I trust you have had a blessed and productive start to your new year already. The Lord has blessed me greatly since my last prayer letter and answered many prayers. One I will share with you is quite significant. The first Saturday in December, I woke up and quickly realized I was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and, through a series of events, found myself in the emergency room in a dangerous state. Steroid shots, oxygen, bloodwork, an EKG, and numerous tests eventually revealed I had COVID, although I had no other symptoms. I was sent by ambulance to a quarantine hospital just over an hour away. My body quickly reacted to the medicine I was given, and I soon found myself feeling much better, so much so that they sent me home just three days later. However, I was not better, and a few days later, I found myself quite sick again, needing medical attention and another steroid shot. In the end, it took several weeks to recover from the COVID and for the exhaustion that followed to go away. I’ll be honest; it was quite a scary thing for me, and although I am not an anxious person at all, the incident left me with a bit of PTSD that the Lord has been helping me work through. I would appreciate your prayers for continued good health and complete healing with no lasting effects.
With being sick the first several weeks of December, I wasn’t sure I would have the strength to get everything ready for Christmas that I needed to, but with the help of a sweet friend and the Lord, we did it. In four days, I had to buy Christmas gifts for 130 people. I’m a good shopper, but that was crazy. You should have seen the workers at the local mall when, for two days straight, we filled up shopping cart after shopping cart. In the end, everything came together, and I was able to host our staff ladies’ Christmas brunch, put on the annual Christmas party for the children in my Heavenly Treasures Program and their caretakers, get the gifts for all of the children who would be at church on Christmas morning, and take gifts out to the kids at the Karen Orphanage in BaDang on Christmas afternoon. Phew! It was a lot, but it was such a joy to see all the smiles on everyone’s faces. Here are a couple of links to videos of the Heavenly Treasures Christmas Party and the orphanage kids on Christmas Day. I am so thankful for the two families who donated money these special occasions.
I always love using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to love on the children in my life and ministry just a little bit extra. On Valentine Sunday, we were able to give the children at church a bag filled with a lot of sweet treats. I used an object lesson in Junior Church where “the love in our heart,” represented by plain milk, becomes so much sweeter and more beautiful when we mix it with “God’s love,” represented by strawberry syrup. Many of the kids had never had strawberry milk before and loved watching the color of the milk change. They were all eager to taste it.
On Valentine’s Day, I hosted my somewhat annual—minus COVID years—Valentine’s Party for the missionary kids in our area. We enjoyed a delicious meal together, had a time of swapping Valentine cards, playing games, and just really enjoying each other’s company, while the parents all enjoyed a kid-free evening to go out or just relax at home. It has been my privilege to work with some of these kids’ parents for the past 15 years and to see the children grow up. It isn’t always easy for a missionary kid to live in a foreign country, and I love investing time into their lives and pray that the Lord will continue to use them for His honor and glory.
Serving the Master joyfully,