Our Last Christmas in America, Tone Class, and Rejoicing with the Baka.

Our Last Christmas in America

...A Time to Reflect on the Coming of the Word

As Christmas approaches we are very aware of the fact that we are saying 'Goodbye.' Lord willing we will be flying out of the States in late March and for the next four years we will be spending our Christmases, birthdays, and Thanksgivings far from home. It is interesting that during this time we are saying goodbye to our families we are celebrating the biggest 'Hello' of history. This is the time when God came to earth for the first time ever as a man. What a blessed gift! The Apostle John describes his coming like this,

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
                                                             John 1:1,14

In the beginning God created the world and it was good. But because of our sin, we needed a Savior. God sent that Savior in the Lord Jesus Christ who came as a baby, born to a virgin in a lowly manger. And John calls Jesus "the Word" here because he came as the message of God and the means of God to bring restoration to our relationship. Because Jesus came and died, we can be right with God. As we are packing up our belongings and getting ready to say goodbye, we are realizing that the reason that we are leaving is Christmas. It is because of the Word of God come in the flesh that we are moving our family to Cameroon. It is because they need to know of this amazing gift as well. And the only way that they can know is if they have the Bible, the Word of God. So this our last holiday here in America is bittersweet. We hate to say goodbye, but we are so excited to be a part of God's Word greeting a new people group. We are excited to bring the true message of Christmas to Cameroon.

Here is our current timeline:
  • December 15th-Jan 2nd - Colorado Goodbyes (we will be visiting with Austin Bluffs EV Free Church on December 30th and Calvary Chapel North on Dec 23rd)
  • December 17th-19th - Dave and Stacey sans kids will be flying to PA to complete HR requirements for World Team.
  • January 8th-March 7th - Stacey's final linguistic class!
  • January 18th-21st - Dave's Bush Mechanics and Electronics Class.
  • February 6th-9th - Dave's Primary Healthcare Class.
  • March 8th-18th - Louisville Goodbyes.
  • March 24 - Fly to France for a year of French study.
  • March 2014 - Fly to Cameroon.

Learning Tone

Did you know that in many languages, the tone that you use when you pronounce a word can change its meaning? That means that two words that sound to English ears like the same word, can be as different as the words "horse" and "to bother." We knew going into linguistic school that Asian languages (like Chinese) can be tonal. In fact, this is one of the reasons we chose to go to Africa instead of Asia! What we have since learned is that there are far more African languages that have tone than Asian languages. Oops! Therefore, Stacey enrolled this session in a class that focuses only on Tone. She has spent many hours pulling her hair out in her cubicle in the library trying desperately to listen to other languages to hear and transcribe if a word is has high tone, low tone, or something in the middle. Although this has been her toughest session, it seems that the Lord has granted her favor. Please pray that these complex topics would make sense to us and stick with us as we head overseas.

Bush Mechanics and Bush Medicine Courses

I (Dave) will be taking two short classes over the next few months to equip me with the practical skills we will need in Cameroon. The first, in January, is called Bush Mechanics and Electronics. Here I will receive hands on experience developing an electrical system to power a house using solar panels and/or a generator. I will also learn how to solder, and perform basic engine maintenance. Then in February I will be taking a Primary Health Care Condensed Course. You may remember that Stacey took this course a few months ago and it covers topics such as: administering shots, setting broken bones, and inserting a catheder. Please pray that I do not pass out!
The graduates of the 2nd Oral Bible Storying Project among the Baka.

God is Moving Among the Baka

Many of you have heard us tell the amazing story about Abata, the man who became the first known believer in Christ among the Baka people while we were visiting in Cameroon. While this was an amazing and encouraging story, it has been even more astounding to watch over the last two years as God has moved among the Baka people. Back in May, 21 Baka believers were baptized! And most recently the World Team families working with the Baka have put on two Oral Bible Storying Workshops, the first had 15 participants and the second had 24. Each participant is taught two Bible stories in their own language and walk away from these workshops with devices that will help them to retell the stories very faithfully.
This is an amazing tool for the spreading of God's Word in a mainly illiterate people group. Perhaps what is the most exciting is to see how God is using it to bring his children to himself and then to grow them in sanctification. Not only in these meetings were the missionaries able to teach Bible stories to new Baka believers, but they were able also to confront cultural sins and walk them through repentance. God really is moving among the Baka people.

Please Pray. Please pray for our co-worker Desma Abbott who has been working with the Baka for a number of years. She has recently been experiencing a lot of pain and fatigue. Please pray that the Lord would heal her so that she can continue in these good works in Cameroon.

Also, in order for us to go to French school together, we need to put our kids in a French preschool.  However, they have to be potty trained to be admitted and Elias is not up to par.  Please pray he'd be potty trained by March so we can put him in preschool (thanks!)

Another reason that we have been thankful for this Christmas season is that we have received many Christmas cards from friends and supporters. Thank you for keeping in touch with us. We always love to hear what is happening in your lives so that we can pray for you too!
Dave and Stacey Hare

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