"Congratulations" are in Order!
Merle has been investing our inheritance to build a Airbnb style rental house to increase our income, and because of the high cost of labor, and because he's got skills, he is building it himself, from the septic tank to the roof and everything in between! Wow! I am impressed with my husband! There is still the interior to finish (insulation, sheet rock, doors, moldings), besides appliances, furnishings, and decoration, but the windows are in and the paint is on the siding, and it is looking fine!
Lydia graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing! We are so proud of her! We were excited to meet Jo's parents, sister, and brother-in-law at their graduations from Toccoa Falls College. Jo's parents traveled from Japan, where Jo grew up. They have been, and still are, missionaries for 30 years! Many friends, mostly former fellow Bosnia&Herzegovina missionaries, came to her Graduation party. It was great to see everyone! Now to pass her state boards, get working, and pay off those college loans. Ah, life's struggles. If it isn't one thing, it is another. Jesus said, "In this world, your will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world!" Life just seems one hurdle after another, so you might as well smile!
We have been without a car, but the Temples have been more than generous to loan us a vehicle, and after Luke's transmission went out, was even more crucial to get him to work at Panera Bread. He is about to sign on with the Army! He leaves for training June 21st at Fort Benning near Columbus, GA.
Miracle, our 15 year old Golden Retriever who was born in Hungary in Feb. 2007, traveled to Sarajevo as a pup, grew up there, a year later giving birth to a litter of 8 pups. She traveled across the ocean to the US with us, but is now nearing the end of her sweet life, living with Hannah. She has been a faithful and loving pet, full of joy and bringing smiles and cuddles to all the kids for so many years.
Delores turns 90 this week! She continues to do quite well. She especially likes Merle and usually knows him, though dementia is definitely affecting her, so he visits when he can.
My niece, Amelia, graduated from High School in Canton, GA, and we were able to attend. I was so impressed that almost 2/3rds of the class, which had seven sets of twins and three sets of triplets, graduated with honors! The leaders were very efficient, and 453 graduates walked across the stage, where screamed for, and finished the whole process in an hour and 9 minutes! It was a fun evening, and it was great to see my sister, Amy.
Hannah is working as a digital Media Specialist for a company that provides online sales and marketing. She and Allan are enjoying the house they bought a year ago in Columbia, SC, and using their incredible creative skills to decorate.
Above, my long time friend, Brittany, her mother, and her son came and stayed a night while traveling through. Brittany and I were in Growing in Grace at First Baptist-Atlanta back in the 80's and 90's, learning, growing, and memorizing lots of Scripture, which was a foundational part of my training for the mission field. Take time for friends; they are the blessings of life.
I am still working through the Biblical counseling training of Think LifeChange at our church. I am learning, and it has definitely helped Merle and me in our relationship to go through The Heart of the Problem ourselves. Let me know if you would like to be one of my volunteers. We could meet over Facetime. Above, Alison is demonstrating how she uses horses in teaching The Heart of the Problem for transforming life change. There will be an open house for the new Counseling Center at First Baptist-Jonesboro on June 27th.
When the glass house is finished and operating well as an "airbnb"type rental, we have another building to develop, so we may work on that this fall. We'd love to get to BiH, but not sure how we might fit it in. When I heard from Dejana in Bosnia today, asking questions about home groups in the early days, I was encouraged to continue my book and get it published, though only God knows how that will happen. I have lots of memories and pictures to share from our ministry work there. We are making our plans one day at a time, listening to the Lord's leading. Patience is a virtue, they say, and I guess the Lord is developing the "patience of Christ" in us.
"May the Lord direct your hearts to God's love and Christ's endurance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5