Sunday, February 16, 2014

choosing joy

I hope you all had wonderful holiday celebrations with family and friends! I was blessed to be with my family in the US for Thanksgiving and then Ruco’s family (and two of our dear friends) in Nairobi for Christmas! In between those two events, we worked in the Philippines helping with Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. So, lots of traveling (I know you are surprised). We actually came back to the Philippines for another month. So, that works out to:

Nairobi à US à Philippines àNairobi à Philippines (since last time I blogged). Phew!

Here are some photos from our Christmas and New Years holidays back home in Kenya: 

Our first time at Maasai Mara national park...

We interrupted some "one on one" time with these two

A VDM Christmas on the Kenyan coast (Malindi) special!

First time seeing a mama and her little cubs on safari!

We were so excited the Harper's came to visit us! We love them so much!
Working in the Philippines has also been such a rewarding experience. I am not sure we have ever met a people group as kind and gracious as the Filipinos…and talk about resiliency and HOPE! People are moving on and attempting to rebuild their lives despite total devastation. SP is coming alongside churches and communities to implement WASH (Water and Sanitation/Hygiene), shelter, and feeding programs. It really is partnership because the Filipinos work with us day after day with smiles and encouragement FOR US (when we are supposed to be the ones serving them)!! There are so many lessons I am learning here from these amazing, AMAZING people.

Families have their businesses back up and running

So much beauty despite the destruction 

I want to have joy like that…not dependent on my circumstances.

We have really been so thankful that we were able to travel and work together over the last 2 1/2 months! We love being together so much, and in the midst of our current struggle, we are trying to embrace the wonderful life we have together instead of “focusing on the emptiness.” I feel that I must come to a point in this journey when I choose joy and choose to move on while still anticipating that God can perform a miracle for us!

I am the luckiest.

I currently love this verse: 

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen, and no cattle in the stalls, YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior!!” Habakkuk 3:17-18


grandmama said...

my darling granddaughter.thank you for sharing your life, your heart, your hopes, your heartaches.i feel so blessed by God to have you in my and ruco are truly going to the uttermost parts of the world to share the story of Christ.thank you for your obedience and for choosing Joy...I love you dearly and pray daily for you both..

The Reeds said...

I want to have joy like that too. You look beautiful together.

arbuckle said...

We're thankful we know y'all and have been able to keep up with your whirligig traveling. Praying His blessings upon y'all in all things in all seasons.

abcbhat said...

really nice to view your journey photos.
Have a Nice Time.