Life on Three Continents…
A glance back…
The year twenty-eighteen has been one for the books for our family. We’ve experienced the mountaintops of being where the Lord would have us, we’ve experienced the depths of deep grief and loss, we’ve experienced the joys of “ah-ha” moments and we’ve experienced the deep peace that only the Lord can bring through it all.
In the last 12 months…
* We’ve lived in three countries on three different continents (the United States, Madagascar and France).
* We’ve flown on 9 international flights.
* The midwifery team provided over 2,300 prenatal, postpartum, well-baby and family planning visits at the Sarobidy Maternity Center (SMC).
* The Eden Projects team planted over 35 million trees.
* 1,115 women and men received employment in Madagascar through Eden Projects.
* Nearly 100 health lessons were taught to the mothers at the Sarobidy Maternity Center.
* We experienced a devastating and fatal mudslide in our beloved Santa Barbara that claimed the lives of many and which has forever changed the face of our community there.
* We experienced new life with 66 births of healthy babies through the Sarobidy Maternity Center.
* Eden Projects began 2 new dry deciduous planting sites and 5 new mangrove planting sites, bringing the total to 20 sites along the northwest coast.
* Countless medical trainings with our Malagasy team of midwives as we continue to empower these gifted women with further education.
* We renovated and expanded the classroom to fit the growing needs of the Sarobidy Maternity Center.
* An office for Eden Projects Madagascar was built (i.e. they’ll soon be moving out of the shared SMC office!)
* A 40-ft container full of supplies for SMC and Eden Projects was shipped from the USA and fully unloaded in Madagascar– just days before our departure for France!
* Nearly 100 Bible studies were conducted with our ladies and hundreds of prayers were spoken with the women at SMC
* SMC hired two new midwives to care for the women and babies in our midst.
* Five days of wonderful, healing and affirming debrief in Colorado.
* Eden Projects fire patrols safely battled and extinguished three devastating bush fires— thankfully no lives were lost.
* We celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the Sarobidy Maternity Center!
* Eden Projects hit the 200th million tree mark!! (200,000,000!!!)
* Two weeks of formal ultrasound training for our entire midwifery staff thanks to Hope Imaging.
* One week of training with Gildo, the Mozambique International Director of Eden Projects, as he prepared to launch Mozambique as a new project nation.
* Multiple Sarobidy Creations sales in the USA to continue to support the artisans while bringing awareness to and financial support for the Sarobidy Maternity Center.
* Hosted and traveled by car, boat, helicopter and outrigger canoe for 8 days with one Eden Projects donor team.
* En route to France, we visited Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in Kenya in preparation for sending our kids there for high school. (sigh)
* One relatively smooth move from Madagascar to Francethat now has us experiencing a 70-degree temperature difference compared to what we’re used to!
* Kids began new schools in France with Isabella starting 7th grade, Eliana starting 5th grade and Gavin starting 3rd grade. Each are doing incredible!
* In early September, Jamie and I began formal french language study in Albertville, France.
* Four months of stumbling and fumbling through the intricacies of the French language while logging 20 hours each week in the classroom and another 25-30 hours each week of homework, studying and language partner time.
* We enjoyed our first “just us” family vacation in four years as we traversed through Italy while on our first break from classes.
* Four days of grueling French final exams to complete the first trimester. WE PASSED!!!! (The new trimester starts next week).
* Ten memorable days with Alissa’s folks over the Christmas break.
* One tearful goodbye as Alissa’s beloved grandmother peacefully passed away– one day after Christmas and one day before her 92nd birthday.
We praise the Lord for His grace and His mercy which have lavishly been showered upon our family, our transitions, language study, and the continued ministry of Red Island Restoration in Madagascar. We praise Him for the many hands of teammates and colleagues in Madagascar and the USA that continue to move forward the work of the Sarobidy Maternity Center and Eden Projects! We praise the Lord for you– those that follow and share the ministry, those that generously and sacrificially give, and for those that faithfully pray on behalf of the moms and babies, the planters, the leaders and our family. We pray the Lord’s blessings of deep peace, profound joy and lavish grace in your lives in the coming year.
With love, Jamie, Alissa, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin
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