Tuesday, January 26, 2010
It has been quite a week. The girlies were with us from Wednesday night until I got them to school yesterday morning. The big girls were very glad to go home after school. We decided to keep the littles one more night, since I have them on Tuesdays normally. They were very good, but I am tired.
Sometimes the words just jump off my keyboard onto the page. Such is not the case today. I know what I want to talk about, but I'm having a hard time getting it said. I'll keep trying!
Friday was a sad day in our church - but also a joyous one. How is that possible? When you are in the same church for almost 40 years, and it is not a large church, you become very close to the people in that church family. When you lose someone to death, it is hard.
This is Phyllis - she came to our church just two months after my dad became the pastor of this church. When my mom and dad left our town several years later, they kept in touch with Phyllis' family. Phyllis became a widow in the 1980s. Five years ago my folks moved back here in their retirement and Mom and Phyllis were best of friends.
Phyllis had a hard life - farming with her husband, losing two infants, being a widow for a long time. But she was a very positive, joyful person. She was a prayer warrior and we will miss that part the most. I missed her white haired self sitting in the row right in front of my parents last Sunday.
I think it would be very neat if saints of God would be able to see their funeral and hear the wonderful things people say about them - wouldn't it be better if we said them while they're alive? One thing several people said - I am sure it will be said at my funeral - "she loved to talk!" And she did - she could out-talk me, believe it or not.
I was privileged to play the organ for her service. She had everything planned and her children honored all of her requests. I played joyful songs that I knew she would have loved to sing. We will definitely miss Phyllis, but I am picturing her enjoyment of her new home!
Several months ago I did a post on the Cambodian family our church sponsored back in the 1980s (click here if you'd like to read it). They had family members here in town already, being sponsored by my in-laws' church, and we were asked to bring the brother and his family. We agreed and our much smaller (at that time) church took on this challenge and privilege. I was the coordinator of the "project."
When we agreed to bring the Yim family, there were 3 daughters. By the time everything was arranged and they got out of the refugee camp in Thailand, they had added twin boys to the family. I could tell you many stories. I'll never forget the trip to the airport to get them, seeing them arrive with one huge box on Chhien's shoulder, serving them a dinner of food they'd never seen before and probably didn't like.
We moved them into a 4-bedroom apartment which we got through city housing. They were overwhelmed with the size and often we'd find that they'd moved their mattresses all into one bedroom - they were used to being together 24/7.
That was in April, and for 5 months we had a wonderful time getting acquainted and doing what needed to be done for them - and with them. But as fall came and winter loomed, they became very fearful of winter in Colorado. Noral, the mom, had a brother in California and Chhien's sisters had left Colorado and also gone to California, so they began to ask if they could leave, too. We took them to the bus station, sadly, but with 30+ boxes of belongings.
We heard from them a couple of times after they left. But it had been a long time since we'd heard anything. I tried everything to find them over the years. I had this dream that one day they'd drive into my driveway to visit.
Imagine my amazement when, 27 years later, I got a phone call from the secretary at church that there was a young woman from California with the last name of Yim who was trying to reach me. I knew immediately that this was the call I'd been wanting for years. I could not believe that they had found us instead of us finding them. Shannon told me that they had found a picture with our last name on the back. They remembered all of our first names, since we'd spent quite a bit of time with them, even remembering our dog's name. But they couldn't remember the last name until they found this picture hiding in a dictionary. She and her co-worker found us and the church on the internet. What a wonderful surprise!
I have talked to Shannon (who was Chauna when she was here) several times now and we're keeping in touch by Facebook. I've also connected with Sarah, who was the two year old when they came. The whole family went together and sent our family a wonderful, generous Christmas gift. And the best surprise ever - as many of them as possible are coming to visit us in March! I can hardly wait.
The children have all done very well in school and have careers and families, as I knew they would. Here is a picture of the two I've been in contact with. They are so beautiful.
Last, but not least - the weight loss journey. I weighed last Saturday morning and the result is below. But in Saturday's lesson, we learned that we are not to weigh for 4 more weeks. That will be hard, but also exciting. So - I'll let you know in a month how it went! Here's my favorite verse from the last week of this journey: Romans 5:3-5 - Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseveance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (NIV).