Friday, May 17, 2013

Unexpected Blessings

This past weekend was the annual A2 Spring Retreat. Each year our time as a mission family is much anticipated. There is nothing like joining with friends I only see once or twice a year for fellowship and renewal. This year, especially, I felt God's tender care for me and my family as we gathered with our mission.

From the get-go our plans got thrown out the window. Stephen came down with a major virus that had spread quickly into his lung the day before the retreat. Jillian and I went on ahead and prayed Stephen would recover fully by the weekend, so he could join the retreat. Traveling on my own with a squirmy one-year-old went better than I could have expected, even if Stephen had been with me. Once at the retreat, everyone was so helpful with Jillian I didn't feel like I had to miss out on everything because I didn't have my partner in crime to pass her off to from time to time.

A picnic lunch with some of our mission family before Stephen arrived.

By Friday, Stephen had been given the ok to travel and make his way to the retreat site. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see him! Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

While I was waiting for Stephen to arrive, though, Jillian decided it was her turn to be sick. Poor little baby spiked a fever and wanted nothing more than to sleep. By God's grace our friends had some baby fever medicine for us to use. Go figure, the time I decided to pack light, something major would happen.  Because I was still solo at this point, the child care team took great care of me by helping watch Jillian in a separate corner of the kids' room. Because she was such a cuddly lump while sick, it worked well.
Thank you King's Harbor Church for your excellent service! You saved my behind!
(I should also add that I received a couple other unexpected blessings from the team from King's Harbor: a hair cut and neck massage. If anyone wants to bless a missionary-wife here are three simple ways: make them feel beautiful, let them relax, and love their kids!)

By the time Stephen arrived, Jillian was on her third day of fever and had begun throwing up. With the help of two other moms I took Jillian to the urgent care at the hospital near by. Thank you so much Yuko and Rhonda for translating, driving, and just being with me. Without them and the prayers from the A2 family back at the retreat site, the doctor would have just given Jillian an not yet needed IV and sent us on our way. He changed his mind suddenly and gave us some fever reducer and decongestant to help her ride out the virus.
By the next day Jill was feeling much better.

The retreat itself was fantastic. I was blessed by the message on prayer and the team from Evergreen Church who prayed with us over the course of the retreat. I walked away from the retreat feeling refreshed and so loved. It's tough some times to be a little speck of light in a dark land. Times like spring retreat are so necessary for my spirit.
I feel like this particular retreat could have gone a lot differently with all the challenges that were thrown at us, but even in the midst of chaos, God's tender care showed through.

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