I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote. I’ve been trying to get the last couple of long letters finished. I guess I’ve been writing too much though because my pinky got really sore. I had to stop typing all together for the last couple of weeks. Much of what you read in the last two letters was put into the computer using speech tools software. I speak into a microphone and the computer types what I say. But the problem is that it doesn’t get it all right and I have spent hours going back over it making sure it says what I wanted to say. I’m trying now to be very careful how I hold my hands as I type.
Since my last letters I’ve been out to the village several times. One of the weeks Johanna and I both got sick and felt like vomiting for a couple of days. At the same time Keenan got a runny nose and started complaining most of the time. So it wasn’t a very fun week. When I got out there this week Yau was crying. Several villagers told me that Chay, her son-in-law, has been yelling at her. He’s telling everyone that I gave him the rice and gifts and not Yau. He wouldn’t let her come into town the week I was sick when she wanted to come find me. The villagers were very upset at him. We need to pray for Chay. I talked to him for quite awhile. He’s been drinking every day instead of helping the family. They are angry at him. “But I’m so angry that Koin died,” he explained to me privately. “I’m the only man in the house now and I have all the responsibility to make all the tools and baskets and everything. I don’t like it. I don’t know if I can do it. All I want to do is drink.” I encouraged him to think of his family though and to go and work instead of drinking. He promised me that he would. Please pray for him.
God is surely at work there. Yau made the comment again that she still hasn’t seen any jyaks at night. I guess it’s pretty common to see the evil spirits appear and scare the family after someone dies. “But we haven’t seen any,” Yau said with a knowing smile. I knew she understood why. She knows God is near. “I missed you so much,” she said through tears. “Please come as often as you can,” she told me. The week I was sick was really hard for her. She never told me how Chay had mistreated her, but I could tell she is really struggling. At this point Chay is not allowing God into his life nor does he have any intention in doing so. It’s really hard for everyone. Please continue to pray.
I wanted to quickly tell you how precious my little son is. Johanna and I sat on the love seat last week eating a banana. We were feeling so weak and nauseous but knew we needed to eat something. Then we heard a little squeal at our feet. Keenan had scooted over to us on his tummy and was looking up trying to figure out how to get up to us. Soon he was sitting between us watching us eat that banana. I offered him a bite. You should have seen his eyes as he tasted that banana. It was so cute. I looked down at my banana and saw what looked like a chipmunk bite – two little top teeth and two little bottom teeth. The three of us sat there eating the banana together after that. And after Keenan got it all nice and slimy he was kind enough to push it towards his Mommy with a big smile. And then he offered some to Daddy. It was a moment we’ll never forget.
A few minutes ago Johanna and I were holding him between us as we kissed. He loves to watch us kiss and giggles every time. This time when we stopped to look at him giggling he reached over, putting one hand on my face and the other on Johanna’s, and pushed us together again. “Do it again. Do it again,” his giggles seemed to be saying. What precious memories we’re making.
My finger is a bit sore again so I’m going to stop for now. But I’ll keep you updated as I can. Please keep Yau and the family in prayer especially. As I finish I can see Johanna holding Keenan under the armpits as he makes his way across the room to me – he’s walking – sort of.
Ooops, these are additions from Keenan who obviously made it to me sitting here with the laptop. Gotta go!
Braden, Johanna, and Keenan