Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Newsletter

The Herring Newsletter February, 2012

Dear Friends,

First of all we would like to thank you for your patience as our communication has been very lacking indeed over the past few months. We will attempt to perform some catch-up in this letter. During this time your prayers, support and encouragement have been such a blessing, and our gratitude is beyond words. What God started, He has definitely proven faithful to continue and sustain. The path that we began over a year ago has had some unimaginable twists and turns. I cannot say we have understood them all, but through it all God was been with us. It has been a year of joys and sorrows, adventures and discouragements, victories and some heartache, but through it all we have had the steady assurance that God has a plan, even if we cannot see it, and He will bring all things together for His glory.

Lessons Learned

When we left Cameroon and arrived home, we felt grateful for the support, but we were struggling inwardly because this was not in our plans and we could not see God’s plan. We struggled with feelings of discouragement that we were letting our supporters down, even though our plans were to return to Cameroon. We worried for the youth in Cameroon with whom we had been working and our other Cameroonian friends. We struggled with trying to sort out some of the challenges we had faced while on the field, and we asked God to show us His desire for us. So many emotions and unknowns seemed to fill our lives, but God knew exactly what He was doing.

Shortly after our return we received a call that Drew’s brother, Seth, who was showing symptoms that were feared to be signs of his brain tumor returning. As we waited for a call from his doctor concerning that we received another call from Seth informing us that a family member had been killed tragically. We were so thankful that Drew was able to go and be with his brother and family during this time.

Two other events concerning our loved ones suffering losses or experiencing grief occurred shortly after that, and in those moments we began to look up and say, “Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to be here during this time.” His timing is perfect. Our presence didn’t change the suffering around us, but He allowed us to be with our loved ones during moments when we needed each other the most, and we thank Him for that.

Dana’s pregnancy and post pregnancy also proved to have challenges that made us thankful for state-side medical help. Again God’s plan proved perfect. The lessons we are continuing to learn are that even though we moved to Africa, so sure we knew what God had in store for us over the next four years, our plans are not always His plans. His timing and alterations are for the best. We don’t always have to understand, but we cannot give in to discouragement for God’s timing is perfect. We are seeking to remain open to His leading and timing. We took a humbling step back and have had to say, “Lead the way, Lord, we will still follow anywhere, anytime and any way. We trust Your leading, even if it isn’t in Africa right now.”

Our Miracles Arrive

After 10 years, we were sure that more children were not in the plans for us. We knew God had given us a burden to work with the orphans in Cameroon and believed that they were to be our “other children.” We whole-heartedly believe that it was God’s miracle to us that on October 29, 2011, at 3:06 p.m., Karissa Faith and Kortney Grace came into this world and into our arms. To God be all the glory and praise! Their middle names reflect our hearts over their arrival and the journey that brought them to us. We stepped out on faith in the One who has proven Himself so faithful, and His grace has proven sufficient day by day. These little girls are not just our blessing, but also to all of you who have partnered with us to serve in Cameroon. Who would have dreamed God would send down these extra blessings? We look forward to introducing the twins to all of you; they have a very large family indeed.

News from Cameroon

We have been grateful to be able to keep in touch with the young people and our friends in Cameroon. The youth tell us they are still meeting, and God is helping them.

We received some news that has left us very heavy hearted, Baby Jerry (pictured with Katie in the middle) passed away in December. We are told he choked on a piece of bread. His passing has left a hole in our hearts. Kent especially loved little Jerry; he was Kent’s little buddy. We are thankful that Jerry is in a better place now with no more suffering or pain, but we will miss him. This baby that was discarded and unwanted by his family now rests forever in arms that love him.

Our Future Plans

Our original plans were to return to Cameroon in February, when the twins were 2-3 months old, but the reality of just how life-changing twins can be, and the amount of care they require, has forced us to look at things a bit more realistically. Wherever we are we want to be a blessing, not a burden, and at this time the twins have become Dana’s full-time job, along with much help from the rest of the family and friends. We have been doing much praying about our return, and though the thought of going back sometime this summer is in our minds, we have learned to wait on the Lord’s leading. We would ask for your prayers for God’s direction to be made clear in our lives. Our desire is still to honor God and be a light for Him wherever He would have us be. The Chamberlins, though state-side now, are planning on returning to Cameroon. While we are waiting for direction concerning Cameroon, Drew is blessed to be a part of working with troubled youth at Pineview Homes, and Dana has been thrilled with some opportunities she has had to minister at our Christian school. Our lives are in His hands, and we rest in that.

While we are waiting for more definite plans, your support and donations are at your discretion. All monies coming in are being saved for our return trip, and the projects for which we are raising finances, such as the surgery for Nathaniel, the little boy I mentioned in my previous letter. However, if you desire to use your funds to support another missionary family during this time, we completely understand. We are so grateful for your support thus far and have done our best to be good stewards.

We will do our best to keep you informed of our plans, as well as keep you updated with our growing family. May God bless you all as you continue to be a blessing to others.

In His service,

The Herring Family

Drew Herring 231-872-5186

Dana Herring 231-872-5606

Support can be sent to our home church or EBM

Evart Bible Methodist Church EBM International

3976 80th Ave. 5200 SE 145th Street

Evart, MI 49631 Summerfield, FL 34491

Memo: Cameroon Missions Memo: Drew and Dana Herring