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Updates: Micah Joy’s Surgery and Settling in Kenya

Thank you for praying for Micah Joy’s surgery and thank you to the many people who emailed and sent Facebook messages. We thank God that Micah Joy’s surgery went well. Her surgery was delayed by four hours and the waiting helped teach us patience. Micah Joy’s recovery is going well. She just is not chewing or saying much.

I know that this has been said a number of times, however, we are incredibly grateful to be closer to our kids. Praise God that we are able to be in Kenya at this time.

Donna and I are still waiting on our work permits. Please pray that these would be granted soon. There are a number of things that are waiting on the work permit. Two major things that are in a holding pattern are opening a bank account and shipping our belongings which are still in Benin. While we have borrowed and purchased enough to “get by,” it is frustrating when we need something that is sitting in a box in Benin.

Our other disappointment has been that the vehicle we purchased needed some work and it is taking a while to get the parts. We were hoping to do some exploring while our kids are on break and this has been hampered with our vehicle in the shop. Pray that right parts can be found and installed in a timely way.

Thanks for your prayers and support.

Errata for April 12, 2014 blog:

The position discussed is correctly called Africa Regional Support Services Director and it is abbreviated RSSD. The blog stated “Simon Burdett has been named as the acting DARSS.” The blog should have stated “Simon Burdett has been named as the interim RSSD.” Apologies are offered for any confusion or offense this may have caused. Obviously we are still a bit confused. lol

Micah Joy Having Wisdom Teeth Removed

Today (April 14, 2014) Micah Joy is having her wisdom teeth removed in Nairobi. This is the first of a number of procedures that she needs for her teeth and jaw. The procedure is being performed by a Kenyan Oral Surgeon who trained in London and is the Chairman of Division of Surgery at one of the best hospitals in Kenya (where the surgery will take place). We are thankful for a doctor who is competent for this procedure and good hospital. Your prayers for this would be appreciated.

Update: Major Changes in the Africa Region

Much has happened since my last communication. I have started to write a number of times but decided to wait in the hopes of having more clarity on the situation before writing. At this point we are not sure when there will be more clarity hence here is the latest.

There are many changes happening within TWR in Africa. One of the very significant changes is that Sharon Diehl has left Africa. Sharon was the Director of Africa Regional Support Services (DARSS) and was my boss when I was the station director in Benin. Sharon reported to the International Director of the Africa Region. Simon Burdett has been named as the acting DARSS and will report to the Vice President of Global Operations. Simon would appreciate your prayers.

At this point I am unsure how these changes might impact Donna and I. Your prayers for the region and how Donna and I might be impacted would be appreciated.

For those of you who missed the print version of Donna’s and my March newsletter the electronic version can be found at www.cox-net.com/pdf/2014.03_Cox.pdf. In it you will find some more about our move to Kenya and what is happening with the kids.

As always please know how much we appreciate your prayers and support.

 

Settling and on the Move

Donna and I are settling in Kenya. The operative words being “are settling.” So far we have a lovely rental house, a used vehicle, a refrigarature, a washing machine, a TV and some basic furnishings that our landlord is providing until we can purchase our own.

On Saturday Donna and I spent the day at an RVA soccer tournament, Miriam plays goalie. It was great to be with our kids, their friends and other parents. We truly praise God that we are closer to our kids.

I am making my first trip in my new role of Director of Discipleship (and yes I do wish I had more time to settle before traveling). I am in Johannesburg for leadership training and meetings with my new boss and the team I will be on. The next two weeks will be critical to the start of my new role. While I am in South Africa, Donna is continuing the settling process.

Praise God with us that we are closer to our kids. Pray for us as we continue to settle. Pray for my meetings the next two weeks.

Contrasts: the Great and the Difficult

Errata: In my last blog I credited the lyrics to How He Loves to David Crowder. While David Crowder does sing this song, the lyrics were written by John Mark McMillan (2010) and recorded on his album The Medicine. Thanks to MC for pointing out my error and introducing me to a fantastic and profound album.

Some of the great things for which we praise God are: The kind words of many people who have come to see us and expressed their thanks for what Donna and I have done in Benin. We asked you to pray about the selling of our vehicle and motorcycle. We are thankful they are sold. Our Benin church sent us off singing “Oui, oui, Dieu est avec toi,” which means “Yes, yes, God is with you.” This song was a tremendous encouragement to Donna and I.

Also in my last blog I mentioned the reception of a container at the Benin Transmitting Station (BTS). This continues to be part of “the great.” A short video on the reception of the container is below.

These great things are contrasted with the difficulty of our final week in Benin: We are saying good-bye to our friends and colleagues. There is the ongoing process of deciding what things are staying in Benin and packing the things that are going to Kenya. Also, in the last few days there have been some differences of opinion concerning the transition at BTS.

Praise God with us for “the great” and pray for “the difficult.” In addition, please keep our Kenya work permit in your prayers along with all the parts of this transition (house, furnishing said house, car, unpacking, new job, etc…). May the adventure begin!

If the video below does not play properly, please use this link: www.twrbenin.com/the-videos/container2013

References Cited

Mcmillan, JM 2010. How He Loves. The Medicine. New York: Integrity Music.

Encouragement

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me.
David Crowder

When I think about how the Lord encourages me, I often wondered what moved the prophet Habakkuk from questioning God in chapters one and two to his great statement of faith in Habakkuk 3:17: Though the world around me fail, I will rejoice in the Lord. While the biblical text does not give us a clear answer as to how God moved Habakkuk, I am thankful that the Lord did, that Habakkuk penned verse 3:17 and that the Lord has recently encouraged me. (Bible scholars and theologians see note below.)

Praise God with me for the encouragement that the Lord has given. Yesterday the Benin Transmitting Station received a container with two tractors, implements and tons of other goodies. It was lots of fun to unload (and lots of work). Picture below.

Rejoice that we have made the decision to sell / give away most of our things, ship a few items via air cargo and start over in Kenya. Thank God that my PhD advisor likes my proposal. Pray that it finds the same favor with the Postgraduate Committee.

Please continue to pray for the sell of our vehicle and my motorcycle here in Benin, we have a number of possible buyers. Pray that the Lord would give us wisdom in pricing so that the sell would be a blessing to the buyer and a demonstration of good stewardship on our part. Your prayers for our Kenya work permit, a house, car, church, place for Donna to serve with Kenyan children, etc… would also be appreciated. Lastly pray for us and our kids that we would transition and adjust well.

Note to Bible scholars and theologians: I am aware that what moved Habakkuk was the theophany in chapter 3 verses 3-15 (I am further aware that some scholars disagree with the use of “theophany” when referring to Habakkuk). My question really revolves much more about how the theophany happened. Was it a vision? Was is a revelation from reading the Torah? Was it a Psalm or song that moved him? Was it something thing going right in the midst of chaos? Was it a bird singing on a fig-less tree? I somehow suspect that most, if not all of my questions, will become irrelevant once I see my savor face to face. Given that I have yet to see my savor face to face, at the present time, I want to have Habakkuk over for dinner once I am in heaven and ask.

Holidays, New Year and Moving

First a huge thank you to all of you who replied to my “Discouragement” blog, all the replies were very encouraging. Perhaps someday I will share more about some of the unfinished items that are a discouragement.

Those of you who know me well (especially those from my college years) are aware that Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I am thankful that here in Benin Christmas is not commercialized. I am also thankful that the kids are on Christmas break so that we are together as a family. This year the celebrations ended up distracting me from the reason for the celebration. (Please do not read into this that the problem was with the celebration. Donna worked very hard to have a simple and meaningful Christmas.) The struggle, at least for me, is to keep the reason for the celebration central in the midst of celebration preparation and activities.

The other day I spent some time thinking and praying about 2014 and our up coming move. The one clear conclusion, in the midst of many unknowns, is that we need prayer.

Please pray that we would quickly receive the information that we have requested concerning shipping items to Kenya. We have made many requests over the last few months and have little information. Your prayers for our work permits will be appreciated as well. Lastly, pray for our kids as they say their final goodbyes in the next few days.

Discouragement

The past few weeks I have been pretty discouraged (and I have had a hard time finding the right words to express this discouragement and ask for prayer). There are many things for which I am thankful: our wonderful kids being home on break, the opportunity to move to Kenya, a beautiful wife who loves me (even when I am grumpy) and a great team to work with here in Benin. Praise God with me for these. While I am thankful, there are many unresolved issues burdening my heart, especially as I think about leaving Benin.

Those of you who are long time readers of my blog, you know that there have been many things that we have prayed for over the years. You also know that some of these things have yet to come to a desirable ending. There are a couple of these things that weigh very heavy on my heart.

Please pray for joy in the midst of unresolvedness. Pray for wisdom in which things to press forward and which things to leave. Pray for all the details of our move to Kenya.

Video Blog – Kenya Trip Update

For this prayer blog I am trying a video blog. Please let me know if you would like to see more video blogs from time to time. (For those of you with limited Internet connectivity or those of you who are technically challenged a summary of the video is below.)

There are two possible ways to watch this. One is to click on this link which will take you to the video on Vimeo: vimeo.com/thecoxfamily/2013-09vlog

Two, if you see the video in the box below you can simply hit the play button in that box. If this does not work, go back to option one.

Video Summary

This video thanks prayer partners for their ongoing prayers. There is a short update explaining that things are going well in Kenya and requesting prayers for upcoming meetings. The following prayer request are also given: Donna in Benin with an empty nest. Donna starts teaching the Kennedy boys this week. Currently Sharon Diehl, the Director of the Africa Regional Support Services is visiting Benin. Lastly, there is the shortwave license and NGO process.

Catching Up

Well the last month has been a whirlwind. In about a month’s time the Cox family received more visitors than we have in the last three years. It was great to have all of these visitors.

In the middle of our visitors, Garth (our TWR colleague here in Benin) had to make an unplanned trip to South Africa because of a medical emergency with his sister. We praise God that his sister is better but she still has some significant medical challenges ahead. Your prayers for Garth, his sister and their families would be appreciated.

Garth’s unexpected departure made an already busy time very crazy. Hence the last few weeks I have been playing catch up between my normal duties and Garth’s responsibilities. Your prayers continued prayers would be appreciated.

In about a week and a half, our kids head back to Kenya. Donna and I are trying to squeeze the most out of the remaining time. When the kids go back I will travel with them as some testing is needed in Kenya and I have some meetings. Your prayers for the time with our kids will be appreciated.

Paul