Friday, April 15, 2016

A Climb and a Retreat!

Here we are at the beginning of a hike with our family, which on this beautiful day included Zach's two sisters, Susannah and Kirsten!

The Yoders in Nigeria have been on a climb, as all of us are.  We are striving to know God, know his will, draw closer to him, meet everyone's expectations, eat well, sleep enough, keep water in the tanks and ice in the freezer, treasure our time with Daso, and keep a diaper ahead of Mariama. The rocks we're climbing sometimes chip away under our feet, and we wonder where our foot will catch so we can continue the climb.  We have been encouraged by the presence of Susannah and Kirsten to keep climbing and have joy along the way.  They remind us of those who love us, and of parts of ourselves we have missed.  Tears of laughter have been abundant.  They brought treats (like cheese and Reeses), and they brought love from home.

Kirsten was determined to find a way up the rocky hill.  Daso, Mariama, and myself climbed smaller hills.

Zach thought going under the rock might be easier.  He decided maybe they should go over.
At the top, the three climbers ate a "Cliff bar" overlooking a lake. (We were busy setting up the picnic blanket down below for our lunch.)

We will continue our climb next week, but tomorrow we go to our annual retreat!

Please pray for us, that we will truly be refreshed.  I, Christy, feel behind on feeling, thinking, reflecting, and all things...steadying. Like on our climb together, I have come to rocks that I cannot climb.  I have less time, less energy, and more responsibility.  I need Jesus. At the girls retreat on Monday, every girl was presented with the picture that represented their relationship with God and asked, "Do you love God so much, that you will go and be with him every day so he can tell you how much he loves you?" Susannah then came from behind and gave me my picture.  The picture of hands holding a rose in smeared watercolors that I had painted with my left hand as Mariama was being held with the other. Tears sprung to my eyes, and my heart cry was, "YES!  I love him so much!"  It almost hurt, that aching when you just can't do enough for the ones you love.
We need your prayers as a family, that we will withdraw and be with Jesus, so he can tell us how much he loves us.

Susannah will be leading the children ages 4-13 (31 children) and 4 helpers.  Kirsten will be with the 3 and under.  I will be telling the story in the lessons.  Pray for Susannah, as she has not had much time to prepare (2 days).  Pray for Kirsten and Mariama (an all the other babies) that they will feel safe and treasured. Please pray for the Lord to speak to our children, and give Susannah and Kirsten all she needs to share the gospel with these missionary children.  The children are from Nigeria, Ireland, England, Canada, America, and Switzerland. Pray that they will care well for each other and grow to love Jesus more. Pray that they will know they are loved by the adults helping and by Jesus.

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