learn a word or expression, use it the next day, and be able to communicate better. We are continually amazed at the wide-open doors that practicing opens for witnessing and stregthening relationships. In many cases it has been completely natural for Tagalog practice to transition into discussions about religion and eternity.

One great way to learn new words is to make mistakes—like
confusing the Filipino words for "thin" and "dead."

 



Language learning is the habit of constantly communicating at (or usually far beyond) what we actually know how to say. We’re only getting started. Our biggest prayer request is simple—please pray that God would give us help to learn Tagalog as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

 

We have also written our strategic plans and goals for the future. You can see those in more detail here.

Missions Timeline and Goals

For several weeks now, our family has been preparing for Easter. It was sobering and powerful to mediate together yesterday on these words:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In the history of the world, never has a man spoken words more profound. Jesus Christ remains God but He is alienated from the Father? How can it even be?

It’s deeply remarkable that nailed to a piece of wood, his body torn to ribbons, the focus of Jesus’ agony is something that can’t be seen—a spiritual reality. The torture of His horrifying physical condition pales before the greatest tragedy of time and space—Jesus’ alienation from the eternal God.

And yet this Sunday we rejoice with the earth-shattering truth that Jesus is alive. Death could not hold its grip on the Son of God.

I trust that you are rejoicing today in both the all-sufficient death and the all-transforming resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Thank you so much for your prayers!

Joel, Sarah,
Jeremy & Zachary Arnold
 
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