Life happenings and goodbyes

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

The Goodbyes

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.

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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.”

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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.

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Off to the next adventure

And just like that, he was gone… one final hug… one last goodbye.  Off to Canada to begin this next chapter in his life. All his earthly possessions in an 85 pound hockey bag, carry on and backpack.

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My eyes have been like a faucet and I have not been able to control the tears.  (Except today when we were teaching Bible classes.) My heart has been aching and all of a sudden without warning the tears start flowing again. It’s been a rough couple of days to say the least.  I miss him and his calming presence in our home.  Dale summed it up well when he said he felt lost.

The years have been flashing before me with so many memories of years gone by, like a movie playing little snippets here and there. They’ve gone by way too fast. In a way I feel like we did not have enough time. We didn’t have as many years as most parents have with their kids before they move on to college, because of the fact that our kids are adopted, and I never knew what he was like as a baby.

 

 

 

I still remember the day he walked into our home as a rambunctious almost three year old.  Blue eyes and curly blonde hair. He’s always had a sweet nature.  Compasionate, kind, and thoughtful of others. A peacemaker. A loyal friend. A sensitive soul. He feels things deeply. He has an amazing heartfelt laugh! He has kept us in stitches over the years and we have a few sayings in our family that came from him first. Things like, “How did that get there?” And “Wait…where are we going?”

He loves the Lord and has a calling on his life. He has a love for adventure, the outdoors, sports and running. Every time he would set out for a run here in Honduras I would always say “Be careful.” This is Honduras after all and he is obviously North American. He would tell me to relax or something and say that no Honduran would mess with him because he was so big compared to them.  I would say that he was no match for a gun.  And God did watch over him despite my worrying. I think Ben would have died inside if he could not be active and had to be caged inside the house all the time like a prison, and God knew that.

He is our child who in the beginning did not want to come to Honduras and in the end did not want to leave, even though he has so much to look forward to in Canada. Things like Bible college, Starbucks and a special friendship.

 

I am so very, very proud of him. Dale and I love him so very much.  Yet being a mom, I am struggling with letting go and worrying about whether he will find a job this summer to have money to buy food and other necessities.  I worry about how he will transition in a culture so dfferent from Honduras, the place he has called home for the past five years.

 

 

I still remember the heartbreak of when Jacob transitioned and how hard it was to send him off on his own when he too didn’t want to leave and I remember watching him struggle from a far and being helpless to do anything. I know I need to fret less and pray more.

And yet at the same time, I am excited for Ben as he begins the next chapter in life and pursues what God has called him to do.  I look forward to seeing how God works out his plan for his life as he heads to Bible College in the fall. Who knows. Maybe one day he will find himself back in Honduras, a country close to his heart.

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Words…

Luke 6:45 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Words. The things that we say. It’s been a recurring theme lately in my life. Especially in the last week or so. It’s an area where the Lord is dealing with my heart. How many times when we have been hurt have we lashed out and said something in return just as hurtful? I think that this is especially true if it’s someone we are close to. Maybe it is a friend. Perhaps it’s our child or our spouse. I think it is human nature to want to defend ourselves. But then we end up causing more hurt, more pain. And the thing is…once those words are spoken out loud, they can’t be taken back. We can’t just shove them back in our mouths like we never said them. They are forever engraved upon the heart of the person they were spoken to.

 
Our words can bring life or death. They can heal or destroy. Tear down or restore. Bless or curse. I am sure all of us can think back to a time where someone said something damaging to us and years later we still remember. It can shape who we are, and who we become. I remember things said to me by some bullies in the classroom when I was twelve years old. Thirty five years later. Because words have a way of sticking.
We learn in the book of James that if we could control our tongue we would be perfect and would be able to control all the other areas our lives.

 
James 3: 2 (Msg ) We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person in perfect control of life.

 
Proverbs 17:27,28
A truly wise person uses few words. A person with understanding is even tempered. Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent. With their mouths shut they seem intelligent.( I love that last part!)

 
Recently, I am ashamed to say that I failed miserably in that area. I was on the receiving end of someone’s frustration, and when I was attacked and treated unjustly, I reacted. When the words spoken to me were mean and hateful, I responded out of emotion. I blurted out what I was feeling in that moment because I was deeply hurt. Then I ran off and cried my heart out in the laundry room. I cried over the things spoken to me, but especially the things I said in return.

 
I think at times it is better just to be silent. Zip the lip and not say anything in return. Even though on the inside we are hurt or angry, or feel unjustly treated. When we in turn respond in anger, things will get worse, emotions will escalate and get out of hand. There is a saying I heard in our small group some time ago that I reminded of. “Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two lefts do.” Pastor Andy Smith,

 
Perhaps the best thing to do is walk away.

 
1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to be good to each other and to all people.

I was thinking about Jesus.  Is he not the greatest example of this?  When the leading pastors and elders of his time made their accusations against him, what did he do? He remained silent. He didn’t try to justify himself or prove his innocence. Would we be able to do the same if we were misunderstood or under attack from our Pastors and those in authority? Jesus knew when to be quiet.

 

Matthew 27:12-14 But when the leading priests and elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to the charges much to the governor’s surprise.

 

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

 

In life there are going to be times when people say things to us that we will want to respond to. Maybe there is someone intentionally trying to get us riled up to get a reaction from us. What should our response be? What does the bible say about this?

 

2 Timothy 2:23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.

 

Life and death are in the tongue. Oh that we would choose life!