God is always taking the initiative to reach people.
The incarnation of Jesus himself is our model for ministry...reaching out, pouring out, motivated by His great, full-wide love, sharing Jesus as we receive Him, pointing to the grace and beauty of the cross every chance we get.
And it is good sweet, hard, hot work, and there are days that feel very alone, and days that we feel the many behind us and beside us and before us, the many who minister to us without even knowing, the many who pray not knowing why, the many of those we came to minister to, even, who minister to us every day, who give us Jesus.
And at the end of a busy, exhausted year...it was SUCH a gift to have the Sunderlands be incarnational with us.
To come where we are. To love those we love. To patiently guide Sofie through her math. To play round 10,000 of Uno with Lily. To help Matt with advice and counsel and carrying boxes, to meet our friends, to explore our country, to reach out to those we reach out to... to be our friends.
It's far from Kansas and days away from work are hard and it's awfully hot here...and there were an awful lot of dirty dishes they poured over, too!
But it was such a gift to be loved by them, to spend more than 2 hours with them...to truly get to know them better and be better known, to be real and have real and to laugh a lot and cry a little and talk about things we haven't talked about in years and to be encouraged. To be encouraged.
I'm so thankful and humbled and indebted for their time with us in this transition between a very full year of ministry and family here in Haiti, and a very full month of ministry and family in the States coming this week, and for their gracious outpouring of God's love, for their initiative to reach us, well. Thank you, Robert, Jane and Isaac!
There's all this random stuff to tell you, so in a few lines:
One of the fun ways Emmaus is able to continue to train up leaders for His transformation in Haiti is through the teaching of foreign missionaries...and this summer that means Leme and Jodenel are working hard to get some friends ministering with Welcome Home Haiti speaking Creole!
This morning when I was leaving for work, Nora made it abundantly clear that she wasn't going with Mommy, but wanted to stay with "Geeta". As I bent down and snapped this picture, I was/am just SO thankful for the way God's been faithful to put beloved men and women and children in our lives to love us well, for us to love. Even for Nora.
My little sister is pregnant, and we just found out this week she'll be having their third little girl! We couldn't be more overjoyed for them...If you'd told me my sister and I would each have 3 little girls five years ago I surely wouldn't have believed you. My brother has a daughter, too, so in my family we've got 7 girls and no stinky boys :)
Can't wait to be with dear Evie and Jayla soon, and can't wait to meet this precious new girlie who is due around Thanksgiving!
I know you know and have prayed for our dear friend and co-worker Claudin. I was able to spend a chunk of time with he and Josie, his wife, today and she is pregnant once again. We are praising the Lord for this new gift, and praying for another miracle for them, like sweet Christie, after the loss of so many dear children. Thank you for praying with us for them!
The Heckmans left yesterday, the Sunderlands today, and our good friend Rick, tomorrow, after the colossal water balloon fight he has planned with the girls in the morning.
Nora is taking full advantage of the emptier campus and downing all the mulberries she can get her grubby little hands on. The girls and I are wrapping up homeschool to take four weeks (mostly) off, and Matt and I are both trying to wrap up things for the month away...So thankful for a fabulous staff that is ready and willing and learning and able!
If you're anywhere near the New Castle, DE area, we'd so love to see you Sunday at Seeds of Greatness. We'll be sharing the awesome new video just created for Emmaus, and Matt'll be preaching. In English.
Thank you for your mighty prayers.
Next post...heading to America.