I mean moving out of Albuquerque.
Its been two weeks since our last entry. I would need to write 3 entries at least to tell you what this past week was like for us. As I look back on all the activities, and the events, and the people, and the situations, and the deadlines that we have been through, I must say, all sob stories of fatigue and anxieties take second place to... my first thoughts.... that are of all those who came to help us in ways that we never could have dreamed! At every turn the Lord provided via people who came to help
Let me tell you about a few. If you "resemble" any of these remarks, know that we are so grateful to you too!
Let's talk about GD who gave his home to us while we worked to leave our own house. Having no family in town, we found a brother in him. .... It was at the request of his daughter that he sent a message, an offer for us to stay at his house for many nights that we needed shelter, 6 to be exact. We couldn't sleep in our home as various people were coming to take our furniture and we didn't have any beds or sleeping bags left.
There is LG who stood by my side and worked to get our garage sale off the ground, she made the signs and helped us to get organized working in that hot garage for hours.
There is JD who offered to have our carpets cleaned and our walls painted. And DJ who helped us load our POD and the Penske Truck that we drove to Ohio.
God bless GC who with his wife asked me if they could do anything to help. I remember standing with them outside the church after Liturgy one morning, without a thought of what I could ask for. The looks on their faces were so truly eager and so full of anticipation. It was as if they too would be missionaries just by lending a hand. But we know that this is true about mission work. One goes and many stay behind and send support. They accepted my first request that we pray in our hearts to see what the Lord would provide. In the end GC became our own personal man Friday... filled with great practical advice and a peaceful and fun presence as we worked together to load pod... fix cars.... load truck.... run errands.... reload another truck... stock us with moving boxes, and more.
RA and AA treated us like their own family, like brother and sister to us they worked with us for two whole days and didn't give up...... even when our rental truck had a malfunction and we had to unpack it and pack a new truck! They arrived with food when we were too busy to provide for ourselves, they stayed to the bitter end when we were sweeping the final dust out of the garage.
Then there is KP who rounded up a group of friends to support our mission endeavor financially, and his wife who prayed that solutions would be found for our various problems.
Our gratitude is great. Our anticipation is great. Our sorrow and fatigue are also great. And our joy is over abounding.
For most of my life I thought that happy things are blessed and filled with joy. While I have seen this before, these past two weeks I have known something different. It is the joy that comes as a gift, in spite of sorrow or difficulty. It is the joy that goes from one heart to another. It is a joy that is independent of happiness. It is the joy that comes from the Spirit of God for our unity, for our personal benefit, and for our continued faith in Him, and more.
I think of the stories of the martyrs who died with love in their hearts like Saint Elizabeth who felt pity for others even as she was being treated so brutally. Or those who suffered with joy Like Saint Katherine who saw her martyrdom as a wedding. Or those who suffered for the sake of us all, like Saint George who declined all worldly honor so that we could have faith in the truth of the gospel. I also think of those who like Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia who saw the last Christians of the church in Cappadocia to safety as they were forced out of their homes. I can't imagine being like them in their greatness or in their great spiritual strength. But I can understand that joy can be ours even during difficult times. I hope that you will know my meaning well.
In the days to come, I will try to let you in on our trip to Ohio and on the beautiful farewell luncheon that was held for Father Paul at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church. And..if RA will send me his photos... I can post the picture of our POD!...
Oh look, this just in.... Thanks ANGEL!
|8x16 POD filled at the end of a long day. Note: our POD-guy got into the photo with us.|
|Our friends and neighbors who came to lend a hand.. getting by with a little help from our friends|
With Love in Christ! +K