Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greetings from the Dudecks - December 2008

It's been a year of challenges, but with plenty of hope and encouragement. Here are some of the challenges we've faced this year:

In January and February Jennifer was part of her school's Robotics team, and John was a "parent-mentor". The team had to build a robot in six weeks that would compete against other robots to play a game. The robot didn't win anything, but the team took the "Rookie Inspiration Award" twice. It was a lot of fun and a good time for John and Jennifer to work together.
Jennifer graduated from Olympic High School this year. She entered a competition with the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and was one of 28 nation-wide to be awarded a laptop computer and $600 cash.

Jennifer applied and was accepted by three universities -- NC State School of Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Taylor University. She decided upon Taylor. It's a small private Christian school in Indiana. She is majoring in Computer Science/New Media and minoring in Studio Art. She has just finished her first semester.

When we went to visit Taylor University in April, the engine died in our Toyota Camry. We had to leave the car in Indiana to have a rebuilt engine put in. It took two more trips from Charlotte to Indiana (an 11 hour drive each way) before we finally got this challenge resolved. We are grateful for a church in California that gave us a gift that covered 1/4 of the expenses. In August we took Jennifer to Taylor and participated in the International/Missionary Kids orientation week.

Pam's health has been our greatest challenge this year. She has been having trouble with insomnia for several years. Doctors had not been helpful. They just prescribed sleep medications that progressively were less effective. This fall Pam went to her doctor determined to break the pattern. She had to get off of her dependence on the medications, which was very difficult. She has been following a sleep regimen to establish better patterns, and has had definite improvement. She is now sleeping better with no medications than she did before when taking them. We are encouraged. It was very difficult for a while.

John's work at SIM International working on Information Technology projects has been a challenge. His current project has not been making rapid progress, although it is moving ahead. Pam has not been going in to the office, but hopes to soon be feeling enough better that she can return to her work in the archives.

Our financial needs continue to be a challenge. As you know we receive financial donations from supporters for our mission work. We have had increases in our needs, mainly due to the cost of medical insurance, and some of our supporters have cut back or stopped giving. But we have had some giving increases this year, which is encouraging, though we are far short of our requirements.

One of the things we have enjoyed doing is volunteering at various history sites. Pam has been doing living history for years, mostly hearth cooking, and John has started going along to take photos. John is looking into ways to try to make a little money doing photography, although he hasn't sold any pictures yet.

We are planning a trip to California January 17 through February 10, 2009. We will be visiting the churches that support us financially, and spending time with family and friends.
We are grateful for all your prayers on our behalf, and for your generosity towards us.

With all our love,

John, Pam, and Jennifer Dudeck
E-Mail us at: john.dudeck@sim.org.

P.S. We are all on Facebook, so be sure to look us up.


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