Well, we're getting into a routine (finally!) and that means books are flying around our house! Of course, Jeffrey and Gretchen have their loads of textbooks for college, but we (Andrew, Sumana and I) are also back to enjoying our 'read-alouds' for school. So far, we've read Peace Child by Don Richardson. What an incredible story of a missionary who was the FIRST to live among the Sawi tribe in Papua New Guinea. The Sawi were headhunting cannibals and let me tell you, I skipped around A LOT doing some real-time editing. Yuck!!!
Anyway, the missionary struggled to find ANY connection, any analogy between the tribe's beliefs and customs and Christianity. He was about to give up ever finding a connection when he witnessed the giving of a 'Peace Child' as an assurance of good will between tribes. Each warring tribe would surrender a 'Peace Child' to the other and as long as the Peace Child lived, there would be peace between the tribes. However, if the child died, war would start all over again. Richardson was able to share the hope of the once-for-all Peace Child, Jesus. From that point on, the tribe changed for the better and influenced tribes in the entire region for Christ. What an inspiring story!
Another story we started recently is Walk the World's Rim, by Betty Baker. Here's another incredible story of perseverance and maybe even God's grace. It's a work of historical fiction following the story of Esteban, a slave who came with the Spaniards who 'discovered' Florida in the 1500s. Though nearly 600 men perished, Esteban and 3 others pushed west from Florida, trying to make it to the Spanish colony in Mexico City. Everywhere they went, they prayed for the sick and did all they could to help restore health. Since they had come from the east and healed many, the Indians called them 'gods-from-where-the-sun rises'. Currently, we're at the point that an Indian boy joins their trek to Mexico. His father, the chief, wants his son to get to know the God of these men. The boy, himself, admires the men and hopes to learn more about their God.
Jeffrey, some of his friends and I have been racing each other through a series of books. It's been funny to see who pulls ahead and who catches up; who gets the next book first. When I was in the hospital with Sumana I read so much that I had to get Greig to 'steal' back a book from one of Jeffrey's friends, so I could keep moving through the series. Since being home, my reading has slowed WAYYYY down, so I had his friend on my case to finish the book so he could do the same!!!
Well, Sumana is a reading maniac. Every night she takes books to bed with her. American girl stories, Berenstein Bears, Arthur and of course Amelia Bedelia. For school she has to read shorter chapter books. It's still quite a challenge for her, so I read a page then she reads a page. Greig mentioned this week how far she's come in a year. It was soooo good to hear that! I think I'm too close to the situation to see the improvements. Teaching kids to read has always been my biggest challenge. I'm glad Sumana's the last one! I think teaching another one would send me to the loony bin for good!!!
PS-- Praise God for the good word we've been hearing about Giana. She was on room air and alert the evening after surgery. I guess she's struggling with elevated heart rate, fever and rash. However, it sounds like she's doing great and is signing to her family. Please continue to pray. Here's the latest link to her site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ourgirl