Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Just as Winter turns to Spring and hard ground gives birth to life, so one season of life turns into another. Our time in Brazil came to an end in December and we have begun a new season of life back in the United States.
The season we left was one of growth and life changing experiences. We left behind a community that we fell in love with and some lifetime relationships. On our departing day we had several people stop by to say goodbye. It was a very emotional time and I have included photos from that day. I was especially touched by our young friend, Tamaris. Tamaris is a fourteen year old girl who spent a lot of time with our family. She was very shy and I had no idea how much our family meant to her until the day we left. She gave me a beautiful photo of herself with a very nice message on the back telling me how much she loved our family. She was sobbing as she hugged me goodbye and my heart broke as I watched her walk dejectedly down the street towards her home in the favelas. I know we will see Tamaris again, and if there comes a day when she wants to come live with us in the U.S. we would welcome her with open arms.
We surprised our friends and family, not telling anyone we were coming home. It was incredible to just show up at their doors and see the shock on their faces. We were home for Christmas which turned out to be more of a blessing than we even knew....considering it might have been our last Christmas with Grandma Barbara, who is currently in the hospital fighting for her life.
The season that we came home to has been very difficult. Not only are we facing the prospect of losing our beloved Barbara, but we are also dealing with the struggles associated with shutting down our once successful construction company. It seems that we are in an altogether changing season of our lives. As we approach middle age (assuming being 41 and 43 is considered middle age), we realize more than ever how fragile life is. Not only is life fleeting, but our circumstances can be fleeting as well. There is nothing in our lives on earth that we can hold onto forever. Like the vision Isaiah had in verse 40:7 in the old testiment, so are our lives: "The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are the grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." In this season of loss we stand on the biblical truth that not only does the word of God stand forever, but our hope is in an eternal God who loves us and has our best interest in mind.
Romans 8:28 says the following: "We know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Even when our future appears bleak, we can believe in these words from the Author of Salvation!
The Lord has put some specific things on our heart regarding Brazil. We know Brazil will be a part of our future-but more on that later!