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We are so thrilled that our sweet Lydia, who grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia as a Missionary Kid (MK), is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You may remember her traumatic burn in 2010, when she had surgery at Shriners Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. They were so good to us, and she fell in love with the nurses who cared for her. She decided she wanted to become a nurse, and her dream is finally coming true! She graduates from Toccoa Falls College May 14, 2022, and we will celebrate at our home in Jonesboro (9328 Hidden Branch Dr. Jonesboro, GA) on Sunday, May 15th at 3 pm. Please come and celebrate Lydia's accomplishment with us! Her boyfriend, Jo, also an MK (from Japan) will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Leadership and Education. His parents are coming from Japan to be in the States for this big day, and we are excited to meet and host them!
Merle is continuing the construction on Lookout Mountain. Our AirBnb type rental/hopefully future ministry retreat center is getting closer to being finished and on the market, hopefully in June, but it is a longer process by yourself. Merle has put in the windows and siding, and the siding is being painted next week! There are lots of details, and Merle is doing an awesome job. I am so impressed with my husband's God-given skills and creativity! He reminds me of Bezalel in Exodus35:30-33, filled with God's Spirit in wisdom and understanding, and gifted in every kind of artistic craft. The next wave will be the interior - insulation, walls, and lots of finishing details. The view from the glass house is incredible, so private in the woods on Lookout Mountain on a dead end street. Waking up in the morning to birds chirping, and the summer bugs at night as someone lounges in the hot tub, would be a delight! We can't wait to experience it ourselves!
Jenny is continuing her counseling training with a few volunteers to work through the Heart of the Problem workbook. She loves listening to and asking questions of those with whom she is privileged to meet. If you would like to be one of her ten volunteers to complete her training, working through the Heart of the Problem workbook, she would be so appreciative! Give her a call or send an email. 770-468-4898. firstname.lastname@example.org Her life, and Merle's, have been impacted by Think LifeChange at First Baptist Jonesboro. She wants to help others to enjoy the peace that passes all understanding. The world is a complicated and difficult place. Even Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33, and, "The enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!" John 10:10 And, "Peace I leave with you: my peace I give, not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 Our world seems to need this truth especially these days.
Delores continues to do well. She had a set back in March, but they were able to move her to another facility and adjust her medication. She is now back at her regular facility and improving. Merle is able to stop in and visit with her occasionally, as she is about 30 minutes from our new construction. Laura came over to visit and caught Luke coming from an interview.
Luke has been living at home and working at Panera Bread in McDonough. He has faced many obstacles from his lost Social Security card and his expired passport in trying to find work that is more long-term and fulfilling, as well as problems with vehicles and other challenges. We have learned how difficult it is these days to update your passport, if it is expired, especially if you have a foreign birth place. His transmission went out on this car, so I am being the commuting queen. Please keep him in your prayers. Our neighbors decided to give me their older car, as they are inheriting a vehicle from an uncle, when it gets out of probate court. Praise God! Thank you Louise and Martin!
Jenny was preparing to go to Romania to serve Ukrainian women and children fleeing from war and destruction with First Baptist Jonesboro, but the trip was postponed as there weren't enough people who signed up. She felt God calling her to face her fear of inadequacy to meet such difficult circumstances. God calls us to serve and love others, even if it is difficult emotionally for us, expensive, time-consuming, and doesn't fit with our plans and schedules. It reminds us of the heartache from the war in Bosnia 1992-95. Buildings might eventually be rebuilt, (I even saw a FB post about an architect planning the rebuild of Ukraine), but lives can not be replaced, and broken hearts are difficult to mend. Only Jesus comforts and completely heals - He is our great redeemer and restorer.
Passover and Easter weekend was very busy with all the kids home, but so delightful! We celebrate the Passover to remember the Israelites in bondage and how God brought them out, just like our own salvation. Jesus freed us from our own bondage to sin and gives us the freedom to follow Him wholeheartedly. We can be filled with His Spirit and enjoy the fruit of that relationship: love, joy peace, patience, and the rest. Salvation and subsequent transformation is a miracle! We can not free ourselves. We are like a cast down sheep, who rubbed his back in the dirt until he was stuck upside down with his feet sticking up. This is true humility, lost and dying, unless the shepherd turns him around. Thank you, Lord, for caring so much for us to endure all the sin of the world that you carried to the cross for our redemption. "For we all like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6 Draw us close to You, Lord. Never let us go.