Wow! That was some year, wasn’t it? No one would have expected all the events of the last twelve months. Many are saying “Good riddance” to this doozy of a year. Looking at it all from one side of the coin, I can understand those sentiments.
On the other hand, it’d be crazy to think that 2021 won’t bring its own challenges. January 1 isn’t some magical date that will make all our troubles disappear. COVID isn’t gone. For us personally, our students haven’t returned to Freedom. I’m sure there will be plenty of other unexpected trials.
For that reason, it’s important for me to take these momentary pauses each month to dwell on the blessings. Yes, there are difficulties. But God is so very good. Here are just 31 photo evidences of how He took care of our family and this ministry in December!
The Bible doesn’t promise a life without pain, but I’m looking forward to a new year of trusting the Lord with whatever He’s got planned – and perhaps low-key praying that a global pandemic isn’t a huge part of it all again. 🙂
This year has simultaneously felt like the longest and the shortest year ever. With this “pause” to my “normal”, it’s as if I’ve been experiencing a strange alternate reality where everything is in slow-mo. On the other hand, November is upon us. What?!
While circumstances are offbeat, God continues to faithfully care for us and our students. Check out our October by looking back at these 31 pictures!
I’ve been pondering much on the fact that we’ve only got so many days on this earth. Oh, how I want to “make the most of every opportunity.” I pray I can always maintain a sense of urgency when sharing the wonderful, sweet Good News with those around me!
August flew by! We ended up extending our two weeks in the States by a few days so we could attend my Aunt Joy’s funeral. After our flight back to the DR, we experienced a tropical storm, Freedom inservice, Bible Institute, 2 kiddos’ birthdays, FOUR families moving to the field, a building dedication, and much more. Enjoy these 31 pictures from this past month!
Another month of photos coming at ya! July was… hot. Our team spent a lot of time in the villages over the past 4ish weeks as “village school” and modified VBS programs continued. The new school year at Freedom should start come the end of August. Stay tuned for updates on that front!
While we plan on waiting to take our normal month-long furlough until 2021, we’ve made a quick, 2-week trip back to the States to see our families. It’s been good to soak up a little time with them. Thankful!
We’ve crossed the halfway point of 2020! This past month, our team was excited to get back out to the villages as restrictions have begun to lift oh.so.slowly. I personally spent most of my time behind my computer screen as lesson planning continues, but the boys have been in the bateys each morning helping with school – social distancing style, of course. Here’s our June in 30 photos!
Not long ago, a missionary here asked me, “What do you really enjoy about your job?” I talked a bit about the teachers and the blessing it is to be a part of their lives. While that response is absolutely true, I think I’d expand my answer if I had the opportunity for a “redo”.
I’ve had the incredible privilege to work in several areas here at Freedom over the years. And with each passing day, the Lord is teaching me that no matter what I’m doing, keeping in step with Him is the most rewarding and precious experience this world has to offer.
By nature, I’m a perfectionist. Taking risks is hard for me. To fail is one of my biggest fears. And yet I’m learning that God, while He wants my best, is ultimately responsible to work out His perfect plan. I’ll give an example of how this recently played out in my life.
This past December, I was sitting in Jason’s office one afternoon, brainstorming some fundraising ideas. We’re behind financially in regards to sponsorship numbers, and we hadn’t met our end-of-the-year goal. Our “Change a Life” program is super important for us. It essentially keeps things running at the school. We’re able to bus in our 410 students because sponsors’ monthly donations cover costs like food, transportation and teachers’ salaries. How in the world were we going to find so.many.new.sponsors for the new year? As we bounced around a few ideas, this campaign push just kind of popped up. We thought a good goal would be to find 60 new child sponsors in these first three months of 2020. It was a solid direction, but instead of running after it, fear of the unknown initially began to creep into my mind. Are there really 60 (!) new people out there, willing to give their time and money to this cause? I started to think about all the ways a campaign like this could fail, and I shied away from the idea of putting together anything at all.
But as time went on, God quietly and consistently whispered to my scared little heart, “Just trust me.” I thought, Ok, Lord! You’re giving me this opportunity to walk with you. Even though I think this goal is terrifying and ambitious, You’re in charge…
Well, here we are. Halfway through the campaign. (The Lord has provided about 20 kiddos with new sponsors! That is amazing!) To be honest, I still wonder if we’ll actually hit our goal. I pray we do. It’d certainly be amazing to see this campaign successfully finished on March 31st, but ultimately I’ve been trying to allow the truth that God is in control to soak down deep in my heart. The Lord is doing a work in my life, and I’m doing my best to simply rest in Him. I really don’t have to worry so much when I choose to abide.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
There is this beautiful balance to be enjoyed in my relationship with Jesus: my humble efforts combined with His perfect plan and powerful provision produce such bliss. Joy to the fullest is found in walking with Jesus – no matter my weaknesses, no matter the circumstances, no matter the outcome.