This last year was one of the most difficult in our lives.   Just a year ago , I was flying home from Brazil, from one of the most rewarding trips I had ever taken.  The trip combined a creative ministry experiment that was successful, and a very precious and deeply meaningful day with a long time friend.  But, when I got home, it was just in time to rush to Southern California where Lois picked me up at the airport and we went to the hospital to say good-bye to her mother who passed away a day later.  Today is a year since her passing.

Actually, the difficult year has been about 19 months long.  In that time, both Lois’ mom and my own passed away.  We are both orphans now.

As if the loss of her Mom was not enough, just a few weeks later, the doctors discovered Lois had cancer.  So during this past year we spent a lot of time going to doctors.  Lois suffered through treatments that were unimaginably difficult, and she did it with much grace and determination.  I did my best to make sure she got all the love and support she needed to get through, including canceling all my travel.  We pretty much stayed home.  We didn’t send Christmas cards or anything.

Lois’ treatment is over and she is slowly regaining her strength and growing back her hair.  Life is moving back towards normal.

Tomorrow will be my first trip away, since I got home from Brazil.  I will be gone for 10 days to Sweden, as part of my responsibilities with the MIssion Commission of th World Evangelical Alliance.

A blessed year, too!

A big joy was that our grandson, Logan, was born on my Mom’s birthday, just a few months after her passing.  He is a happy boy and is a reminder of the cycle of life and the renewal of generations.

Also, the mission I work for, Latin America Mission, has been going through a deep struggle financially for the last several years.  During the last 3 or 4 months of Lois’ treatment, when I had to just watch from the sidelines, things were looking rather grim, and God brought along another mission agency that knows and appreciates LAM’s legacy.  More importantly, United World Mission (UWM) wants to develop it and grow it.    In the last few weeks the Boards of the two organizations have agreed to bringing LAM into the UWM organization (they like to say UWM “family”, which says a lot).  The integration of the two will get started in the last three months of 2013 and into 2014.    I am very grateful for this.

Finally, our daughter, Emily, who lives in New Zealand is expecting a baby any day now.  We have plans to go visit her once the baby is born.

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