This year, has had some amazing moments, most notably, the dedication of the New Testament. Reports of its use, the interest, and the change in the spiritual atmosphere are so encouraging.
This year has had some surprising moments. I had a surprise surgery in January, an unexpected illness in February, and doctors orders for a prolonged period of rest in May. Got a liver biopsy in there too just for fun. I'm doing just fine but have an excuse not to eat foods I dislike without appearing impolite. I still tire easily but everyone says the same thing. "We ain't 30 no more."
We've had inspiring moments. We had a wonderful time at Missionary Renewal in June. We had our third 10 day vacation in 34 years in July and in August had hoped for Neil to begin training for the Fire Bible. That was delayed for reasons beyond our control but we have needed to "re-fund" our work as many of those who first supported us have gone on to heaven, or retired and are no longer able to continue so we've needed the time to meet with pastors and interested individuals to explain our work. We've had time to concentrate on chaplaincy and Bible teaching, our most frequent non-missionary activities. In October, Neil will be participating in Convoy of Hope here in Marlborough, which we pray has a tremendous impact on the local community.
Anthony is in his second year at Bible College and sure of his call to missions, though to a very different ministry than we had. It makes my heart glad his call is unique.
My parents are moving to New Hampshire to be closer to my sister as they are in their late 80's and they need a home that is easier to maintain. Neil will soon be traveling overseas for extended periods again as soon as we can make necessary arrangements and I can handle the travel schedule alone.
When I am honest, this is not how I saw 2013-14. I thought my folks would be nearby, my health would be robust, and we'd be moving to Southern Europe already. But I am thankful for the health I have, the friends so close, this time while I can live in the same country as our son, for a husband of 34 years who is smart and funny and compassionate, and of whom I am most proud. (I might add he has never once cheered for a non-New England team). I'm thankful that the Lord knows the timing of all things and how events in Papua New Guinea impact that work and how our age, and health, and families fit into our ultimate calling to my other passport nation.
Isn't it good to know, that every time has meaning ordained by the Lord, and none of it is without purpose? "Return to thy rest oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with thee".