Another year comes to an end…

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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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

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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

Tears at Walmart

One afternoon last week when the team from Newfoundland was here, the ladies on that team along with Kathy and I went shopping .  It’s no secret I love to shop and by the time were finished our cart was loaded to the brim with clothes, socks, soccer balls,  cute and fleecy Christmas throws and hygiene kits.

These were not things that we we buying for ourselves .  Although I did pick up an inexpensive two dollar t shirt..No…These were gifts that we were purchasing for some of our sponsored children.  Did you know when you sponsor a child through child care plus, you can send extra money in addition to the monthly amount, so that the child that you sponsor can have a gift at Christmas? You can do the same when it is their birthday.  It is those of us living and working on the field that have the joy of shopping for that child. It’s one thing that I love about this job. It’s fun to shop and pick out items that you know they will love.  They so appreciate and treasure every gift.

This year, the three ladies on the team got to experience it first hand and be a part of it themselves. They had great ideas for the gifts. Kathy brought along a photo of each of the children so we had a better idea of the children’s sizes. With 180 sponsored children it is almost impossible to know all of them, although we do know many of their names. This is a great idea. I remember last year buying a really nice backpack at Forever 21 only to find out the young person receiving it was actually a boy!

Anyway, as we loaded up the car with the purchases, I don’t think there was a dry eye..For them to see and actually be a part of the buying of gifts for those precious and loved sponsored kids was really heart stirring. .

We had a lot of fun with this team. They laughed a lot and yet  amidst all the laughter, tears flowed constantly. I so love their tender hearts. It was moving to see Honduras through their eyes. The little things they noticed that we are so used to. Sometimes you know, when you live here, things just become the norm and routine and you forget.  It’s good to take time to slow down, pause and remember Honduras, the home of our heart.

When we don’t know what to do..

Since we arrived back home in Honduras almost three weeks ago, we have been going almost non stop. I could write about all of the things going on, but I wouldn’t know where to begin and it could end up being a  very long post. All about Rick and Cheryl, english classes, graduations and the NGO and the latest team to visit us from Newfoundland and Alberta.. Our director Kathy has updated people on her blog so at the end of this post I will post a link to her blog so everyone can read her posts…

However in the midst of all that crazy business were dental appointments and some other not so fun things that we have had to walk through upon our re entry back into Canada. One way that I often sort through my thoughts is to write…so I guess that is what this post is…just me sorting through or processing recent thoughts on this journey we are on..

Sometimes in this life stuff happens.  Not everything is great all the time. This morning, during my devotions I was remembering  a sermon preached by Pastor Tyanne back in October where she said,” In every situation, in every moment, He is there”. That means all the time. In good times and in the bad.  She also said “Life is hard, but Jesus is there” Over the years,  I have found that to be true. In the times when we don’t know what to do, or in the times that we need wisdom. The times that seem so dark when maybe we don’t feel him near or perhaps he is silent.  When we are hurting, when we feel helpless,rejected, lied about and alone, we can hold onto the truth that he will never abandon us…. not even in our brokeness. Not even when our world is crumbling.

Then, last night at CCI Pastor John M said something similar in his timely message…”It’s not a bad day because Jesus is with us, but it’s a bad moment at this moment kind of day”..Little did we know then at that moment the challenge we were about to face in a couple hours. A devastating truth that would shake us to the core. We were blindsided. Now as we are walking through this reality we can’t help but wonder, ok God, now what are we suppose do?  I still don’t have any answers to that really. Not so far anyway. It was yet another moment where we couldn’t pick up the phone and talk to Sharon, Dale’s mom. She would have known what to say, she would have given godly counsel..She would have prayed . She would have wept with us..She would have interceded.

However, despite this recent trial I know that He is there. I know that he is walking through it all with us and we are never, ever alone, even though there are times it may feel like it. He is here with us. I have felt his presence all day today, even those moments when I fell apart. He is comforting and bringing peace and a sense of calm in the midst of this latest storm..

“Satan may be strong but Christ is stronger! Wendy Blight…

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Jer. 31:13  I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Psalm 36:7 How precious is your unfailing love oh God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Ps 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be a protective sheild.

Is 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you wil not be shaken, nor the convenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you..

Below is a link to Kathy’s blog where you can read all about what we have been up to..

https://pkmizen.wordpress.com/