Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Heaven We'll Never Say Goodbye

We just got home from taking Amy and Joseph to the airport. It seems hard to believe that a month could go by so quickly. It was like the blink of an eye--I don't know where the time went. Airports bring to mind joyous renunions and tearful separations. As we were leaving the Tenerife airport, waving goodbye to Amy through the glass, I thought to myself how many times I have been through this--saying goodbye to my girls, and as Rebekah and Leanna head back to the parking garage with us, I wonder if someday I will be kissing them goodbye as we put them on a plane as well.

We come home and I look at the empty baby crib, the furniture that was lovingly rearranged to make room for the baby. How we anticipated their arrival! There is a small sadness as I put things back to normal. I think of Joseph's smile as he greeted us each morning. Now it is all a memory, one we will cherish as we anticipate our next reunion.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Going to Prison and Staying Busy in the Work

My husband truly enjoys his time in the prison!! Of course, he gets to come home afterward......but it amazes me how much he enjoys ministering to the inmates. Last Thursday was his first "official" day in the prison. They gave him an identification card with his photo, and allowed him to bring in Bibles, John and Romans, and gospel tracts. He was given a very small room (he said it was smaller than our bathroom) and the prisoners were allowed to come in and talk with him. He said there was a steady flow of men coming in, and at one point it got a little crowded. He plans on going in every Thursday afternoon, so if you think about it, keep him in your prayers for this time.

Doug's schedule is full but I am happy that he has found plenty of work to do here in the ministry. Tuesday is dedicated to visiting in San Isidro, and they (Doug and Rudy) also teach a Bible study there at the Romanian family's home. He usually doesn't get home until 9:30 or 10:00 pm. Wednesday he has another Bible study in San Isidro, and then we have our midweek prayer meeting with our church in Santa Cruz, for which he also has to prepare a short message. Thursday is his day to visit the prison, and in the morning he usually has lots of errands, counseling, etc. He also helps collect food donations for the men's home. In between all this he goes door to door, and passes out tracts at schools and the university.

Friday is the Bible study in San Isidro, and he also prepares for Sat. and Sunday's messages and Sunday school lessons. Saturday morning is church visitation in Santa Cruz, then church in the evening. Sunday is a full day with Sunday school and church, then once a month he preaches in Puerto de la Cruz in the evening. That leaves Monday, which is supposed to be Doug's day off--he plays tennis in the morning, and then in the afternoon he takes me grocery shopping and Rebekah to piano lessons.

I am thankful that my husband is able to do what he loves, helping people and serving the Lord.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rebekah's 12th Birthday Party

We are blessed by our daughter Rebekah. She is a gentle, meek and quiet spirit and we enjoy being her parents. It is hard to imagine that a little over 12 years ago, we were welcoming her into the world. We had four children already, and it had been nine years since we had a baby in the house. I had returned to college, had a full scholarship, and was planning to get my teacher's degree so I could teach in the Christian school where my children attended. The Lord had other plans in mind. Shortly after Rebekah was born, we moved to Rochester NY as Doug accepted a full time chaplain position in a gospel preaching jail ministry, and I became a Spanish teacher at a Christian school--but the Lord used that to bring me back to my first priority of being a keeper at home, and to homeschool my daughters.

Life takes interesting turns--and I never would have imagined we would end up in the Canary Islands. I am so thankful for the two younger daughters the Lord has given us--and that they love living here on the mission field with their mom and dad!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Church in San Isidro

We rent the building from a political party here; of course we have no political ties to the group--but it is a nice big room with lots of potential for growth and nice facilities.

We are rejoicing that the Lord allowed us to have our first church service in San Isidro, the community we have been working in for the past 7 months. We have been holding a Friday night Bible study in the home of Cesar and Marisa, and little by little the Lord was adding a few new families and adults. Our intention was to start a church as soon as we could find the right place, and God answered our prayers! We were able to rent a beautiful room in town with a good location for a very reasonable price; it belongs to a political party here in Tenerife and they are allowing us to use their headquarters.

Doug is working with our German missionary friend Rudy Thomas, and together they have been evangelizing and teaching every Tuesday and Friday in San Isidro. Because the churches Doug is pastoring in Santa Cruz, and Rudy in Puerto de la Cruz meet on Sundays, we have to hold our church service in San Isidro on Saturday evenings. It is keeping us on the go, but we enjoy staying busy in the Lord's work!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blessings from Above

There are plenty of discouraging times on the mission field--times of loneliness, times when you question is it really worth it--leaving family and friends behind when no one seems to appreciate what you are doing, times when those you are trying to minister to reject you, or when new believers fall into sin, etc. Then there are times when the Lord sends showers of blessings--just when you need it. I am thankful for the encouragement He sends along the way.

We are so excited about the work that God has allowed us to be a part of on the south side of the island, in the city of San Isidro. It is a bustling, growing community, with lots of immigrants moving in. We have seen some fruit in our weekly Bible studies, and now the Lord is allowing us to rent a very nice building to hold a church service. It will have to be on Saturday evenings at first, because Doug and Rudy (the German missionary that is working with Doug) both have Sunday morning and evening services, so that is the only time we have available right now. We are going to start next Saturday, and we are anticipating great and mighty things.

It is also great to have our oldest daughter Amy and our 10 month old grandson Joseph with us for the month of March. We haven't seen her for three years, and what a blessing to see her sweet spirit and love for the Lord hasn't changed; she is growing in the Lord and is a dedicated mother. I am thankful for the Lord's provision in allowing her to come.