What a whirlwind summer (April-May) has been for us. God opened doors and ended and started new chapters in our story faster than we could blink. Laura and the kids took a very sudden, gifted trip to CA the week of Easter, while Francis had 2 weeks of travel with back-to-back events in the Philippines. Then we cherished and squeezed every second of the next very precious, short 4 weeks together with family, soaking them in, and sharing our ministry wherever possible. Our time in the States was emotional, treasured and priceless.
We landed back in Cebu the first week of June, crazy jet lagged, but otherwise doing well. Our littles started school a week later (Karis in Kinder and Analyn in Nursery 1). We also said goodbye to Analyn’s pacifier which was the last bit of her babyhood she’s been clinging to. Now there are no babies in the house (sad Mama, sigh). And if that wasn’t enough, Francis enrolled with a full schedule at a local college, pursuing a 4-year Social Work degree to compliment his BA in Theology. So now with our niece in her last year of nursing, we’ve got FOUR students in our house!
A Sudden Ending
Last Thursday, the third day of school, we discovered our newest, beloved fur-baby, our 7-month-old kitten dead outside our gate. Our kids went to school distressed and we had several long hard conversations about death and heaven.
And then just before bed, we received word that Laura’s grandmother had passed into eternity. As followers of Jesus Christ, we grieve deeply because we’re not sure Grandma is with Jesus in Heaven. Friends, if you love Jesus, make sure your loved ones know. Live it out in a real, authentic way.
Let’s be real – it’s been super tough!
Without any pause, a team from Faith Chapel, Billings, MT, arrived for construction and ministry through IDEA. We spent a busy, dirty, sweaty, physical few days pounding bricks alongside the team in the back patio, and sharing Jesus with the deaf kids. It was amazing to be with the team and feel their super energy and God’s love coursing through everything they did. And it was a wonderful way for our family to reconnect with IDEA by volunteering and loving on the kids (and teachers) in practical ways.
Through all of the changes, adjustments, heartaches, and challenges, our family stands firm on the foundation we have in Jesus Christ. We are continually reminded and encouraged by Scriptures as we face each day one breath and step at a time. God’s grace is sufficient for us. And His power is made perfect in us when we are weak. Though we’re facing difficulties we have joy knowing God’s strength is carrying us (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
Be encouraged friends, have joy when you face many trials because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so you will be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).
Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers lifted to the Lord on our behalf. Thank you for your partnership in the work God is doing in Maasin. We firmly believe this city belongs to the Lord and we’re wholeheartedly committed to serve and love as long as He keeps us here.
So many endings, and new beginnings this school year. New ministries at the church, counseling the drug-surrenderees, new teens beginning discipleship, new deaf values class, new burdens, new challenges and new joys. Thanks be to God who leads us in victory and is using us to share Him everywhere (2 Cor. 2:14-15)!