11.14.13 Letter to Friends
Hello, Next to fall, snow is one of my favorite things (along with raindrops on roses and bright copper kettles of course)! But snow this early in November has been a surprise. Oh I know we’ve had a snowfall as early as October 10th out here but it’s been those wet, drippy, quickly melting snows that disappears in a flash. This week however it went from the 50’s to the 20’s and 30’s overnight and by morning there was 2 plus inches of snow laying around the whole day except in the direct sun. Then we got another inch overnight and it has been below freezing every night since Monday, basically it’s like winter NOW. By next Monday it’ll be back into the 60’s of course because it’s NOT winter but what a fun and interesting weather week. The trees weren’t done losing their leaves because we hadn’t had many cold nights yet but as of today all but a few tress are bare.
I had lovely evening last Friday night as several ladies came by for a social evening. Especially fun was having the entire Swartzfager family come by for 2 hours as well. Ellen S. hung with ladies while Tessa and a friend watched little Elsie and Mike and Jeremy S. took a walk and played with the littlest ones. I loved hosting folks who didn’t know each other well and watching them get to know each other. I do love when my friends (who don’t know each other) get chance to meet. We are still waiting on our Honda, which has been a frustrating experience all around, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully we’ll have the car back by next week. Please pray for our friend Paulette Whitekettle who is the process of several delicate and difficult surgeries remove a tumor from her spine. She and her husband were our mentors when Mike and I were engaged and they were very helpful and encouraging to us. So far things are going well and we are praying that she will not lose any mobility or function in this process. Also we are praying for our dear friends the Lathrops. Jeff and his 2 sibling all have have a rare kidney disease that requires transplants. Jeff just received one this summer from mutual friend Steve Montgomery (Go Steve!). Now Jeff’s sister Sarah is looking for a match and his dad’s replacement kidney (from Jeff’s mom) was infected by a virus and needs replaced as well. The Lathrops are amazing people and we just really pray that God will open the necessary doors for them.
A final note, this week of course all eyes are on the disaster in the Philippines. I want to encourage everyone to think about this crisis (having lived through one in Haiti) perhaps a bit differently. a) Prayer is no joke, pray for the people as God brings it to your mind, it really does help. b) When you feel the impulse to help, be proactive but not lazy. What I mean is ask around, does anyone know anyone serving there long term? Someone who can help direct your gifts to the organizations that are smaller than the Redcross and UN, who have been investing in that area long term, and are not so high profile as to receive the lion’s share of benefits. (Also, after seeing the quality of their work in Haiti, we are very thankful for the work of http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org and see their latest click here to see the latest update from Tacloban city Please post in comments if you know of any ministry organizations in the Philippines you’d like folks to be aware of. c) Pray and see if the Lord does not bring to mind other disasters and tragedies that struck your heart in the past, maybe look into offering support to the work going on in those places at some point in the near future as well. Often disasters are most devastating to the vulnerable, who are probably no less vulnerable 2, 3, 5+ years down the road after the fact. Remember the first 90 days post disaster are when most money is given. d) No one is immune from disaster, ask the folks in the path of the Joplin tornado or Superstorm Sandy, let us thank God for the dual nature of our existence; mists that evaporate before morning and grass that dies by days end yet made in the image of God, little lower than angels, and so beloved that He will never leave us or forsake us, no matter what happens.
I hope your week is going well and I look forward to talking with you next week, ox Nicole