I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God…..remember that Gaither goldie? Those lyrics describe how I feel right now. Yesterday afternoon my friend and fellow International Messenger, Diane, spent more than four hours riding a train from Slovakia to Hungary where she met me at the Budapest station. She threw her arms around me and gave me a huge hug. “It’s been a bad day,” she said, having received the news already about my dad’s death. Her eyes brimmed with tears. This woman, responsible for IM missionary care, is a God-given gift to me for such a time as this.
We had enough time to eat supper at Burger King before boarding the train for the ride back to Kosice, Slovakia. “Tell me about your dad,” she said. “What was he like before he got sick?” Bless her heart for listening as I told of Dad’s strong work ethic, of his many surgeries, of his attitude of gratitude no matter what. Bless her for listening with empathy, her eyes filling with tears when my voice cracked and chin quivered. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God and for the gift of caring sisters.
Thanks to a wonderful overseas phone plan, I was able to contact family members after we arrived at Diane’s home. It was good to speak with my mother and to hear of the funeral plans being made so far away. Oh, I wish I could be part of that, but it’s not to be. It was after 1 a.m. when I finally fell into bed, exhausted and wondering how I could get through the next 10 days.
When I woke this morning, I felt like I’d been run over by a train – a combination of lack of sleep, jet lag, and emotional overload, I think. So I gave myself permission to stay in bed and rest until 8:30. When I finally got up, I discovered gifts from my Christian family – emails that had come during the night. Words of encouragement, sympathy e-cards, prayers written on my behalf. Each one ministered to me in a unique way, and the tears began to flow. I feel like I’m on an emotional journey that I don’t want to take, but one that, prayerfully, will result in God’s purposes being accomplished.
Several weeks ago, Diane and I decided to leave this day as a day of rest. There was no way of knowing how much this would be needed. Another divinely-arranged detail. Tomorrow we’ll catch a train and travel to Cracow, Poland. And then the real work begins. Saturday’s conference had originally expected 60 women, but so far 110 have registered. As I think about doing three sessions with these precious women, I can only think of one thing: “In my weakness He is strong.”