Reflecting on the experience of the past months of being stateside on Sabbatical since January 2, 2020 stirs many varied thoughts. But the most prevailing has to be, what a HUMBLING experience this has been to come from a life in a third world country and navigate life in a first world country, aka the good ole U.S. of A. We have humbly RECEIVED innumerable blessings from family and friends. A few ‘biggies’ would be, as you might guess, a place to lay our heads at night, a vehicle for our comings and goings, a shower and clean towels, a sink with a mirror, a closet to hang our clothes, and the offer of a meal together at a dining room table, risky as it may be! As has been the case for everyone the past months, interacting with others has not been a simple part of the day. 
The picture above is the cover of a journal which is now FULL with the reflections and lessons and questions along with the hard stuff, all of which God has revealed as we have listened, pondered, wondered and sat. There have been doubts and soul searching spawned by conversations that maybe left us feeling as though we were sitting under an interrogation light, thinking, “wow, never saw that coming!’

BUT…God ALWAYS provides the reassurance, the comfort, the confidence that HE is IT! HE is all we need, all we need hope for. Through scripture, through the Holy Spirit, through the silence, we HUMBLY RECEIVE all that he provides.

His PROMISE to never leave us is HUGE. Below is the storefront of MANY HANDS MARKET, the thrift store in Spencer, IA, as witnessed one spectacular morning during the time of pandemic related business closings. God made a double sign for reassurance.
We HUMBLY RECEIVE the encouragement of God’s presence and teachings from many ‘SIGNS’ God put in our path.
Inspiration comes from the teachings of other champions of the Christian faith.
This is a recent entry in my personal Calligraphy Journal that has allowed an outlet for expression and deep thought through this prayer and other inspired entries.
AMEN.

During the onset of the uncertainty of the pandemic, we were thrilled to receive frequent video of grandson Oliver as he was preparing for his “virtual” Piano Recital. A great way to pass many “Stay at Home” days.

And then… Oliver practicing like his mother used to do…
“In Person” time with family often included a COVID 19 tailgating picnic.

Precious times.

AND FINALLY, a visit to Michigan where restrictions were loosened enough that we could at least sit in the yard of granddaughter Lila’s house.
Never thought the simple unexpected question, “Do you want to hold her?” could make your heart soar with delight.
With MANY ‘window’ visits to new grandson Liam in Cedar Rapids, IA , our BONDING moment arrived, “Would you like to hold him?” (But I don’t want to let go!)
The months of May and June found us in Clive, IA where we spent many hours working on helping set up the retail space of the new Many Hands Thrift Market. Watching an empty space…
…. transform day by day until the time to open was near.
With generous donations of many people’s “STUFF”, the store became full and is now open for business.
The blessing of ‘in real life’ time spent with grandkids … Oliver helping GrandDad receive in donations at the Clive thrift market.
AND…Ivy helping Grandma Christi sort and display books on the shelves.

THE TIME HAS NOW COME … Word is out that the president of Haiti reopened the boarder and air travel can resume. This is the Many Hands campus inviting us to return to humbly serve as we know we are called to do. Times are tough, the economy is weak, there is sickness and fear.

Above, another Calligraphy Journal entry. Wounds can go DEEP. We believe that God has called us to share HIS compassion with those living unbelievably challenging lives that we are neighbors to in Haiti. This, below, will be our prayer as we pack and prepare to depart the good ole U.S. of A., driving to Fort Pierce, FL starting out Saturday, July 11th. The scheduled departure of the Missionary Flights International flight is 7:00 AM Tuesday, July 14, landing in Pignon, Haiti before noon that day. We will be bringing with us the required test results of a COVID 19 test and follow that with a 14 day quarantine on Many Hands campus. We would be honored if you would pray this prayer shown below with us daily.

3 Comments

  1. Marilyn Clauss

    I’m so happy that you were able to spend time with family dnd friends during these unusual few months. I’ll be praying for you as you return to Pignon and your important and loving ministry to the people of Haiti. God Bless you and safe travels.

    Reply
  2. Katgy Roozeboom

    A beautiful story. Safe travels and God’s blessings as you continue your journey for the work of the Lord. Continued prayers for the entire missions in Haiti

    Reply
  3. Laura Carlentini

    I can only imagine how wonderful it is to return to your home in Pignon❤️ We really never got to catch up and share a meal but I pray that one day I will return to Pignon and be able to help out and share God’s love and passion for his people and do that with you😍 we continue to pray for all of you and send our love🌎God Bless you all!
    Laura Carlentini

    Reply

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