Monday, June 30, 2014

Heat, Sickness, and Sad Goodbyes

I guess the title of this post could sum up the month of June for us.  Have you ever had one of those months?  Not "one of those days" or "one of those weeks", but "one of those months"!!  That's the way I feel about this past month.


Yes, that should be in full caps and bold!  May and June are the hottest months of the year for us.  This June has been record breaking.  It goes over 100 every day, and we saw 118 at least 3 times!  Please don't ask if it's wet or dry's just plain scorching!  One of the kids asked one day if it was this hot in the desert, so I checked the weather in Iraq and Saudi Arabia..the temperature was lower!  So, I told them, "We beat the desert today guys!"

Summer is survival time for me. I've had less sick days this year, I think for at least two reasons.  First, the girls have been a huge help!  They have taken over a lot of the physical work that is difficult for me to get done at this time of year. I don't know how I survived summers without their help before! Second, we have had more stable electricity.  Usually our power cuts have been only an hour, or at the most 2 hours in a day.  In the past we have had up to 8 hours or more a day of power cuts, so that has been a blessing!

Welcome to the sick ward!
 In case it didn't make the news, there has been an epidemic in North India this summer.  Don't get too's a chicken pox epidemic!  Living in a place where we encounter typhoid, TB, and hepatitis on a regular basis, chicken pox really doesn't worry me, but I guess you could say it added to the excitement of life this month, and made things a little more stressful.  Naomi was hit first.  Thankfully, she pretty much takes care of herself and doesn't complain much when sick, but I did miss some meetings in order to stay home with her for the first couple days.  There was a week in between (that was a difficult week in and of itself, so I'm glad for the gap), and then the 3 youngest came down with it.  This was one of those "full court press" times for Mom, as they each had a sleepless night. Thankfully, they are all recovering well, and are almost back to normal.

The Bible says to "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep".  It seems that when you are in the ministry, your heart becomes knit with the hearts of the people that you work with, and this verse becomes reality.  We got one of those terrible "middle of the night" phone calls recently.  One of the dear ladies in our church had suddenly passed into Heaven at only 44 years old.  Our hearts hurt for her husband and son, and we have been walking through the grief with them.  Through it all the grace of God is very evident, but it is difficult.
We have been blessed to have many college students in our church through the years, and because of this we face a different kind of goodbye.  Some of them are only with us for 2 years, while studying for their Masters.  Thankfully, we get some longer as they work toward PhD!  Still, our time with them is limited and the end of June is the end of their course.  We have 8 who are leaving us this year, and while we are sad for us, we are excited to see how and where God will use them as they move on to their next phase of life.

So, this kind of sums up our month, excluding the things we have faced that cannot be shared, as well as some birthdays, an anniversary, and a couple youth meetings, and....(ok you get the picture).  These are the days when we appreciate the prayers of our supporters so much.
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, Persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." 2Corinthians 4:8-9