|Monica returns with lots of tears and cries of joy!
|She is still as beautiful as ever.
|Charlotte with her sign, waiting for Monica to return. The first time we have seen her since October 2009.
|Brock, Amy and Daegen drove from Portland. Derald is holding Robert, Char's youngest.
We had to wait for almost 2 hours because of a plane delay.
|Mom and Dad and Daegy
I shot a long teary, screaming with joy, video, and I messed it up. I can't believe I can't find it. I must have pushed the wrong button. We are so proud of Monica and the faithful service she gave for 18 months.
When she spoke in church on Sunday about her experiences I was especially touched by her theme. Monica's mission felt so different from Brock and Charlotte's because of email. I felt so involved with weekly updates, without weeks of delay. Vicariously, we felt her struggles, disappointments, and trials. And yet, when she spoke, she decidedly proclaimed it was the most joyous year and a half of her life.
So how could that be? Everything was hard. The language, living with strangers, rejection, no comfort zones...
Then she read a scripture from Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...
This scripture and her example moved me. I think about my life. I had many years of roses. Things just seemed to run so smoothly and perfectly. My heart always felt full of gratitude, but somehow I knew in my heart it wouldn't always be this way. Some of the ease was a result of the choices I made, some from the choices of others (like spouse, parents and friends) and finally a lot was luck.
Well things change. I don't envision my life getting any easier than it is now. What Monica and Paul impressed upon me, is that joy, peach, gentleness, these things are not dependent on outside circumstances. We can have them despite the chaos in our lives. Despite our sorrows and struggles. It was a good reminder. Certainly I need to work harder to have His Spirit with me.