This is my last post for the year. It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Seriously, the older I get, the faster time passes. This year; 2016 has been full of many changes. Probably more so than any year before. And interesting that last year the “word” for my year was Change.. This year I haven’t chosen a word for 2017 and I probably won’t. Anyway, this post will be basically just looking back on the year as it comes to a close.
One year today Dale and I were on airplane flying back to Canada. Our purpose in going was to say goodbye to his precious, beloved mom. Our hearts were aching. And then we saw her on her hospice bed, the light gone from her eyes, a shell of who she once was. It was so sad to see her like that and it was difficult to walk through that time. It was sad when we left her to come back to Honduras, knowing we probably would never see her on this earth again. Yet after that she rallied and improved so much she was moved out of hospice and into a nursing home. No one ever comes out of there alive we were told. It’s meant to be a beautiful, tranquil home where people spend their final days. She lived almost another ten months before she passed away five days before we flew back to Canada. The plan had been to see her one more time. Talk to her. Hug her. But, we never did see her again.
We had changes in the ministry as well. On Januaury 1st Kathy Mizen became the new director of Schools of Hope. She is doing an incredible job even though it hasn’t always been easy, nor without stress and tears. But no transition is ever easy and no transition is without hickups, or bumps along the way. But she is right where she is meant to be and where God has called her. He has done an incredible work in her and over all stretched all us as a team in ways we never dreamed or imagined. We look forward to what lies ahead in 2017.
This year the ministry grew beyond our wildest expectations. We had the opportunity to take the Bible classes into ten new schools and the Lord provided the finances and the staff to teach in these new schools and it’s gone well. These are amazing guys (one is missing) who are sold out to Jesus and have a heart for the children of this country.
The seedlings program was introduced this year as well. We have two amazing ladies Rossie and Claudia who teach the lessons. Like the guys, these ladies love the kids and God is using them to speak hope into their lives as they share about Jesus. They have had opportunities at time to pray individually for the kids if they approach them and ask. This is a foundational course for all grade 5 students and they go through creation to the second coming. They memorize scriptures as well. This year the program was only in our original 5 schools, but when we start up classes in Feb, Seedlings will be in ALL 15 of our schools. We are blown away that this is possible. This year we were blessed to be able to give Bibles to all the grade 5’s graduating from that program.
Another change was that we found a beautiful new team house. It’s closer to the airport and area of ministry, but further from our home. It had pretty much everything we had been looking for in a team house, for almost the same price as the former home.
We have also had teams come and go, and have several more booked for the new year. We enjoy having teams but it’s always sad to see them leave to head back to their homes in Canada. We don’t like goodbyes!
Late spring and summer brought even more changes. Jacob our eldest graduated high school. Then there was his baccalaureate, his graduation and finally the day when he packed his belongings to begin a new chapter in Canada. I will never forget as he was boarding, he looked back and said “Thank you guys for adopting me” Oh. My. Heart. Both Dale and I almost lost it at the airport. It hasn’t been easy. We miss him so much. He misses us too and surprising to us is that he misses Honduras. When he was here he couldn’t wait to move back to Canada.
We did get to see him and spend time with him when we were in Canada this fall when their oldest sister Maria got married to her long time sweetheart Scott. It was a day long anticipated…
This year was the year that I began to finally get some much needed dental work done. I have long been insecure about my teeth so I am so thankful to have found this dentist, who is also my neighbour and attends the same church we do on Sunday mornings. It’s been a long and drawn out process. I still have a long road ahead of me…but the end result will be worth it. I am thankful it is more affordable here. In some cases it is 30X more in Canada. I am not sure why this is. We have the same fancy equipment and chairs that they have in Canada.
I mentioned my 90 year old friend Jorge dying. I found out he was gone when we came home from Canada. It was his heart. I miss talking with him so much and I wish I had a photo of him to remember him sitting outside on his car or working in his garden. Before we went back to Canada in the fall, I kept thinking I should ask him if I could take his photo but I never did. I’ve talked to his daughter a couple times. She is having a difficult time. It’s been very hard. Everything in the house reminds her of him, her Papa.
In a recent post I wrote about a recent devastating blow we discovered as a family…yet another change, another valley to walk through, another storm.
I don’t know why storms come, but I know they do. But you know, it is not just the times of joys and celebrating that God is there. Through our grief and lonliness. Through every trial and storm.Through every change. He is there. He is faithful. Always. Perhaps he allows things to happen to purge something from us, or to show us areas that we need to work on in our life. Maybe he is teaching us to trust in him, rely on him and not ourselves. Or perhaps things happen so that once we are healed, we can in turn help others facing similar challenges. So we can be his hands, his feet. ..
So that pretty much wraps things up. I don’t really have any new years resolutions .I won’t keep them anyways. I don’t even have a “word” for the new year. I do however have a desire in me though to get closer to God, to memorize more scripture. I want to be his hands , his feet, and to know his heart.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his coveant of love to a thousand genertions of those who love him and keep his commandments…Deut. 7:9
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for yo will not be shaken nor my coveants of peace be removed…says the Lord who has compaasion on you. Is 54:10