I don’t think I knew how much I needed this trip, this break away. But my husband knew, and my teenagers knew. And God brought together all the details to make a seemingly impossible trip happen. The main purpose of this trip was to accompany Jessica on her journey back to the US, but it has been so much more than that!
As the oldest of eleven children, Jessica rarely, ok, NEVER gets my undivided attention. But for five weeks she has been an “only child”. I have been able to spend countless hours talking to her with no interruptions. I’ve been able to treat her to special foods and experience new things together. One of the highlights of our time together was to visit John Brown University, along with my mom who graciously offered to drive us there (1900 miles round trip). I knew that seeing JBU ahead of time would help me with this transition, but it ended up being even better than I had hoped. God gave me the privilege of not only meeting Jessica’s roommate but also her nice family who assured me that their home would always be open to Jessica. The professors seemed so personable. Jessica was able to register for classes, and it was fun to participate in that with her. We were entertained by comedian Ken Kingston on Friday night, and the next morning’s chapel service was a special time of worship followed by a convicting message from one of the English professors whose theme was “whatever you do in this life, each moment of the day, allow Christ to be in it.”
While on this road trip, we were able to spend two nights in Camdenton, Missouri, visiting friends who have had a huge impact on my life. While there I was able to learn a special program called Search and Teach which will be an asset to me during this school year as I work with my new kids. I think all five of them will benefit from this program.
Over the past five weeks I’ve been able to visit many friends and relatives. I was able to spend time with my parents as well as one of my brothers and his wife. It had been three years since we’d been together. I shared in six churches, and over twenty homes/small group settings. Many people hadn’t heard the whole story on how God brought the sibling group of five to us. This was a good time to share in more detail about how things transpired, and to publicly give God the glory for how he knit our family together. So many people have had a part in our lives, and I loved the opportunity to thank churches and individuals for their prayers, friendships, and financial support. There are so many of you we weren’t able to see this time, and so I am going to link the two videos I showed at the conclusion of my presentations so you can see them as well. It is our plan to furlough in two years, where we will spend a year living in the USA and traveling around to visit each one of you.
Please continue to pray for our family as we adjust to life with Jessica so far away. We are thankful for technology which helps bridge the gap. We are thankful for all those who are caring for her in our absence. God provided a wonderful family for her to stay with while she was working a great summer job. She was able to spend several weeks with Phil’s parents in Montana who helped her prepare to get her driver’s license which she did get yesterday. Monday she travels on to Arkansas where she will be greeted by dear friends of ours who will spend a few days with her and then take her on to JBU. We are amazed at how God uses His people to bless us in so many ways. Our hearts are truly grateful!