Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palabras

Dear beloved friends,
It’s been a wild week, full of surprises and blessings so I wanted to share them with you!

On Monday of this week Elvia came early in the morning with small vials from the lab and drew blood so that we could find out how the liver enzymes were as well as the complete blood count. She returned late in the afternoon with the amazing news that the bilirubin level had dropped from 20 to 9 in just three weeks. The normal is < 1 but this is definitely a sign that things are headed in the right direction. I was also quite excited because the protein and albumin levels were totally normal which means that the danger of water seeping into the tissues (edema) is no longer an issue which translates into I can more or less dispense with the low salt diet! I ate rice and beans and tortilla chips to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, Tuesday was my 51st Birthday and God just spoiled me all day long. The staff had a luncheon for me that a friend of mine named Ellie cooked and the low salt dishes and cake she made were amazing. She explained that God had given her the recipes because she had never made low salt meals before and so she asked God to help her! I teased her about making a book entitled “Recipes from Heaven”! Members of the staff showered me with some of my favorite things: a bar of dark chocolate with almonds, a magazine called Casa y Campo from Spain, a white blouse, practical undergarments to fit my ever decreasing middle, bright cut flowers (Gerbera Daisies), homemade cards and then they shared Palabras (encouraging words). That was the best part because as each person spoke, it became clear that there was an overwhelming theme…..we were all just grateful that God had allowed me to live to see 51 and beyond. They all shared how Jesus had used this health adventure to change their initial unbelief and shock into a strong conviction that God would do what He had promised: heal me completely. We all concurred that this was preparation for all of us for the next phase of the ministry. By the time everyone had shared we were singing praise songs to thank God for His amazing grace!

In the evening, we had more cake at church after the Tuesday service and some of the church members prayed over me confirming once again what God had already been writing on my heart; that the fire I had gone through had brought me to a new level of faith that God would use to heal others.

And Wednesday, well Wednesday brought some amazing gifts as well. Elvia, Hae Young and I had been praying about trying to get custody of Indira’s older two girls (Ana 13 yrs and Lisle 11 yrs pictured on either side of their brother) because Indira once again was struggling with drugs and alcohol which caused her to be abusive to her daughters. Indira’s husband wanted us to take the girls because he knew he could not work and protect them at the same time. It was decided that one of the grandmother’s would take their two boys if we could take the girls. God opened all the doors when Elvia took the girls to testify. The judge gave complete custody of Ana and Lisle to me and the ministry. They will live with Elvia’s family during the week and then with our family on the weekends. It seems that God is having us focus on the next generation to help them have a future in Jesus.


Hee ju Lee, one of our Korean Food for the Hungry volunteers is returning to Korea tomorrow as her two year commitment is now finished. Hee ju is a gem and we will miss her dearly. Her quiet and gentle ways were a nice complement to some of the more boisterous members of our staff. She worked with the High School Students and managed our web page until there was a desperate need for staff at the Villa. She rose to the occasion and even ran the program out there at times when Hae Young was with me in New York. She loved working in the garden and seeing things grow. I have a picture of her written in my memory bank of her squatting down to remove weeds from around the vegetables, wearing her wide brimmed hat and a colorful apron. Above, we are pictured at Heeju’s leave taking.

Friday was tranquil day at the office. I spent the afternoon putting the finishing touches on the 2009 calendar and contacting the printer to make sure they could have it ready by mid-November so that we can send them Northward. Hee ju tinted the photos and the rest I did in the wee hours of the morning when I could not sleep.

Thank you for being on this journey with us through prayer. We continue to praise God for His amazing handiwork in our lives and in yours! Next blog will be an update on the children.

Love to you all in Jesus,
Betsy

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