I guess yesterday was St. Patricks day, but here you would never know. In fact, Grant asked me yesterday morning, "When is St. Patricks day?" I thought he was joking so I responded with a small laugh and, "Today!" He then looked a little confused and said, "Oh wow I had no idea, I thought it was in February." Some people could say that we are out of touch with the American culture, I dont mind too much! These last few days have been full, but also rewarding. On Sunday after Church I went with my sister and my parents here to their house it the country where we all helped do some work projects and then sat and ate fresh potatoes from the garden and played cards for hours! I knew that my dad here was funny, but playing cards with him made me laugh so hard my stomach was hurting by the end. I didnt even care that I lost horribly, and for those of you that have played games with me before you know that is quite a feat!
I started this post on Wednesday thinking everything was going great and not really missing home that much. Then late on Wednesday night I recieved some really bad news. I got an email from my mom telling me that she had something to tell me that was really important and that I needed to call her right away. When I called home, I found out that my grandpa had died earlier that morning. While this would be sad new to deal with anyway, I instantly felt really alone and felt like I needed to be with my family. Being so far away is really hard right now, trying to deal with the death of a family member as well as just wanting to be with my family and give them all hugs. There is evidence that my grandfather believed in Christ as a child, but he definately did not live his life as a follower of Christ. It has brought up a large number of questions for me to try and think through. If someone truly believes in God as a Child and accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior but then doesnt live their life that way, are they still going to go to heaven? Can someone truly believe and know the truth and not live it out? What does Hell look like if my grandfather, this man that I love, is there and suffering? What does this mean for the rest of my family that doesnt believe? What can I do to change the future for my family that doesnt believe? How do you grieve with your family when they are 5000 miles away? Trying to sort through alot of these thoughts has been really challenging, but I continually am seeking truth and encouragement from our God through His Word.
As we enter this weekend, and my family prepares for a funeral and I prepare to grieve from a distance, please pray.
1. please pray that we can all be witnesses of the Gospel to our family members that are living lives in the dark.
2. please pray that God will give us all His peace and understanding in this difficult situation.
3. please pray that I will be able to be vulnerable and open to my new friends and family here. It is not easy for me to be open with people, but I know that going through difficult situations together can help strengthen relationships and can also help my express my feelings.
and 4. please pray that we will seek refuge and support from God first. Pray that in spite of the distance my family can grow together through this tragedy.
"The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord blesses his people with peace." -Psalm 29:11