Merry Christmas Dear Friends and Family –
What a surprise to us to be in Indiana at this time. We left so unexpectedly and in a rush from Liberia, landed in Senegal in the middle of the night, and came to Indiana to a warm welcome in freezing weather. Through a week of unknowns the one constant for us was your strength and your prayers and the mighty hand of the Father. Thank you for that generous gift. Many of you fasted, many of you kept a prayer vigil in your small group, at your work place, and in your home. Many of you made connections to people in Senegal who contacted us, checked on us, and went out of their way to comfort us. God heard our prayers and while we continue to deal with fatigue and some discomfort we have an answer and we good news. The good news is that absolutely nothing is wrong with Trav’s heart. The answer to our discomfort is that we contracted the Coxsackie B virus. This virus is not uncommon in tropical climates, especially in children. Our immune systems were weak when the virus attacked us. The disease can manifest itself in several different ways, in Trav’s case it settled as pericarditis. An infection in the fluid around the heart that inflames the lining and when the heart beats it rubs against the lining causing extreme pain that can radiate down the left arm and into the back. In my case it settled as pleurisy. It seems strange to live some place going on five years and never encounter this but welcome to our world of strange.
We have very good news, great news in fact. The cotton wood trees in Pastor Miaway’s village were cut down this week. These trees symbolized the strength and viciousness of the dark world but they have fallen to the light and victory that life in Christ brings. This is a joyous Christmas gift for this community, and a message of hope to be shared by us all. Thank you for your unrelenting prayers and fasting the victory is His.
We will return to Liberia mid January. Until then we will rest, pray, study, reflect, rejoice, and celebrate the love of Christ. 2017 will be bringing new faces to the mission, watch our January update to read more information.
We had an incredible 2016, challenging, engaging, and victorious all to God be the glory.
Thank you again for being incredible partners in this God sized work. What a blessing to work for Him by working with you.
God bless you and your families richly –
Much love and thankfulness –
Travis and Gina (pictured below with the wonderful greeting committee upon their return to Indianapolis).