Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trusting God in the hard times

Dear Friends,

Greetings from San José, Costa Rica!

After a wonderful time in Portland with our family (well part of them anyway) for Christmas and New Year’s we headed to Norfolk, Virginia for the birth of our beautiful new granddaughter, Rebekah Joy Burgin. We arrived Saturday night and she arrived Sunday afternoon! Our timing couldn't have been better. We were able to spend the next 4 days getting to know her and just being with Stephen, Rachael and Leah as they welcomed little Rebekah to their family. Here I am with Rebekah:

We have been back in Costa Rica for 10 days now and are adjusting to getting back to real life. Ron is in full swing with the final plans on our new office space for Campus Crusade Latin America. He has been meeting with the owners of the building and with a lawyer to finalize the lease agreement as well as with the architect who is designing the interior space. There are lots of legal things to learn in setting up an office in a foreign country but Ron is on top of it all! Here he is in the unfinished office space:

Our return here has brought with it some challenges for me (Jeanie) as well. Many of you know that in October I slipped on some spilled water on a tile floor just after teaching my ESL class and injured my lower back. In Oregon I received a diagnosis of a sprained back and began physical therapy. I had been making some progress and experiencing some relief from the pain. However, after returning here the pain became so intense that I really could not walk as each step brought excruciating pain. Monday we made the decision to seek medical help by going to an Orthopedic/Spinal specialist here in San José. The Lord led us to a wonderful doctor who gave us lots of his time an answered all of our questions. He has prescribed medication to get the pain under control and then additional physical therapy with a therapist that he works closely with to monitor progress. He feels like with the physical therapy that surgery may not be necessary. The surgery option will be visited again in 6 weeks. Please pray with us for the following requests.

· That the pain will be under control soon.

· That the physical therapy will be effective

· That surgery will not be necessary

· That I will be able to travel to Panama for a ministry conference in February and to DC in mid-March for the birth of our 7th grandchild!

· That the Lord will give me a positive attitude and hope in the midst of pain and suffering.

During these days the Lord has been speaking to me through His word about trusting in Him in the midst of circumstances beyond my control. I have never had to deal with extreme physical pain before and it has been very difficult for me to be hopeful and to trust that God has a purpose in everything he allows in our lives even when they make no sense to us. Just this morning in the One Year Bible passage for today He spoke to me in the account of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14. Here are a few things He used to encourage me this morning.

· In the midst of the storm Jesus said, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." 

· Peter immediately wanted to go to Jesus and when Jesus said "Come" Peter responded with great faith by getting out of the boat and momentarily walking on the water.

· But then he takes his eyes off Jesus and places them again on the circumstances and he sinks.

· Peter's immediate response is to cry out to Jesus, “Lord save me!"

· Immediately Jesus reaches out his hand and caught Peter. "You of little faith," Jesus said, "Why did you doubt me?"

· Then when Peter was safely in the boat WITH Jesus the storm calmed down and the response of all the disciples was, "Truly you are the Son of God!"

Matthew 14 closes with these words that give me hope for today. "And all who touched Him were healed." Whether or not I am physically healed from this back issue, my prayer is that I will keep my eyes on Jesus and get back in the boat with Him and stay there!

Thanks for your prayers,