The month of May merits a letter all its own, as we saw miracles of mountain-moving magnitude. This school year has been super challenging, to be completely honest. On the second Friday in May, when the last test was completed and scored and grades were recorded, we all felt like celebrating was in order.
I thought that Mark’s first heavenly birthday would be an emotionally difficult day for me but then was completely caught off guard by my emotions on the first Mother’s Day without him here. Sunday, May 14, was a day of many tears, and yet God’s grace allowed us to be in church both morning and evening. Since I got the crying done on Mother’s Day, Monday, May 15 (Mark’s 43rd birthday), was a great day. We ended up doing several special things throughout the week. With the help of friends, because we know he would have wanted us to celebrate and rejoice, we had Chick-fil-A, went to dinner at the Herrmanns’ home, ate ice-cream cake, went bowling, went to Chicago with a former lady bus worker friend—Tabitha Maynard, and enjoyed a Chicago boat ride and a park.
With my pastor’s permission, I was very excited to go down to Peru for a few short days to join the Iglesia Bautista Internacional de Surco for their 10th Church Anniversary! I had been privileged to be at the previous nine and didn’t want to miss the memorable occasion. My children all stayed with friends, and I had the opportunity to be with those dearest to me for the first time since Mark went to Heaven. The time spent was very comforting and encouraging.
While there in Lima, I had the joy of running errands for last-minute needed items, passing out flyers, and sharing my testimony and the Gospel on the bus. Due to all of you who have been so kind and generous to send support and or love gifts in the past weeks and months, I was able to take some cash and be a blessing. You helped me purchase some paint, lightbulbs that needed replaced, and a guitar to be used for the music program, etc.
I was also blessed when our friends and co-laborers, Ricardo and Yormaris, decided to make the most of the decorations and the fact that I got to be in town. They were married five years ago but had never had the opportunity for a church wedding and to speak their vows of commitment before God’s people. In roughly 24 hours, they planned one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I have ever seen. Ricardo sang a song he wrote and composed the music for to his lovely bride. Their commitment, spoken so confidently and sincerely, was moving, to say the least. Five years into marriage, you know a bit more about what the promises really mean; they promised without a waver.
Pastor Foust shared with me that the church there in Surco has had adult visitors nearly every week, and they had a full house for the anniversary. Please pray that God would provide a property and the means to purchase a property in Surco, with room to grow. Also, please pray for unity, comfort, and grace for the church as they continue to adjust to their new pastor.
Please pray for the kids and me, as big decisions unfold in the upcoming weeks. Pray for God to help us as we find courage to continue sowing seeds of the Gospel. I have been trying to get back in the “groove.” Though I have not caught a “fish” lately, I am thankful that God is encouraging my heart, and I have begun sowing seeds again. Savannah has been going out weekly with the Teen Soul Winning program. “. . . pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Pray for the upcoming missions trip in June to the jungle area of Iquitos.
Trusting His voice as we walk by faith,
Sarah, Savannah, Paul, Samuel, Rebekah, Luke, and Timothy Rader