God is always faithful

Josh and Beth Paulick on July 19, 2020

    With our youngest turning 2 this week (July 18th), I (Beth) have been doing a lot of reflecting.  I thought back to when Owen was born and how leading up to his birth and my scheduled induction, I had been praying that he would come on his own.  All of our children were on the bigger side, and we knew he was going to be as well, so as much as I wanted the induction, I had hoped to go into labor on my own.  So, the night I was supposed to be induced, we dropped our other children off at my parent’s house and on the way to the hospital, I started having contractions.  It just makes me laugh and think back to how so many times, God answers prayers in His timing, not ours, and not always in the way we want.  He has been so faithful to us, even in the harder times, and for that we are so grateful.  
    These past few months in some ways have seem to fly by.  It’s so hard to believe that it is already almost the middle of July.  We have been very busy here.  At the beginning of June, the kids were able to officially finish up their school year.  We are planning on continuing to work on some school over the summer since they were a little behind from being in France and then moving here.  Even with all of the transitioning they have caught up well and are still on track with their schooling, but it helps a little to have some structure to our days.  It’s starting to get a little cooler with more rain.  The rain is still sporadic, but it’s definitely a nice break from the heat.  
    June also brought some changes to the hospital.  We had a surgeon who was a samaritan’s purse fellow who’s commitment was up and his family returned to Canada.  Also, our teammates, the Nattier’s returned back to the United States for their scheduled furlough.  That left Josh as the only surgeon taking call at the hospital.  He tried to limit clinic as much as he could and tried not to plan too many elective surgeries.  During that time, Dr. And Mrs. Briggs arrived in Togo.  However, they had to quarantine for 2 weeks once they arrived on compound.  Josh worked from May 31st-July 3rd without a day off.  It was very tiring, but the Lord sustained us through this time.  We are very thankful for the Briggs being here, but even with 2 surgeons, it is still busy and tiring.  We are looking forward to our teammates, the Chmil’s who will, Lord-willing, arrive next month if the borders open up and allow flights in.  Our kids are looking forward to their kids being here as well!  
      Beth has started working with the Togolese French tutor that works with our team. It has still been difficult to find time when Josh isn’t working so he can watch our kids while she goes, but we are hoping to find a consistency to the tutoring.  
    With COVID, at this point, Togo’s borders are still closed, which means short-term missionaries aren’t coming.  The hospital is now working with a “skeleton crew” of providers who are getting worn out and tired.  Please pray for the strength and perseverance they need to continue.  Also, churches have remained closed for the time being.  Some of the local churches have been meeting in small groups in homes.  It is still a challenging time for us, as we know it is for all of you as well.  Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers as well!  
As with most of you, there are a lot of unknowns at this point.  One of the unknowns at this point is the kid’s schooling.  At this point, the teachers are having trouble getting the curriculum here with containers not coming as quickly as expected and with not having short term missionaries coming out.  Please pray that it will arrive in a timely manner so the kids can continue in their education, and figure out what the new normal is going to look like for school.  
    With all that, though, we’ve been asked a lot, “now, how are you really doing?,” and honestly, the answer is we are doing well, still feeling a little busy all the time.  We definitely have some stressors that living in a new country and culture, and the differences that COVID has brought, but overall, we are doing well.  The kids are doing well here and have been adjusting well.  We are so grateful for that.  

Prayer and Praises
1.). Praise that the Briggs made it here and that Josh is not the only surgeon!
2.). Praise that the Lord has been sustaining us in spite of some challenges, such as COVID, being the only surgeon for a while, etc…
3.). Please pray for Beth’s continued learning in French.  
4.). Please pray for our relationships with God, each other and our children, that they would continue to grow.
5.).  Please pray that our children would want to serve the Lord and grow in their relationships with Him.