It's been an intense roller-coaster of a week...
- The very best thing that happened all week: Niel returned! It was so great to see his handsome, smiling face as he walked through those automatic doors at the airport! I missed you, Hombre!
- Not long before Niel arrived, some of our interns' family members flew in. We are hosting what we call Family Days -- a time for parents to visit for one or two weeks, to serve alongside their child and experience firsthand what their life in the internship is all about. It's been a joy getting to know the family members that are here, and we've definitely appreciated all their help.
- Before heading up for staff meeting, Niel and I ate bagels for breakfast! He picked some up for me at a bakery before heading to the airport in New York. It was such a treat to get to eat a bagel.
- After a full morning of meetings and trying to catch up on things, Niel and I headed off-base. We spent the entire afternoon together at a coffee shop and then sitting on the grass -- just talking. It was so refreshing!
- I took a friend to get some tests done at the hospital. I hadn't realized how worried I actually was until she was taken away to start the procedures, and I started crying. She's gotten test results back since then, and there is a peace in knowing what's wrong. Thankfully, so many serious/scary things were ruled out. God is good, and I'm learning to trust Him anew...
- Thrive Church was great! Worship was awesome, and it was great to hear Niel share again after being away for four weeks...
- Interns' parents joined us for our weekly ministry at Hope House (the local orphanage). Two new babies were brought in just 45 minutes before we arrived. I got to hold one-month old Lerato for a while, and got great joy out of looking at her beautiful face as she slept...
- One of our interns was injured a few weeks ago. On Friday afternoon it was decided that she would return home to get some tests and possibly surgery. The sting of that decision hit me hard -- we are losing one of our own! -- and then telling her fellow interns was even harder... Many tears have been shed, and many more will fall even after she gets on that plane tomorrow.
- My day ended with a pillow fight. (I can't remember the last time I had one of those!) It was a fun stress-reliever. All that laughing was a pretty good workout, too!
- Youth Camps began! This year we are hosting 3 back-to-back camps, and 124 kids arrived Saturday morning for the start of Camp 1. It was an incredible day, with the highlight being the end of the first session, when so many young people made commitments to follow Christ.
- With our restaurant and conference room under construction, we had to get creative for camps. Plan B: We are using big tents for meals, meetings, and games!
- I've taken more pictures than anyone will ever care to see... And since I'm still snapping away, I'll literally have thousands by the time this week of camps is done. I'll weed through them at some point and make a slideshow of the "best of" pictures...
- It was so windy here today. So windy, in fact, that the big meal/meeting tent ripped in two! We took down the tents and came up with Plan C -- we used the interns' living room for meals, a session, and a movie tonight! (I still can't believe everyone fit as well as they did!)
- Niel spent most of the day out fighting fires on surrounding farms. With the wind as strong as it's been, the fires were spreading fast -- at least 10,000 acres burned.
- The forecast for tomorrow is winds as strong as 75 mph. Please pray with us for safety and protection of everyone here as well as our property.
God still declares "Peace, be still." To the wind and the weather, as much as to my heart...