It’s been a pretty emotional week for our family. After spending a wonderful weekend at the beach together, we moved Jacob into the dorm at MC last Wednesday to begin his new life as a college student.
Over the last two days, Tony and I have been working to get everything he needs now to make the space more comfortable. You know, guys don’t think of all of those things ahead of time. Ha! I am sure that eventually he will have it set up just like he wants it.Tonight we will have dinner with Jonathan, Katelyn, Jacob, and Madison one last time before Tony heads back to Haiti. I will stay around for a few more days to help Jacob finish getting settled in, and next Saturday, Josh, his roommate will move in with him. It’s hard to believe that in a couple of weeks, Tony and I will be in Haiti, and our boys will be in the states, going about their lives, living life on their own, while we carry on with our busy lives at Hope Center.
Where have the years gone? How did our baby grow up so fast? I haven’t really cried yet. I think I get so excited for them and the exciting time it is for them in their lives that I don’t stop to hurt until I am alone. I have a feeling I am going to do a lot of crying on the flight back to Haiti. I am sure I am going to spend a lot of time on my knees praying over the next months as we try to get used to this new phase of our lives.
We are really excited about Jacob starting college at Mississippi College, and so is he. We are going to have to pray for God to give him patience through the next couple of weeks until he can actually practice with the team, but we know that God is going to continue to heal his ankle and prepare him for soccer as well as school. The athlete convocation last Wednesday night was pretty special. First we had dinner, then the parents stood and pledged to pray for and support our children, and then the athletes stood and pledged to be accountable and handle themselves with integrity.
We were pleasantly surprised when President Lee Royce decided to move from his table to ours to eat and visit with our family. He even offered to take Jacob’s plate and put it away for him! Wow. What an amazing place where the president of the university chooses to visit with families and students and actually serve them! Jacob returned the favor after dinner and put away Dr. Royce’s glass from dinner. It was a real honor for him to sit with us and visit with Jacob. We told him that after he gets moved into his new house, Jacob would like to come hang out with him sometime. He told Jacob to come on over, that he was more than welcome. Ha!
So now we again covet your prayers as we enter into yet another major change in our lives. Instead of having an empty nest, sometimes it feels like our nest just sort of exploded! Ha! We know there will be days when our heart aches because we will want to be able to see Jacob’s games, or we will want to be able to meet Jonathan & Katelyn for dinner, but God knows our hearts, and He replaces these aches with many, many other blessings. We find ourselves praying for one another so much more than we normally would if we all lived in the same place. It’s a wonderful thing to know…even FEEL….that your children are praying for you while you are yet praying for them. We are a very close family, and although distance is hard, our love grows greater and greater through it all. We are so thankful for that. We will eagerly look forward to having all of them with us in Haiti for Thanksgiving, and we will look forward to being with them over the Christmas holidays. Time flies, so those two visits will be here before we know it.
We, once again, want to thank all of you who faithfully support us through prayer, through friendship, through ministry on short-term mission trips, and through financial support. God uses all of these things to sustain us, strengthen us, and carry on the mission that He sent us to accomplish. We recognize that, as a family, we were ALL called in one way or another to serve in this mission. It just happens in different ways and in different places. The absolute most important thing you can do for us is PRAY. Pray that God will give us strength, endurance, wisdom, protection, and patience as we serve the people of our village and carry on our separate lives as a family. We love you all so very much!! Thank you for your prayers!