Friday May 24th, 2019

Psalm 34:17-20  When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.

Anjali took her “new” crutches out for a spin today so we could make our way to the support center and make up some baby bundles.  Sara worked the morning shift to help out with passing out bundles while the kids and I worked on making new bundles.  There are a lot of donations in the center but there is an acute need to get them sorted and put into bundles.  The kids and I worked on putting together a dozen or so which quickly flew off the shelves to go to families in need.  While the kids tried, their helpfulness seemed to wane as their level of hunder grew.  After Sara completed her shift we opted to send the kids home with her to get lunch while I finished up some more bundles.

The afternoon was fairly non-eventful as well.  Sara went back to the hospital and did a baby holding shift, I did some schoolwork, and the kids played outside.  We enjoyed a quiet and relaxed evening still anticipating our next step for June.  Sara and I talked at length about what we needed to do and we both finally agreed that we felt a bit like we were chasing our tails.  While we really wanted to do another project in June we did not feel called to any program apart from FFR.  We agreed that we probably were just trying to find something more to fit our plans than to follow God’s and that our inability to find visa solutions or to find another project was His way of telling us to be done.  There is something so peaceful in finally realizing that the stress and frustration you feel is your own plans pushing back against God’s and then letting that ego go.  We both felt a great deal of relief and decided that unless we heard something by first thing Saturday morning we would officially call an end to our volunteer service for this trip and plan to just wrap things up with our visit to Sweden and Germany.  We knew that this would create some challenges as we were planning not to be there until July but we also knew that our family back home would be thrilled to know that we would be done a month sooner.

I am feeling relieved but also a little sad to know that this great adventure is coming to a close.  I am hopeful that we really did do what we were called to do, to be a reflection of God’s love.  I look back on all of our stops and I think of the things I did well and feel regret for the times I could have done more.  I don’t want to dwell on the regrets but rather let them inspire me to do more going forward.  I feel like we always learned at each new place how to be more helpful, how to be more patient, and how to be more thankful.  I am sad to be done because I took such great pleasure in our work, in the people we met, and in the memories we made and I will miss having the opportunity to do more of that.  But that sadness is completely overwhelmed by the gratefulness I feel for that work, those friends, and those memories because I will cherish them forever.  I am far from brokenhearted though I sense that when we board that plan for the flight home I will feel a swell of pain.  But at that time I know God will be with me and will fill my heart with gladness again.


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