James 1:17, NIV: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
From the moment we landed in America and saw the Huge Red, White and Blue Flag hanging so proudly, until we returned to the Dominican Republic, our days and our hearts were filled with joy, laughter and sweet memories that we will carry with us until we return again.
August was a month of celebration that was filled with gifts, gifts and more gifts! Gifts are usually thought of as something you see, open, and hold in your hands. Even though these are wonderful, the “Gift of Time” spent with family and friends, celebrating and catching up on what we have missed this past year was truly the best gift, and a true blessing to us!
The Wedding of our youngest son was surely the Highlight! God added an extra special, beautiful lady to our family! Bruce had the honor of officiating the ceremony, joining Gavin and Jacqueline together. He did a great job! And yes, the jokester restrained himself; he can be serious when he has to be. The days leading up to the wedding, and all the moments of the wedding day were extra special and absolutely beautiful. Our granddaughters were so excited to be a part of this special day as well. They loved being the special Flower girls. Instead of flowers, they walked together carrying a little sign that read, “Here she comes Uncle Gavin”. As one of them said at the end of the night, “This was the best day EVER!!” We agree!
Beside all the wedding fun, we were so happy to be able to connect with many of you while we were home as well. It was great to spend time with some of our supporting churches and friends sharing how God is working and opening doors for ministry in the Dominican Republic. Some days we met with friends for breakfast, and then met more friends for lunch, then again more friends at dinner. What fun! Gathering together and eating together is always a good time! Thank you!! (We were even gifted with a little more fluff added to our waistlines.)
Spending time with my aging parents was also a Huge Gift! I wasn’t aware of, or prepared for, the changes I saw in their health though. Both of them were having some very difficult and serous health issues. We spent time in the emergency room with my mom who had a small stroke. We spent time in doctor’s offices helped schedule appointments, tests etc. Not the fun stuff! But we were glad to be home to help where we could and just spend time talking, reminiscing and being family. A real reminder to us; time doesn’t stop. So, enjoy every moment. Family Time is a Gift! (Even when it’s difficult)
Over the past 5 years we have missed many, many special events and a whole lot of birthdays. So, we decide to have One Big Birthday Party celebrating all our grandkids at once. There was a cake for the girls and a cake for the boys: gifts, games, cake and ice cream, swimming, fishing and a ton of laughter. We had so much fun; we think we will try to make this our family tradition.
We loved our visit home and all the special moments. But, as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” We are back in the Dominican in our own bed, back to our routine and working on the ministry God has marked out for us here. Please continue to pray for us as we press on making way for planting a church here.
Thank you for being a part of our lives and having a part in all that we do! You are a special Gift to us!
Blessed because of Him!
Bruce & Janine