Monday, October 27, 2008

Mary Delaney -- Kaohsiung, Taiwan

This is my constant burden when I see young gals and even some older women preparing to leave for the field…I have always wondered, are there veteran missionary wives sharing their hearts openly, honestly, candidly with the younger women? There has to be a balance - because it’s not all woes and sadness…. I hate the song “SO Send I You…. to labor unrewarded, unloved, blah, blah, blah… - THAT is not the truth either. God does give us rewards as we obey….. God does send unexpected blessings …. God does give us inner peace - but, yes - the first term on the field is tough.

Guess what? I met a veteran missionary wife at Christmas time - by accident - that’s a long story. But when I told her we were really enjoying Taiwan, she asked me how long we had been here. I told her 3 and ½ months. She looked at me and said, “You are still in your honeymoon period. When you hit the 6 month mark you will begin to hate everything - the dirt and filth, the lack of manners, the lack of American goodies, the politics among the missionaries, etc… etc…“ I thought to myself, “She obviously doesn’t realize she is talking to somebody who was in Singapore nearly 18 years.” But, guess what? Today marks six months…and I’m tired. And, once again, the pressures of settling into a new country/language/ministry have taken their toll on our marriage…. I feel lonely - don’t quite fit in YET with the church folks and other missionaries….I feel so far removed from our daughters, Sarah and Rebekah - and with a 14 hour time difference we have a tough time making phone calls…we are hounded with hundreds of mosquitoes…. The Chinese language is tough…. Everything is super, super expensive…. We really, really miss the food of Singapore (NOT America!) Some of the stuff they eat here is abominable… (You told me to be frank…) We are trying to care for a ministry on top of homeschooling and language school and that was not such a brilliant idea… We have a communication barrier here that we never had in Singapore…..

However, the people here are absolutely precious! The winter here has been colder than we’ve ever experienced before in Asia… but the temps are back up to the 70’s now - yippee! I am spending several hours a week in school with my teenagers - wow! What great bonding time! We are going to have our own secret code now when we go back to the US - we were always so jealous of families such as the Hayes - they could say all kinds of nasty things without anybody understanding them. The other young missionary couple from NBBC that is here short term have become great friends with our Daniel and Julia (though things aren’t always peachy-creamy!) I’m thankful to have our kids out of the USA for their teen years…. God has showered us with all kinds of unexpected blessings from unknown ravens, meeting all of our needs…. I really like the home God provided for us - nicer than any home we ever had in Singapore…. I thank God for Skype and e-mail and relatively cheap phone calls - things we didn’t have my first term in Singapore!

…Over time God will indeed knit your hearts to those of the people HE has called you to.. I can’t explain it… I can’t give you a time frame…. but it just happens. And you know what? Gradually, those people that you live with and minister with become your family and your best friends…. To the point that your own family and friends in the US no longer understand you…. Hard to explain. Make sure you are keeping your family a priority. Spend time with your children! Love them! Teach them! Have fun with them… Enjoy them! All too soon they will be gone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I Wish I Had Known. . .

Barb Fisher -- Marshall Islands

What I wish I had known...

Honestly, where do we even start on this one?! No matter how long we’ve been serving the Lord we are always learning or at least that should be our attitude, shouldn’t it? It’s easy to get proud about the things we learn and forget that it’s only by God’s grace that we can even move and breathe and learn.

*I would like to share a word of encouragement to ladies that will be serving in countries where English is a second language. The importance of learning the local language cannot be emphasized enough. Make the mastery of that language part of your ministry philosophy and don’t be deterred from it. At first there is an excitement about learning a new language. After about the first week, reality sets in, and you realize there is this huge mountain in front of you that seems quite impossible to climb. It’s very tempting to get pulled into doing “good” things, especially ministry related things, at the expense of being out with people “just” to learn their language. Remember, you will never have an effective ministry with those people if you can’t communicate with them in their heart language. As a wife and possibly mother you have family responsibilities as well. Ask the Lord to give you discernment as you seek to honor Him with the responsibilities you have at home. Depending on the ages of your children and the country you live in you could possibly plan to have your children with you when you are out learning the language. Another idea is to have 2 or 3 times a week where you husband can watch the children while you go out for an hour or more on your own.

*This next one seems like a no-brainer but I guess I just never thought it through. No matter where you go in the world, in our hearts people are all the same. For some reason when you get to a place where people have different complexions, different customs, particularly lower standards of living etc. you seem to think that they are very giving, not greedy, not selfish etc. It’s very easy to be sucked into the noble savage mentality instead of remembering what God’s Word says about man’s heart- how desperately wicked it is. No matter if you’re in the high rises of New York City or in a remote jungle, people are sinners rejecting God and their greatest need is the gospel.

To be honest, one of the things that I constantly struggle with is the lack of fruit that we’ve seen in our particular area. You know that things may be hard but after a few years you expect God to bless in a certain way. When you don’t see things happening the way you planned them it is easy to get discouraged and begin questioning why you are even there. Sometimes God brings us into situations where the only thing we have to anchor our souls to are His promises. One of the passages that I love to read is Isaiah 40. It sure puts into perspective God’s awesome power and sovereignty and man’s puniness.

At first you are popular-like the new kid on the block. Then when you have your first confrontation it can be a real struggle to keep the right perspective. One of the early confrontations I remember was when I had to tell a lady she couldn’t borrow my bicycle. We had allowed some people to borrow my bike thinking we were being kind. After several weeks my bicycle would be gone for hours at a time being passed from one person to the next. People would rather use my bike than spend their own money on a bike. Many of the neighbor ladies would spend hours gambling with their money or spending it on frivolous things. We had to think through how we could truly help these ladies. They thought I was truly kind and helpful if I gave them what they wanted. We realized that saying “yes” to whatever they requested would only encourage them to continue wasting their money knowing that they could just look to me to meet their needs. As expected, my refusal to let them use my bike was met with anger. We had to remember that our goal was not to win people to ourselves but to win them to Christ. Having this fixed in our hearts helped us not get too discouraged when people got upset with us. We asked the Lord to help us to continue to love them and to remember that but for God’s grace our thinking would be unbiblical as well.

What a thrill to actually see God open someone’s eyes. It truly is a joy to be in a place where day in and day out we have the opportunity to help people see themselves the way God sees them and then point them to the Cross. God in His sovereignty works in different ways but we can know that whether here on earth or in heaven we will one day rejoice TOGETHER with the one that sowed and the one that reaped.

As hard as it is to go through certain struggles, it is really the goodness of God in bringing us to the point of clinging to Him alone and anchoring our souls in His promises. It is very humbling to have to admit our weakness and helplessness but that is when, by His mercy, He allows us to experience a sliver of what it really means to trust in Him. It’s a funny thing though, how you can know certain truths “academically” but sometimes it takes going though some storms (more like typhoons) for those Biblical truths to be cemented in our hearts. What a wonderful thing to be able to entrust ourselves to Him who judges righteously. He slices it up perfectly. (I Peter 2:21-25)

One of the questions you asked was what makes you feel more at home in your new country? I guess many different things factor in to this situation. Take hope! You will eventually feel at home. Then you go back to America and you have a difficult time “feeling at home.” Sometimes it is a real challenge “fitting in” if you will, depending on how ungodly and to what extent the community you are living amongst is devoid of any Biblical foundation. Without meaning to, it is easy to be sucked into unbiblical thinking because we want so bad to be accepted so that we can share the gospel. Realizing that there will be many things that we will have to stand against it should demand a greater desire to learn the language and jump into the culture into whatever ways that we can. Even though we will always be outsiders it is neat to see God break down some of the barriers and in time you actually feel part of your new home country. Yes, all countries have their cultural distinctive etc. but it’s good to remember that inside we are all the same. The gals in Poland probably struggle just as much with hatred, jealousy, and pride as the women in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Once you are able to understand enough of the language it is very helpful to be in situations where you are in an informal group setting and you get to listen to them talking back and forth with each other. Those times can give you insight into how they think about different situations etc. We are going on 19 years here in the Marshall Islands and we are still learning new things and sometimes I think, “How could I have been here this long and never picked up on that belief or the way that word is used...or whatever.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stay In The Moment--Look Around and Learn

Polly Whitmore (what I learned from Yap Island Culture)

(What is) the definition of ‘hope’? After reading various sources, I define ‘hope’ as faith that points to the future, knowing that God is completely in control. Hope allows calm confidence as we trust and patiently wait for Him to direct our steps. The expectations we have should be rooted firmly in God and not our emotions.

As I tried to understand the definition of hope, I saw that the opposite of hope is despair. When we feel despair, we are also pretty stressed out. As if there is nothing that can possibly help. Everything is out of our hands. Notice that despair is NOT rooted in God, but is rooted in our emotions.

How many times have we said (or thought) ‘this is HOPELESS! I can’t do this!’ Have you said it today? I certainly said it in our transition to living on Yap Island – the tiny 38 sq mile mound of vegetation in the Western Pacific.

There are several factors that contribute to a feeling of despair and hopelessness. We’ll look at one source of stress: When your mind is just racing and not really focusing on anything – except the myriad of problems that surround you. What’s your focus? How often have I missed out on God’s blessing and instances of joy that surrounds me each day as I focused on negatives: like teaching in a sweaty island high school? Or trying to clean out a freezer of rotting food – rather than realizing that my husband and I were actually sitting on the porch, enjoying a wonderful view of the reef as we munched on banana bread and drank steaming mugs of coffee.

Missionary Jim Elliot said “wherever you are, be all there.” There is such a lack of focus these days. Could this ‘fragmented thinking’ be a high-tech tool of the devil to keep us distracted? To keep us unaware of God’s hand in our day? To keep us from seeing His lessons for each of us? II Cor. 11:3 “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. God says:

Proverbs 4:26 “Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established.” (plants are noticeably ‘established’ in Yap after you push a branch into the ground. They droop for a day or two – then the leaves stand up and the plant begins growing again) Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.”

In my transition to Yap, I lost my whole frame of reference. (new way of cooking, cleaning, shopping, interacting with others, reacting to the climate challenges, ETC) I didn’t focus on anything other than the very basics: get up, trust God and PRAY for my husband (and myself!) For the 1st 6 months on the island, I was in survival mode – emotionally holding my breath as though on a roller coaster ride. After 6 months, my coworker Sherry Zimmer and I both took our 1st deep breath and I was able to begin the slow task of allowing God to teach me as I regained my focus and actually studied my surroundings.

God can teach us A LOT about faith in Him through our surroundings IF we take the time to slow down, PONDER and observe (look closely). Like when our moms would tell us to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before crossing the street. Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. BUT even the disciples missed some lessons. Mark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. (What hardened their heart? Fatigue? Distractions of crowds? Physical hunger? Lay that aside and FOCUS! Let God increase your faith!)

The 1st step of our journey of hope is to be teachable. Be WILLING to learn. I’ll share some of my ‘island life’ insight and how God used that in my life to teach me more of His truth and to reinforce lessons from His Word.

    1. Crabs, Coconuts, and Creeping Weeds. (Things left alone don’t stay the same or improve. They rot, decay and become overgrown with weeds). Your coconuts won’t stay in a row in your garden – too many crabs are interested in moving them around. Your new plants won’t survive without protection – the crabs enjoy them for dinner! Soon tall weeds flourish and become an accepted part of your garden. We need vigilance and perseverance to fight decay in our surroundings AND in our heart. We need fresh vision so we won’t get used to seeing the “weeds” in our life.

  1. Weed seeds (pickers!) that grab onto your clothes relocate to other areas during the laundry cycle. You need to deal with them individually. Like little negative thoughts pop up in other areas in your mind. Don’t just do a general laundry: ‘forgive my sins’ – be specific. Remove those ‘weed seeds’ one by one.

  1. Rain keeps working after it falls. Isaiah 55:8-11 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    As we share the Word with others – we need to realize that it’s not finished working when it leaves our mouth – God is in charge of its effect. The work is just beginning. We just need to be faithful.

  1. Even a clear path can be difficult to navigate—just be faithful and keep going! One morning I was staring at the asphalt of the wide open road on which I walked – increasingly discouraged by how HARD it was for me. “This should be EASY! No rocks, no limbs, no uneven pavement. I should have more victory on this path!” Then I stopped and looked around. It was VERY steep! And I was ¾ of the way to the top of the hill. As I stood there, I drank water, was refreshed and encouraged to continue my climb to my destination – home! It would have been so easy to turn around – only to have to start all over again if I ever wanted to get home.

    As Christians – it’s OK to pause and look around (but don’t whine!) – notice the progress you’re making. One step at a time. Drink from the water of His Word – it eases the fatigue and refreshes your tired spirit. DON’T turn back or take the easy way. You’ll just have to walk that way again as you move toward the mountaintop and victory. We need endurance: Long obedience in the same direction.

    Galatians 6:9 and let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.

    Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

  1. You don’t need an invitation to SMELL something! In Yap, the smells can be a little pungent! One classic night as we drove to the village with a van full of teens, I got relief by stuffing dried out raspberry scented handwipes up my nostrils! It was DARK, and I was in the front seat – so no one noticed! Just as freshly bathed fragrant islanders are a welcome addition to the van, we are HIS fragrance. People NOTICE! After Typhoon Sudal, as I worked to clear the imploded classroom, carrying out the rotting paper and books from the standing water, pulling out tin and cutting apart rafters with a smile, one atheist counselor exclaimed “Look at you, you must have the Holy Ghost in your life!” What an opportunity to explain the source of my happy ‘fragrance’, or “savor”.

    II Cor 2:14-16a Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. Eph 5:1,2 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. Take a whiff of your fragrance tonight: is it the fragrance of stress? The fragrance of a snippy attitude? Of bitterness? Of worry? Of fear? Of joy? Of contentment? Of hope?

    6. It’s hard to move forward in the dark! One night as I walked home in the dark – I realized that I was stumbling and groping along on a usually familiar road. I stopped and couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Later as I was struggling with Dengue fever, I reflected on a statement I read in Calvin and Hobbes: “I think it’s dark at nighttime so that we can imagine our fears with less distraction!” As I thought about darkness, I came up with a ‘darkness test’:

    Do normal things scare you?

    Do you stumble at obstacles – making progress slow and painful?

    Do you lash out at problems or delays?

    Do you want to just STOP, sit down and wait until someone comes with a light?

    Why??? What does light do? Scary things are explained. You can see your way around or over obstacles. You can move forward using less energy. What is our Light as Christians? Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” His Word is the answer for our darkness – we need to read and search for light!

    Light received in my dengue darkness:

II Cor 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    Psalm 40 David waited patiently – but was NOT idle! He was crying out from a PIT – from the miry clay!

  1. Hunting flies is more successful using the ‘fly swatoosie’ method! (keep waving your arms as you get the swatter and continue to wave the swatter in archs… the fly remains unaware of your intentions!) When flies are ‘focused’, they see the attack coming. When they are distracted they are vulnerable. If I can observe and figure out how to bring down a fly, don’t you think the devil watches us in that same way - understanding what will cause us to stumble; stalking us to determine a method that will hinder us? I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” We need to focus on God who is always watching! II Chron 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.”

    8. Our large fruit bats have the wingspan of hawks and fall headfirst through the trees before they soar. We also have to let go of our efforts before God can take over and bring victory. Christians and fruit bats both seek fruit in the darkness and we both find rest in the Light.

  1. Dogs and cats: Dogs walk like their mom. I had read about this – but in Yap, I saw it! (the mom with the broken hind legs produced dogs that also limped on the same leg!) What are we teaching the young people who are watching us? Do they limp like we do?

    The other thing I learned was, don’t mess with a fight that is not your own. Our dog loved to join in any fight and really suffered as a result. As Christians there are times when we just need to stand back and pray!

    Cats: When bored, dogs would pester the neighbor cat. He would stop and look at them. They’d just walk away. My lesson was: don’t run from situations when you’re afraid! Just turn and face your fear. It’s no fun to chase you! Sometimes I realize that the same scenario always makes me panic – time to stop, turn and say “I’m not running from that anymore – that doesn’t scare me!”

  1. Storms: The harder the wind blows, the less the birds have to flap their wings to soar high. Louisa May Alcott said “I am not afraid of the storm, for I am learning to sail my ship.” Our hardest job is to let go of the controls and trust GOD to sail our ship.

    Storms give us a glimpse of God’s power – that same God, bends to help ME! By resting in His strength, we can rise above the storm in our life.

    Storms remove our cover. The gigey birds in Yap are normally shy and hidden. After the typhoon, their cover was torn away. We were able to match them with their unusual sound and we said “YOU’RE the one that makes that sound!” Changing circumstances and trials put you in a place for people to clearly see and hear His message.

    11. The Tide makes the difference!

    THE TIDE IS SURE TO WIN by Amy Carmichael

    On the far reef the breakers recoil in shattered foam,

    Yet still the seas behind them urges its forces home;

    Its chant of triumph surges through all the thunderous din,

    The waves may break in failure, but the tide is sure to win.

    O mighty sea, thy message in changing spray is cast;

    Within God’s plan of progress, it matters not at last

    How wide the shores of evil, how strong the reefs of sin.

    The wave may be defeated, but the tide is sure to win.

    Individual waves may be ineffective – but the tide will win! God sees the big picture! We need to have faith! For we walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor 5:7)


…Take time to pray and ask God to help you focus on Him. Let your mind and your body be in the same spot – don’t be distracted by what is ahead, or what was behind you. Think about what you are doing and seeing right now. Ask God to help you notice His hand in your life and ask Him to help you make the applications that are needed. Be willing, and teachable—let’s become Women of Hope.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Testimony of Christy Mock

Missionary to Cairns, Australia

My husband and I knew even while we were dating that we were headed to the mission field. Both of us had opportunities to travel to Australia while in college with the Bob Jones University mission team and certainly felt a tug to go back there one day. In 2002, we had opportunity to once again travel on the team as a married couple. We had just finished our Masters degrees and Steven was planning on returning for another three years of school for his MDIV and then we would start deputation. So I was excited about going to Australia in a few years time. When we came to Australia that summer of 2002, the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Steve Gibb, asked us to pray about and consider coming back to help at the church. And we replied that we would love to after Steven finishes some more schooling and we go on deputation. Steve replied by saying that he meant he wanted us to come now and not in a few years. I got panicky at that point – yes, it was exciting but all of a sudden this was looming much closer on the horizon. We said we would pray about it and pursue it until the doors closed. We went back to the States and literally every door flew wide open and we were back in Cairns, Australia within one year.

I remember before we moved asking a lot of missionary wives if they struggled with homesickness and it seemed as though none of them did. I was already struggling with thinking of leaving family and thought there must be something wrong with me. It was during that time through some missions conferences that I heard some missionary wives be very transparent and tell of some of the struggles and hardships that they faced. I was so encouraged to finally meet some ladies who were willing to be honest and share some of the trials that were specific to them as missionary wives. I realized that my struggles were not uncommon and that God would give the grace and strength for me to follow His will.

It was certainly a difficult time leaving the security and comforts of life in the States but even more so I struggled with leaving my family. Both of our parents were very supportive of our decision and knew this was what God had for us, but it didn’t make saying goodbye any easier. And I certainly did struggle for a long time with homesickness. But I finally came to the realization that it was okay for me to miss my family and friends as long as I was content with where God had me right then and not wishing for something different. I was certainly thankful when I thought of missionaries years ago who left home with no thought of ever seeing their friends and family again. Now we have all the modern conveniences of cheap phone calls, Skype, internet, being only 30 hours away by plane.

Thankfully we did not have the added pressure of learning a new language in Australia. However, there were many cultural adjustments we did have to make. I remember the first time I went to the grocery store just wanting to sit down and cry because everything seemed to have a different name and I couldn’t find all the things I was familiar with. Around Thanksgiving time I went in search of canned pumpkin and it was nowhere to be found. I asked a clerk and she looked at me as though I came from a different planet. Another time I went in search of Cool Whip which again was nowhere to be found. America is an extremely affluent society and although Australia is by no means a third world country, it can still be a struggle to find the things you need without searching a million stores. After being used to going to Wal-Mart and getting everything I needed it was quite a change. Those all seem like seemingly insignificant inconveniences but when piled on top of each other it was a struggle I had to face to learn how to cook in a different way.

We also quickly realized that Americans do not always have the highest reputation when you’re in another country. Most Australians think of Americans as loud, obnoxious, pushy, arrogant people. So that was a hurdle we had to overcome even within the church. It took time to break down barriers and make new relationships with people. Even after living here for five years as soon as we open our mouths to a new person the first question is, “Where are you from?” I also struggled with people thinking everything I did was because I was American and not just because of who I was as an individual. From the way I baked cookies to decorating my Christmas tree to holding a baby shower was all very “American”.

As a pastor’s wife there was also the struggle with loneliness. Steven was the one out having the adventures with ministry and I was at home with the kids. It was difficult making new friendships without ladies always looking at me as the pastor’s wife. But the Lord certainly has blessed as I have learned to be open and transparent with the ladies here and have been able to make some wonderful friendships.

We also had some great trials with the birth of our children. We found out three days before leaving the States for Australia that we were expecting our first baby. We were blessed abundantly by being able to get on the public health system here in Australia as soon as we moved here. Gregory arrived seven weeks early and was in the hospital for the first four weeks of his life and had to have major surgery when he was nine months old. Now, all those things would be a struggle for anyone but we faced the added struggle of being away from family during such a difficult time. I continued to learn of God’s faithfulness and grace in my life. But there were more hard times to come. Our second baby, Emily, arrived ten weeks early weighing only 2 pounds 11 ounces, and in the first week of her life we were told that she would probably not survive and if she did she would probably never lead a normal life. She was born without most of her right lung. After nine weeks in the NICU she was able to come home. She was home for a few weeks before she had some very serious instances of stopping breathing. After many hospital visits and consults with doctors, we ended up in the ICU in Brisbane. We stayed in the Ronald McDonald house for two months in a city where we basically knew no one and were far away not just from our family but also from our church family in Cairns. Emily was on a ventilator all this time and was gradually getting worse. There were many times when we thought we would not be bringing her home with us. After six weeks she had heart surgery and was gradually weaned off the ventilator and, all thanks to the Lord, she has been fine ever since. That, of course, is a very condensed and abbreviated version of some of the hardest times we have ever had to face. There were times when the trials and burdens were so heavy that it was a struggle even to pray. How grateful we were to know that there were people all over the world upholding us in prayer. Emily is three years old now and only has to go for a yearly checkup to her doctors. It was during that time that the Lord helped me to learn of His sovereign goodness – He not only is in control but I can trust that He is a very good God. And through that time, the Lord helped us to be drawn closer to our church family – they saw us go through a trial and were able to see how we handled that and we were able to be shown such tremendous love and care by them that it really knit our hearts together. For the first time, I really felt like Cairns was home. The Lord was very gracious in allowing me to carry our third child nearly to full term and what a joy it was to bring Caitlyn home from the hospital two days after her birth. So in the five years we have been year, there has been a combined total of over 22 weeks in the hospital, seven surgeries, numerous special medical flights, and everything that goes along with all of that and have not had to pay anything for all of that because of the social health care system. While the health system certainly has its downsides, we are so thankful for the Lord putting us in a place to provide for us both physically and financially.

The Lord has shown me that even in the midst of a storm I can have peace and joy knowing that He is in control of every situation. He is good and gracious and it’s important for me to judge my circumstances by His character and not look at my circumstances and judge God through them.