December 2017 Newsletter
Greetings from the Wengers!
All of our family is together at the same time and same place for Christmas (Dec 23-26). This is very unusual for us as a family, and a wonderful blessing this year.
Rachelle continues with translation for nomadic cattle herders in Nigeria. The New Testament has already been printed, and the Old Testament has been drafted. After checking and editing, the entire Bible can be printed. She also teaches West Africans Hebrew and principles of translation so native speakers can better translate into their mother tongue.
Renee lives in Michigan, working in the accounts receivables department of a bank. For years she had struggled with perplexing and deteriorating health issues that were not solved by medical treatment. In our travels Rhoda has spoken with many women who have encountered Lyme disease, and she concluded that was likely the problem. Renee was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2016; with treatment her health has shown significant improvement.
Roland flies Boeing-737 passenger jets for Swift Airlines. He and his wife Deya, and children Nathaniel and Victoria live in the basement apartment that housed my parents in their final years. In his free time he is fixing up a property that they bought near Greensboro, NC.
Rosalyn has been extremely busy as a midwife at a mission hospital in Togo, West Africa. In one letter to us, she mentioned that they had 12 births in 3 days, and most of those were difficult cases that had been referred to them. She will be getting some rest in the USA for a number of months before returning there.
In early spring Rolanda and her husband Caleb are going to France to study French in preparation for working as translators in Niger, West Africa. They will be taking along their little red-haired daughter Rachelle (named after her aunt).
Rhonda and her husband Kyle are continuing to prepare for returning to Togo, West Africa as church planters. Presently Kyle is doing a pastoral internship in the Washington DC area. They have a young son named Jordan.
Raphael and his wife Rosie live in Mebane, North Carolina. They are expecting a baby in April. He works as a graphics designer for a fabric-manufacturing outfit.
Ryan takes many trips to Africa to help with construction projects at mission hospitals: install solar panels, hospital gas equipment, etc. This year he has worked in Kenya, Malawi, Togo, and Sudan. He was planning to go to a project in Honduras in early December, but it was cancelled because of political unrest in the country. In between travels he does work in North Carolina in heating and air conditioning, and miscellaneous mechanical jobs.
Rosetta is back from Togo, West Africa, where she had been teaching kindergarten to missionary children for 10 months. She came home and took training to be a certified nursing assistant. She hopes to work in a hospital unit where she can observe occupational therapy so she can decide whether to pursue training in that area.
Rhoda and I continue to travel, teaching God’s Word in various places. In 2017 we ministered in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
A special highlight of our travels was spending a week in Georgia preaching through the book of Romans. It was wonderful to interact with people who desired to think deeply and carefully through this book, which so richly portrays the gospel of Christ.
God gave us an extraordinary delight last summer. For years I had been thinking about a special event that was to occur on August 21, 2017. On that day we were with friends in Missouri who lived near the center of the total eclipse path. The Lord gave us wonderful weather for viewing. We were able to see the partial eclipse as it moved to and from totality, and the “diamond ring” display near totality. At totality we saw the corona, planets or stars visible at midday, and the sunset effect at the circumference of the horizon. At our observation point, the time for totality was about 160 seconds. Those seconds flew by very quickly.
What beauty and what glory God has engineered for us! I did not come away thinking, “Well, now I’ve seen that; I don’t need to see another one.” Instead, I am hoping to be at a place (in the USA) where I can view another total eclipse in 2024. It is certainly worth seeing again.
Rejoicing in Jesus, God’s greatest gift to us,
Ray & Rhoda Wenger