My time with Paul gone has been challenging, yet very encouraging.  Let’s just say my back and arms are getting a workout with needy-Nathan and lovable-Lydie.  But I have been thankful for living in such a tight community as my house has not been empty once (and I wouldn’t have it any other way)!  The week has been filled with new friends and old friends (although the old friends I have only really known for about 4 months, but they have crossed into the ‘my house doesn’t have to be clean for you to come over’ category.)

We had very special visitors as Julie and Evie Ayer came for a site visit.  Julie and her husband Dave are interested in serving with us in Soddo in a few years.  Dave is a pediatrician and they have 5 kids.  There youngest daughter came, Evie, and she is 8 months (2 months older than Lydia).  It was so great to meet them and it gives us hope for what the future holds here.  We are excited to have another young family with young kids to be able to live here with us.  We were dreaming of a home-schooling room and our kids getting to run outside in exploration together.  Julie was a great encouragement to all of us here.  If you want to learn more about them click here.

Here is a picture of Julie and I and our girls:

While Julie was here we made all of the stops within Soddo.  We visited several of the orphanages and we took a girls day around town with Sophie.  We had so much fun eating at our favorite cafe and taking her to our “target” (the target is about 30 square feet total).  And we also did a little shopping.  We were also able to minister to some patients while she was here.  One was a tiny baby that had been born premature and despite her 1.5 kgs, she has done miraculously well.  God has blessed this child with life and it was neat to be able to witness to the mother.

The other patient was a burn patient who has been here for over a year.  She is about 13 years old and I have watched her lose hope and then regain it again.  She had severe burns on her arms and legs.  Her arms are now healed and she has function in her fingers.  This week we went to see her with one of the chaplains and she is in much better spirits and is getting closer to going home as her wounds heal.  You can tell she is gaining weight and the chaplain has been reading the bible with her.  While we were on our Soddo shopping spree we bought her some new clothes.

It is an amazing testimony of God’s grace and love to see the huge smile on this girl’s face.  I would visit her for months and she would barely show any emotions.  God has rescued her from her wounds, both physically and emotionally.  And I give glory to him for her joy.