December 30, 2007

Newsletter 2007

Dear friends,

I’ve been wanting to write to you for some time, so now I’m finally doing it! My main reason is just to re-connect, and explain to you why we needed to stop sponsoring Mayon (orphan) in India. I’m sure you probably struggle sometimes with the “wonderings” about old friendships, so I hope to clarify where we stand.

We’re basically still just as madly in love with you as we always were! I would love to hear more reports about your work in India, and about what your family is doing. When I hear that you’re planning another trip, I always feel that “tug” – and wish I was joining you!

If you would have it in your heart to publish a newsletter, well, that would just be awesome! (put us on your mailing list?) I still wish we could have seen Pastor Tony the evening that he was with you – thank you so much for the invitation!

J and C are expecting their second child in the spring, making this new little boy our fourth grandchild. They continue to be a joyful, awesome couple, and Jr. (almost 2) is like his Uncle S – he likes to talk! J is one of our worship/band leaders now, and doing a great job!

Last year they attended “Financial Peace University” with their home group, and then they shared it with us. God has really turned around our financial situation. We were mostly doing things right; in fact, all we lacked was one puzzle piece to complete our understanding in our walk of faith. It is for this reason that we drastically pared back our financial commitments. It was humbling – but oh, so healthy!

The picture I keep seeing is of God, as my Daddy, giving me a bag of seed, and I manage it by giving too much of it away! He isn’t angry with me for doing this, but He had intended for me to keep some of it! After many years of supporting missionaries and orphans in Oregon, South Korea, Egypt, Zambia, Nepal, Myanmar and India, we decided to pull back and work on our own financial health. We haven’t regretted it – it’s been a step of faith into wisdom. We’ll sow seed here for now, and God will provide increase for us to spread it abroad again one day.

A was deployed two days ago for his third stint in Iraq. Their little guy is 4 yrs. old now. A loves his work, and still believes he’s doing precisely what God has called him to do. You may remember, he works with imaging in “intelligence”. He’s just weeks away from attaining the status of Staff Sergeant – a position he earned well before his time. M and A Jr. will miss him, but they will spend the next few months with her parents in (state). One of the blessings in this is that his deployments have been short ones, just 3 to 4 months.

S and A are working hard in landscaping and childcare, and taking care of their animals. Little A (2 ½) is a firecracker, and growing up so fast! She loves her little ponies.

AK will enroll in college courses full time next term. Up till now she was working her way through part-time. Both she and I have taken second jobs just this week as fitness trainers at Curves in (city). Her other job is in (city) with (business), and her aspirations are towards English and Editing. She also attended “Financial Peace University”, and paid off her car last month!

JD still works with G. We were involved with discussions to work in Nicaragua as short-term missionaries with Pastor C for awhile, but since God made it clear we needed to work on our finances - that is all “on hold”.

He wanted to mount his most recent trophy, a 6 pt. buck, but we’re running out of trophy space on our walls! He’s really spoiled me with the tender steaks that he brings home – I just can’t appreciate beef as much any more!

As for me, I’ve been taking business courses and working as an Administrative Assistant for a new car-servicing business. We retired from foster care last winter when K was moved from our home to her brothers’ foster home in (city). Though my initial mommy gut-response to this decision was to fight it, and I fought a GOOD fight, God turned my heart completely upside-down and showed me the value to K’s life (and yes, to ours) to have her move on! Wow! I never would have believed THAT could happen!

My efforts had shut the process down – basically my argument was that we were her parents for 3 years, and that (committed to adopt) parents were more important to a child than a short-term placement in a foster home with siblings who were already mostly grown. She usually agreed. I don’t think I can explain all the reasons why my opinion changed, but it did, and “I” pushed it through!

K would leave little notes around the house, and then hope I wouldn’t find them. One of them said, “please let me go to my brothers”. She loves us, and she loves them. The eye-opener came when I saw that it didn’t have to be a “divorce” situation, but rather a growing of my family! We spoke with her often those first few months. She stayed with us a few days here and there, and attended my sister’s wedding. Sometimes I was mom, other times an aunt, a confidante, a buddy. I supported her, checked in on her, and helped her keep in touch with her home school friends.

By Thanksgiving we saw a change. She was torn, but really wanted to spend the holiday with her brothers instead of us. It was a healthy thing – and we set her free. Now I guess my role is "encouraging Grandma"! Without being under my roof God is able to continue to do great things in her life. We will see His glory!

I got off track there with K, now more about me!

Following the course that I believe is laid out for me, I’m excited to report that I tested “very well” for a proofreading position for (publisher)! I’m on hold with them till I find another another client to work with – as a freelancer. I contacted several other Christian publishing houses, and I have a mentor coaching me on, but my pursuit has slackened off since the holidays. Besides being a natural ability for me, I think that this is an avenue to help support our future mission work even while we’re in another country. We’ll see…

It looks like the theme of our year has been “pulling back”. In all our commitments we’ve been lead to re-assess. I’m just glad that our Lord is leading us, and that He is with us.
We love you,
"herhearingheart"

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