During the past few weeks, we've seen how much we've learned. We're both making progress in Spanish. We're finally figuring out where to buy certain things and how easy it is to use the intermunicipal busses. Ryan has written almost two years of curriculum for the Old and New Testament classes he teaches. Rebecca has gotten spring English-level testing down to a system. With three full semesters behind us, some things have finally gotten easier, and we can spend more time on discipleship. Students are saying things that show they are learning. Last Sunday, Ryan preached at church for the first time, with Rebecca translating.
So it is difficult for us knowing that, at the end of this school year, it will be time for us to return to the United States. After much consideration and prayer, we know that God is leading us, just as he led us here and is now leading us into a new phase of our lives: parenting. All year, we've seen God's provision for us and our unborn child, and we place our trust in God to provide the health and energy to get through the next few months.
Rebecca will be wrapping up her duties as sixth-grade teacher in a couple weeks, and the baby could be born anytime between now (which would be a little early) and the second week in May (which would be a little late). The Long family is planning to return to do most of the necessary subbing. Praise God! Ryan will keep teaching through the end of the year. During May, we'll have to expedite a passport for the little one, because we plan to fly back to the states on June 5.
Ryan plans to start working soon with the same company that his brother-in-law Josh is working with in the Bakken oil field. We are really thankful for the hope of paying back our student loans much more quickly and for Rebecca to be a stay-at-home mom. Please pray that we have God's peace to handle all the changes coming. Please also pray for us to have a clear sense of purpose as a family, since we're pretty sure that oil-field work is not the only calling God has for the rest of our lives, even if it does pay well.
For the past two school years, we've been teaching in a mission school. Even as missionaries (and especially as missionaries), we must be very intentional about practicing the presence of God and keeping an eye out for how He is working around us. Soon we'll be entering new mission fields: the home and the workplace. We know as you do that we don't cease working with God just because we're not in a foreign country, but we continue serving Him in everything we do. We want to say thank you to all of you who are serving God in the home and the workplace right now. From your mission field, you've participated in God's redemption of this world and you've set an example for us. Many of you have also used your work to help support us financially. Thank you!