The Lord blessed us with three wonderful children. Growing up among the tribal people where we ministered, they played with the indigenous children and learned how to speak their language.
When it came time for them to start school, we would have loved to have kept them with us in the tribe, but we were convinced it would not have been in their best interest. Yes, we could have given them home schooling, but we were certain that home schooling would not have provided them as good an education as sitting in a classroom with other children their age and cultural background. We also recognized that they needed the social life that they could only receive in a school like PQQ.
We could have never sent our children to PQQ if we had not been confident that they would be well cared for. We knew that the staff at the school loved our children and took great care in their jobs – they considered it a privilege to work at Puraquequara. Furthermore, the staff believed themselves to be as much a part of our team as we were in reaching the tribal people with the Gospel. And so that made it easier for us to entrust our children to them. God truly is gracious!
Our children loved their time at PQQ. Dorm life, school activities, sports – theirs was a very busy life. They were also active in weekend evangelism with teams of students in communities along the Amazon River. Not only were they doing missionary work themselves, but they also realized that they were playing a big part in our work among the tribal people where we served by being willing to be separated from us. Indeed, if we had not had a school like Puraquequara, we would not have been able to carry on our work in the tribe.
We remember one vacation time, our son was telling us happily about something he had been doing at school, and in his enthusiasm, he said, “…and when I get back home, I’m gonna…” and then he caught himself and asked, “Mommy, are you upset because I called PQQ ‘home’?” I said, “Of course not! We are so grateful that you are happy there!”
But there was one year that one of them said he’d really like to stay home. We prayed with him about it and decided that for a season it would be the best plan. We took his two siblings to school and brought his books back so he could study at home. Well, it didn’t take two weeks before he started asking when he could go back to school! He missed his siblings, and he missed his friends and the staff. And so after six weeks at home, his Daddy took him back to PQQ. Never again did he nor our other two children ever hint at wanting to study at home.
We are so very thankful for the role Puraquequara has played in the life of our family. We consider the school at PQQ to be the hub of the field. Knowing that our children were well cared for made it possible for us to do our work among the Indians. And since it was worth sending our children away to PQQ, then it was worth us giving our all to see the tribal people where we served come to know the Lord and to see His Church established among them. God be praised!