I could hardly believe it when I came to update our website that it has been over a year since I last posted. I was certain that I had posted last summer, last fall, sometime! But apparently I was even further behind than I thought. So much has transpired that it would take volumes to properly go through it all but many of you will know at least part of it, so I will try and just do a very brief overview and let you know where IMS is headed in the immediate future.
On May 1st of last year, our family was devastated by the sudden, totally unexpected death of our wonderful, precious son, Luke. Needless to say, it rocked us to the core. We and our daughter, Leah, dropped our plans and went as quickly as we could to Wisconsin to be with our daugher-in-love, Sue, and granddaughters. God's grace and love allowed us to carry on, but losing a child (no matter their age) is definitely the hardest thing we have ever experienced.
Just a few days before Luke passed, he had called us from their new home in Wisconsin and expressed great desire that we all come at Christmas and celebrate a White Christmas together. In his honor, we all decided to make his dream a reality and we went back to Wisconsin in December. Leon was not doing very well before we left, but he was adamant that he was going to fulfill this request. Upon return, I took him to the ER and his cancer had spread throughout his abdominal cavity and he also had deep-vein thrombosis. He was in the hospital for a week, then released and Leah and I cared for him at home until he went to be with our Lord Jesus on January 25.
As you might well imagine, I have been picking up the pieces and seeking the Lord's wisdom as to how to proceed without the two most important men in my life. I am so thankful for all the wonderful friends and family who have called me, loved me, visited me, and given me emotional support in this time. To say that you are so very dear to me just doesn't seem enough! I am also very thankful for our IMS board members who are just the best! I treasure each of you.
As I have prayed and thought about how to proceed, and sought counsel, it seems natural and good that I would continue IMS and the work to which we were both called. Part of that involves managing IMS (which Leon always did) and handling funds that come in for indigenous pastors. I had not done bookkeeping since we got married, but I'm step-by-step relearning it! Another aspect is verbal and written contact with missionaries (which I love) and I am continuing with that. Lastly will be missions travel and I expect to continue that step-by-step.
Of course, like all our plans this year, the following plans are tentative based on what happens with the Coronavirus and the quarantines and border crossings, but presuming things get better, my first missions trip will be to participate in the yearly conference in Puerto Penasco in May. I will fly to Phoenix and be picked up to go down to Mexico with Ps. Stan and Becky Tedrow, and we will then meet in Penasco with Pastors Joe and Laurie Pacheco. I would ask for you prayers for this first trip without my beloved. I know that it will definitely be very different but I am comforted that I will be with four other leaders who have been so significant in our lives.
The next plan that I have in motion will be a Celebration of Life service for Leon on May 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in La Mesa, CA. Again, presuming that we can congregate at that time, it will be at Nan Couts Cottage, 5045 Memorial Drive, LaMesa, CA. Please let me know if you plan to come as there will be food served after the service. The attire will be California casual.
I would also like to give a brief update on our dear pastors in India, Alex and Hilda and their daughter Cynthia. Alex is completely bed ridden at this point and can only speak one word communications. As you can imagine, this brings great strain on his wife and daughter as they take care of him and the church as well. Please pray for them for the Lord's strength and grace and for God's mercy upon Alex.
And I thank you in advance for your prayers for me as I continue on this new path. I desire to achieve the fullness of God's plans for me in a way that honors Him.