The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Computer's name is 'Two Homes Now"

We are sitting in the airport waiting to return to Riverside and home. We have been asked many times,”Where is home now?”. The answer is that we have two homes and we love them both. I can not say that the little orange house in Volcan isn’t home. Truly, home is where your heart is, and our hearts are torn daily. There are so many that we love in Arkansas, and we miss them terribly when we are here in Panama, but it was surely difficult to leave home yesterday; saying goodbye for a long 6 months. I remember crying when we left Lynn’s mom 6 months ago, thinking I could not bear the time away from her so recently after losing her husband, James. Now, here we sit waiting for our flight to Houston, and I can not wait to see her again, but I wonder that I can bear being away from Kathy, Anna Valery, Yaritz, and Ezequias for even a month.

I realize the answer, of course, lies completely in God’s hands. He placed in our hearts a love for the people of Panama years ago, and long before that, love for our family in the States, both our blood family and our Riverside family. He has it all figured out. I will tell you that now, in this moment, but don’t think I haven’t fussed at Him about it. Why would He do this to me? Knowing how I love so completely, and lose my heart so fully, why would He purposely tear my heart in two? Truth be told, Lynn is just like me, he just puts on a braver, he-man face for the public. So, yes, we have wondered, but really we know. Jesus told us that he would require sacrifice, that we would suffer for his name. He didn’t lie. (Of course, He never lies)

I think sometimes that I paint too rosy of a picture for you. I want you to see the progress, and the good things that God is doing here. That is very important, but then I think you need to understand that it is not all wonderful, picture perfect. I am not talking about the worms in the water. That is an inconvenience. I wonder if you need to know that sometimes Lynn and I fight. That sometimes I do stupid stuff that causes significant problems. That at times, I unintentionally offend with my ignorance of culture. Beyond my mistakes, my sins, other things go wrong. We place faith in someone who turns out to be very untrustworthy. We are disappointed in Ez’s immaturity at times, stuff like that. Some things are more important than others, but all are problems, all opportunities for us to fail, in God’s eyes, and in yours. I really don’t want you thinking we are perfect. Those of you who know us well don’t have any doubts about that! (Please Ben and Josh, do not respond to this part of the blog!) We strive to paint a picture that shows you the successes of this work, and there are many. I just wonder if you can see the whole picture. God is definitely VERY GOOD! He is doing marvelous things in the hearts of these people, and in our hearts. We are very grateful for His love and guidance. We know that He has complete control, if we just stay out of His way!

Calling our flight, will write more later.

Batteries died, so now we are home, safe and sound.

When the team left last June, they left money with us and asked us to buy something special for Dany, who had taken care of the team all week. We bought her a pressure cooker, but had money left to spend. We could not come up with a good idea, so asked her daughter, Yesenia to try to think of something. Two weeks before we were scheduled to come home she finally did. She said her mom had wanted a floor for her house for over a year. The house has dirt floors, and mud is a big problem. So, we looked into prices of cement and sand, but realized we could not just surprise her with a new floor. She would need to get moved out while it was being laid, and so we invited her over and told her what we wanted to do. She was shocked, and then she cried. She said that would be wonderful. Yemi, the youngest had been having constant colds and she believed that the floor would help her with that a lot. Well, the floor went in the Sunday before we left. They had to stay off it until the day after we left, but were staying in a lean-to at the neighbors. Dany is thrilled. She is such a good woman. Thanks Riverside in Panama 07 team!!! Once again we get the hugs and thanks for your gifts!

Our first meeting without the David congregation went very well. We had 21 people present, a good lesson, a 30-minute class, just discussing one Bible passage, and we shared a meal together. We had no idea what to expect, but were very pleased with the turnout, and the participation. Ez did a great job of including everyone in the lesson and the class. We are really happy with his heart and attitude toward the church and Christ. He is a fine teacher, with a great love of the Lord. We are grateful that God sent him to Riverside.

2000 more things to share, but my emotions are tumultuous at best right now. I will close by asking God’s richest blessings on you, our dear friends.

All because of Jesus!


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