Monday, June 21, 2010

Time To Get Back To Work

Hello all! We are back in Honduras and back to work. Our 4 weeks in the States was very nice giving us a chance to visit friends and family, and to share what is happening at Micah with many people.

Brian’s trip to Roswell to see Jake graduate was wonderful. He hasn’t been back since he left in January 2000, leaving many old ghosts behind. Besides the huge blessing of being able to spend time with Jake and attend the graduation, he got the chance to finally close the pages on that chapter of his life. He visited his old probation officer, the only man who believed in Brian and made him feel like he could turn his life around. Officer Mike was blown away to see Brian, 10 years later, and hear how God has changed him and where He has taken him. Brian told Mike that he wanted to say thank you and to encourage him to continue to do what he does, that his job may be hard most of the time, but he just doesn’t know how someone is going to turn out. The other officer in the room, hearing the story, blamed the tears in his eyes on the dust coming from his pistachios as he cracked them. Uh huh.

I spent 2 days in Phoenix with my mom. It was nice to just sit and visit with her, but at the same time very hard. She’s 84 years old and will probably not be able to live on her own much longer. I had always hoped to have my parents with me when they were older, but it isn’t possible for her to live here. My siblings are unable to take care of her for various reasons. And so it breaks my heart to know that she’ll have to go into a nursing or care home of some kind and how lonely that always is. In my mind she’s still the mom I had in my teens, not this little old lady that can’t remember what she said an hour ago, or if she took the right pills or not. I just don’t know how to deal with this or what I can do so please be praying that the Lord will be with her and let me know how I can help.

We landed in Tegucigalpa on June 9th and let me just say…OH MY GOODNESS!!! For those of you that don’t know, Toncontin Airport has been considered to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world for quite some time. Statistically, there have been 8 crashes since 1980 – 3 on take off and 5 on landing. In all of our travels, however, the landings have always been pretty smooth (but the close proximity to the roofs of nearby houses can really make a person tense). This trip was another thing as we came in by a different approach. The pilot had to increase the altitude several times and during the final few seconds Brian James exclaims “Look MOM! I think our wing is going to hit those houses!” I looked out the window, death grip on the arm rests, and just about threw up.

Needless to say we arrived safely. But when the flight crew was even unnerved, then I know it wasn’t just my fear of flying. We were sitting in the back row and so the last to exit the plane. By the time we hit the jetway the pilot was coming back. (I assume he went in to either a) hit the rest room for a change of clothes; b) get a shot of bourbon; or c) both.) One of the stewardesses said “come to mama, come to mama, we need to have a chat. We were back there thinking ‘oh no, okay he can do it…ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, okay he can do it….ohhhhhhhhhhh!” I stopped shaking about 20 minutes later and am glad we don’t have another flight planned for quite awhile.

Here are a some You Tube clips of landings in Teguc, one from the cockpit, one from the ground. Make sure you watch to the end so you can here the comments.

View from the cockpit landing in Tegucigalpa

Veiw from the ground

We jumped back in with both feet, Brian teaching classes and a team arriving from Houston. The boys and I began settling back into our routine at home. Monday after arriving here our small dog Amos got sick. Very suddenly, acutely ill, he was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis, with enzyme levels 5 times normal. When we visited the vet on Friday it looked like he might not make it over the weekend and we had to talk to the kids about the possibility of putting him down if he didn’t begin to improve. I am happy to report that after 4 very sleepless nights giving IV fluids and meds every hour around the clock, he has turned the corner and looks as if he’ll make a full recovery.

The Tuesday after we arrived little Miguelito’s mother died from cancer. He is one of our newest guys, only 12 years old, and was very close to her. Please pray for him as he goes through the grieving process, that the Lord would give him peace and comfort, and that Miguelito would continue to look to Jesus for his hope and not back to the glue and streets to numb his pain. Please also pray for us that we will have the discernment to know what to do to help him through this painful part of his life.

Thank you so very much to everyone in Portland that made our stay great:

To Tony Weber, dude, you rock. We could not have asked for a better place to live out of suitcases for 4 weeks. May God bless you and give you favor as you continue to seek to live in His Spirit.

To Mary Hunter, the second car was a HUGE blessing. I miss you friend! Keep telling those kids about Jesus and bringing them into the kingdom.

To everyone at Grace Point, we love you all and are continually amazed and overwhelmed by the love and support you give us. Steve McCracken, keep preaching the truth boldly and loudly. Jon Knapp     and Doug Winn     – what can I say? Without your leadership and passion we wouldn’t be here. I could go on and on. It was a joy and blessing to worship with you all again.

Ken and Brian at Neighborhood, thank you for allowing us time to share at both services, for your encouragement, and for beating the drum.

Pastor Dave at Hillside – thank you for the time in service you gave us to share about Micah. We look forward to seeing you and your team here at the Lord’s timing, and to expanding our partnership. Darin McCarthy, thank you for your heart and passion for Micah and for igniting the flame at Hillside.

Jonathan, Carolyn, and Chris at Riverwest, thank you for all your prayers and support, and the hard work you have put in to bring Riverwest on board. We are so excited to see how the Lord will work with Jonathan on the Micah Board. Thank you for putting together the Sunday presentation. It will be great to see how this expands at Riverwest.

Now it’s time to get back to work.

Blessings and peace to you all,



Laurie said...

Glad the dog is going to make it.

Anonymous said...

love your new page. sad news about your mum - but praying, and God will provide, protect and prevail, because he promises to. what a marvelous Father! xcarolyn

Carol Ranney said...

Hi Natasha,
Sorry we didn't make it for lunch, seems like life gets in the way all the time! Yikes, I'm glad you made it to the ground okay! I told Brian you may never come home again except by boat!
Here's hoping & praying Amos makes a full recovery and has a long and healthy life. Your kids need him, you guys all need him, and God knows that.
Oh, I can feel so much for you with your mom. My brothers and sister and I went through that with my dad when he was was soooo stressful. He didn't want to leave home--we tried to keep him home--then he started falling, ended up in the hospital, then to a nursing home/ doesn't matter what you call them, they aren't home. He was mad as a hatter at us. So even if you're there with them, even the best plans don't always work. We did find the staffs at these places (a different place after every fall) to be really nice. Do your sibs live nearby so they can visit? That helps a lot. But it's grueling any way you cut it. God knows though, He is there, we do our best and leave it in His hands.

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