It has been a flurry of activity around here this week—but not for me. I have sat like a lump on a log watching the Naranjos scurry around, sorting, packing, running errands and such—too sick to help at all and feeling bad that I can’t even entertain the baby for Laurie. It is my yearly case of New Year’s bronchitis. I wish I could have skipped it this year so I could be of more help, but hopefully I will recover before they leave and their last memories of Grandma won’t be of me hacking my head off and looking pathetic!
They have their airline tickets to return to Ecuador on January 19th. Only ten more days to play with my grandchildren, make jewelry with them and have the simple joy of being able to hug and kiss them good-night. There is a bag of mixed emotions, I think, for all of us. They are looking forward to seeing their friends and family in Ecuador again, being able to spread out in their large home rather than being cramped all together in this small house, and just having a feeling of “normalcy” again. I know Fernando and Laurie are ready to step into the new ministry that lies ahead.
I will miss them all horribly, but “normalcy” around here looks rather attractive, too. No line for the bathroom; simple meals for two to cook; having a space and closet to call my own; getting my house back in order; and our old familiar “rut.” Surprisingly, I am not really looking forward to peace and quiet and a lack of “chaos.” I am sure in just a day or two after they leave the house will seem too peaceful, quiet and empty.
In the meantime, we are weaving our way around suitcases; piles of clothes, books and toys being sorted To Go, To Go Later, To Be Disposed Of, etc.; as well as the normal clutter of toys, excersaucer, overflowing furniture and all. At least we got the Christmas tree down this week!
As they leave, they are looking forward to a new chapter in their ministry in Cuenca, Ecuador. They will begin a new work, with a new mission board and more liberty to do the work that the Lord has called them to. We are praying in this New Year that Satan will be impeded, and lives will be changed and a new lighthouse in the community built to God’s glory.
Our other daughter Julie and her husband David are looking forward to new challenges, as well, in 2012. Their adoption of Oleg, a fourteen-year-old orphan in the Ukraine, had been going smoothly up until this week when suddenly they hit a couple snags. Their dossier for the adoption containing massive amounts of their personal lives such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, Social Security numbers, etc, has gone missing somewhere between the United States and the Ukraine. Losing all that personal data and facing the possibility that it might have fallen into criminal hands is bad enough, but it will also hold up the adoption.
Then this week David also found out that he is facing back surgery and knee surgery in the next month or two, and the physical therapy that will come afterwards. That could hold up the adoption, as well, if he is not physically able to travel that distance. Throw into the mix that they are supposed to sell their house and be transferred from Alabama to California in June and it has them trusting that somehow God will miraculously work out all the details and timing. The worst thought for them is of Oleg waiting in that orphanage for them to come and get him. But God knows, and He is working in Oleg’s life, too, for the best. Who knows what will happen in 2012 with all this? God knows.
As for our Robbie, I try not to wonder how he will do this coming year. He has done well the last three years, but we are seeing signs of debilitation and it is obvious the last ten years have taken a toll on his body. He, too, is in the Lord’s hands, and we will simply rest in that.
Bob is working hard with God’s help at his job, and although we saw a one-third cut in our income in the last few months, the Lord has quickly replaced it with the bonus of less traveling and work than what he had before. Bob seeks to honor the Lord in his job. I pray that the Lord will reward him with success in it in 2012.
I may be embarking on a new venture myself this year. I have had an offer from a publisher to start publishing my work as e-books and in paperback. We shall see how that works out. After nearly a year of not working on any new books, I will be getting back to that, as well, the Lord willing, so it seems I will have plenty to do.
And as for health and protection for us all, we will trust Him to work out His plans for our lives according to His loving will for us.
Who knows what a year will bring forth? There are abundant blessings—far more than we deserve—in store for us in 2012. There may be storms and obstacles and trials, as well. Whatever path He has laid out for us, we can rest in the knowledge that “He will never leave us or forsake us.” (Hebrews 13:5) We know that He will give us the strength to go through whatever challenges lie before us. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9) And He gives peace and comfort throughout it all as we trust in Him. “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7)