Richard & Ruth Jertberg Family
Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples
Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf! Thank you for thinking
of us even when you may not have heard from us! Thank you for lifting us up!
Some may have heard about the different things that have been
happening here. We have had the opportunity to help at the church here and
participate in the church activities and visitation. Matthew and Sarah were able to
go to camp with the teens from church and greatly enjoyed the time there. We
also had the opportunity to help a family get intensive care for their premature
baby. This happened on Moriah’s first birthday. As the baby’s grandmother and
mother said, “Moriah had a very special birthday present. A baby was born on her
birthday, and we were able to help save her life.” Please pray for the salvation of
these and other contacts that we have had.
We are still taking Malagasy classes. Richard started taking classes
3x/week; Ruth cut down to doing classes 2x/week; Matthew and Sarah are doing
classes 2x/week; and Nate, Abby, and Kezia are doing classes 2x/week.
Sometimes it is discouraging and hard to retain the vocabulary. Sometimes, I
(Ruth) am just tired and my brain feels like it does not have the space to absorb
anything else. Sometimes I wish that I could somehow skip the process of
learning the language… I want the results, but the process is hard and not always
enjoyable. Sometimes, I am just tired! Please pray that the language would stick,
that we would learn, and that we would be encouraged!
There are about 7 weeks left before we expect our new baby to be born!
The pregnancy has been going smoothly with only a few little things coming up
along the way! The new baby is very active! Thank you so much for praying for
the baby and for Ruth during this time. If all continues to go smoothly, Ruth is
planning to have the baby at home; and her mother (who is also a midwife) is
planning to come help with the delivery. We are very excited for a new baby and
for some of Ruth’s family to come for a visit!! Please pray for the last few weeks of
pregnancy and for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby!
The kids and their teachers (us) are continuing to work on finishing up
homeschool. We have about 5 weeks left give or take depending on the child.
Homeschooling five kids in grades ranging from kindergarten to 10th grade is
quite time-consuming and taxing to the brain (especially when you have a oneyear-old and a three-year-old who are full of energy and want attention too).
Keeping up with everybody’s work and grading takes most of the day (and
sometimes into the night)! We are very thankful that Ruth’s sister, Rebekah, is
coming the middle of October to help with school! Thank you so much to all who
have given to help with the expenses of her coming!
Moving to a new place amidst people who do not speak your language or
know you has sometimes been lonely. Even though we are surrounded by nice
people, I sometimes long for the sweetness of fellowship that you have with
friends! Sometimes, life is so busy with teaching and schooling the kids and trying
to learn the language and day-to-day living and being pregnant and tired that
there is not much time for anything else. But amidst the busy days, sometimes I
feel lonely for a friend. It is such a comfort that there is a Friend who sticks closer
than any other and will never leave me!
Richard went out to Maintirano to help bring the teens from the church
there to camp. What is around 375 miles of road, took about 52 hours to drive.
Further explanation of the terrible condition of the roads does not seem
necessary! Road trips in Madagascar are not at all like road trips in America.
There are not stores, gas stations, and hotels at any given point along the way. If
you need to sleep, you stop the car and sleep. If you need to eat, you better bring
some food with you or buy some at one of the few village/towns along the way. If
you are going to get there at all, you better make sure to fill your car with gas
before you leave (and bring tools to fix your car if it breaks down along the way).
The cars did have some troubles: frames cracking, axle shafts breaking, broken
leaf spring, multiple tire blow-outs, and road blockages.
Matthew, Nate, and I (Richard) drove back with a load of our stuff which
was stored out in Maintirano. We had nice father/sons bonding time together as
we stopped to see both the Tsingys and Avenue de Boabab along the way. About
2 hours away from home, just as dusk was setting in, I was trying to pass a semi.
The semi gave me the signal that it was clear to pass, however there was a
bicycle with no lights or reflectors halfway past the semi. An accident was
imminent because there was not enough space for two large vehicles and a
bicycle. We impacted the semi, popping his tire and lifting our vehicle into the air,
at the same time hearing the hit of the bicycle on the driver’s side of our truck. I
stopped and we all ran back to check on the bicyclist; praise the Lord he was
unharmed (he was able to avoid the front of our truck by going into the ditch after
hitting the mirror). I was shaking for the next 3 hours as we pulled into our gate.
We thank the Lord for His protection. Fixing my truck is something that can be
done. I am thankful for God’s protection and for all your prayers for us. I know that
your prayers for us do not go unheard.
The missionaries who are working in the church in Maintirano just left for
furlough. While they are gone, Richard will be flying out to Maintirano at least once
per month to preach and encourage the church there. There are many prayer
requests that go along with this! Thank you for praying!
We are so thankful for the many blessings that God has given us! There
are so many little and big blessings! I can’t name them all, but a few are: we were
able to renew our visas and get residents’ cards; He has given opportunities to
impact people; He provided a nice house with very affordable rent; there are
delicious fruits that grow here and are inexpensive (like mangoes, strawberries,
and guavas); God has kept us healthy (aside from minor sickness) and safe; God
has continuously protected us on the roads; He has given us a new baby; He has
put us in a place where other nice missionaries work; people pray for us; God has
allowed us to be here in Madagascar to serve Him! We are so thankful to be here
and pray that we would be a tool in showing God’s love and salvation to others!
Thank you so much for all that you do for us and for praying for us!!