I am using much of the thoughts from our recent newsletter and adding my own thoughts at the end of this post. You will know it when things start to get emotional.:-)
Life seems to move at such a rapid speed! This spring has passed so quickly and we are still spinning with all that has been going on in our family. Here are just some highlights of what has been happening within our personal family and ministry!
We had the opportunity to attend the General Conference of the Pentecostal Assemblies in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia early May! The theme was picturing God’s Faithfulness, multiplication, His transformational Truth, the Nations, and our future! What an incredible time of refreshing!
As soon as the General conference ended, we headed over to Sidney on the Sea! It was exciting to be with our Global Workers family for a 4 day retreat. All the sessions ministered to our heart and soul! It was wonderful to see familiar faces again in person..not just Facebook.. We especially enjoyed the specialized breakout where we met with other families who are empty nesting! This was encouraging and we have great support in place. Sidney by the Sea was beautiful. We enjoyed walking on the waterfront every day.
As soon as we got back from the conference and retreat, a family that we’ve known for 17 years came for a visit! Breanne has been with us three times before and it was great to see her, meet her finance Andee, and host her parents! What an incredible, fun week we had, with lots of laughs! We are looking forward to Breanne and Andee’s wedding in El Salvador in a few weeks. We will be taking the bus from here to there as it is rather inexpensive to do so.
Another ministry in Honduras, “Here I Am Ministries,” donated Bibles to us from the Gideons to give to each teacher. Along with the Bible, the teachers also received a schedule that allows them to read Scriptures to their students daily. We still have a few more to hand out. These Bibles are going to newer schools whose teachers did not yet receive a copy of the Bible. These teachers were so HAPPY!
The first week of June, a team from St. Thomas Pentecostal came to do ministry to 2,000 children. This was an older group with most of the team being 50 plus…but it didn’t slow them down at all. I found them inspiring. Truly. One lady was in a wheel chair at one time and was told she would never again walk. But two years ago she got out of the wheel chair has not once looked back.
Our son, Ben, graduated from grade 12 on June 13th. We are so proud of him and his accomplishments and his “Christian witness” award! He has now moved to London, ON for the summer and will be attending Masters Bible College in the fall! Please keep him in your prayers that he finds employment for the summer and that his transition continues to go well.
I miss him so very much. The first couple days after he boarded that plane with all of his earthly belongings in an 85 pound hockey bag, I did a lot of crying. I just couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. It’s been so difficult. After the first day Dale said that he felt lost. This empty nesting thing is rough. First Jake two years ago and now Ben, and we just have one more year til Elisa “leaves the nest.”
There have been other goodbyes too. Goodbyes are a normal part of missionary life, and even though they are “normal,” I don’t like them. And lately there have been a lot. I break down and cry when I hear that yet another missionary is leaving, packing and selling their things to move back to the States or Canada. We have recently lost two families from our fellowship group. So half the group basically. People we felt connected to, people who understood us and loved us despite our quirks. It’s hard to be the ones left behind. I can’t really explain it or put it into words, but I am having a bit of a rough time coping and knowing how to grieve. I’m struggling with how to process it all. So. Much. Loss. I know if there are other missionaries out there reading this, they will get where I am coming from.
And the goodbyes aren’t finished. We soon will lose the Evans family who have been with Schools of Hope for a year. They are such a blessing and an integral part of our life, I can’t imagine going to the office on Fridays and them not being there and I am not quite ready to think about it just yet. And still there are more precious families leaving Honduras, while we remain and continue life as we know it without them.
I am happy for the friends who have moved on. I am excited to hear how God uses them where he has placed them in their new areas of ministry. My heart just aches because I will miss them. It’s getting used to the new normal I guess. I know things will be fine, but it’s going to take time.