Hi, everyone…man, have we been slackers or what? So sorry for not letting
you guys know earlier what’s been going on here on this side of the world.
Thanks for praying for our Shorebreak (Spring Break) retreat…it really was
good. I think kids were really challenged to grow and think deeply
about how they will walk this path of life. There were people who made
decisions to be a Christ follower and those who didn’t…I talked with one
girl who sat and told me how she knew that God was tugging at her heart,
but that the cost was just too high. Losing her friends was too hard
to envision, much less do. I was thankful for her honesty, glad to
tell her that God was not afraid of it, and asked only that she pray that
God would continue to woo her to Himself. She said she would.
It was also fun to see and counsel some students who had been “ours” in Junior
High for two years and were now hanging out in the big leagues…to watch their
growth and see how they are changing was really encouraging to us.
Buddy was going like a MAD MAN the whole week…I don’t know how he did it…he
was either helping with games, driving a big ole’ Air Force bus with LOTS
of kids on it, doing interactive learning, leading a small group or making
time for us as a family. Every day he dragged himself out of bed to
come spend the early morning with me and Jack and Adrianne. (Cuz you
just know they were up at 5:30 every morning!) It was an anchor for
our family…a peaceful shower for me, while he watched the kids. A peaceful
shower is not something one relates with a retreat, but we had one in our
room, so that was a true blessing. Adrianne and Jack were troopers…they
had such a great time with a couple girls who came to babysit when we needed
them to. These girls have apparently decided that our children are
of royal descent, and thus, must be treated with the utmost of doting and
patience while their every need was anticipated and attended to. (A
far cry from the reality of the Rathmell home, I must say) Adrianne
said she wanted to live there. Not surprising. J
Upon returning, we were met with some horrible news that a good friend of
ours (from college) who is in her 20’s has cancer. She and her husband
have a little boy not much older than Jack. Her name is Jennifer, and
today, April 24th, she is having surgery on both her stomach and ovaries
to see the extent of the cancer, as well as trying to get rid of as much
as possible. Our hearts break for them, and yet we have seen and heard
of God’s sustaining power and peace in their lives. Would you please
pray today for them? We want God to touch her body and heal her…please,
please pray. One night when we were praying with Adrianne before bed
and prayed again for Jennifer’s “tummy”, she looked quizzically at me and
said, “Mommy, we’ve already prayed for her tummy”…in her mind, it was a done
deal…God would hear and answer…as I write this, tears fall filled with sadness,
mixed strangely with hope and faith.
That situation has really provided for some contemplative times for me and
us as a family. These kind of things make us want to live more holy,
righteous lives so that when God calls us home, we will be greeted with arms
of pride…the paradox of that, is that no matter what we do, God delights
in us solely because we are His own, and not because we do anything so grand
as to deserve His love. May our devotion be pleasing to Him.
Thanks for all you do…give money, pray, encourage and entrust us to the Lord…we
are privileged to be Your hands doing God’s work….let us know how you are.
With much love, always…
Jen for all of us.