We are now Boston residents! I took the above picture of Boston Common from our living room window. Needless to say, we are incredibly grateful to be living at Park Street Church. Besides being able to be in church in less than two minutes, we are able to walk out the front door and instantly be part of the hustle and bustle of city life. I love walking to do our errands, and strolling through the Common. Well, “strolling” may be an exaggeration, as life continues its fast pace.
We landed in Boston at the end of June, and felt the usual sense of being overwhelmed by being home, surrounded by so many friends, and in a familiar culture! I had gotten used to being the minority, used to the simpler life of fewer choices and less efficiency. Walking into church the first Sunday is always an emotional experience for me, as the organ’s vibrations surely can be felt under my feet! “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” has got to be one of my favorite hymns!
We spent the first month with my parents in Weymouth, and scurried around at the usual appointments at Children’s Hospital. The most important medical appointment was with the endocrinologist. Phoebe was approved to use the insulin pump by insurance. We are now using the insulin pen as a stepping stone, which, like the pump, necessitates that we use an app to count carbs and get the right insulin ratios. Once we have adjusted to the app, she can begin with the pump.
The other important appointment we had was with Boston Public Schools. We registered Phoebe easily last month, and last Friday she received her school placement: New Mission High School in Hyde Park. She was placed there because of their autism program. I have a list of questions for the school, so hopefully we can talk to them soon! Meanwhile, I am doing lots of research. (If anyone knows anything about this school, please let me know, as I hadn’t heard of it before.)
It hasn’t been all work though. We attended a missionary retreat in NH with other PSC missionaries. Immediately after that we attended Family Camp with the Primera Iglesia Bautista de Washington DC. This is the Spanish church that we belonged to before moving to Boston 25 years ago!
Another recent highlight was attending the Joni & Friends Family Retreat in NH, where we were surrounded by people who celebrated Phoebe. This organization sees disability as a ministry, not only in terms of how you care for someone with a disability, but also as a way to see God and His heart in an alternative way, a way made possible only through the struggles of the disability. Walking the path of disability is often very lonely, and Phoebe’s needs are my daily reality. To have this reality recognized and celebrated was very encouraging to me.
Reconnecting with friends and family is one of our goals for our time of furlough, so we are trying to take every opportunity to do that! Later this week we head to Maine for Park Street Church’s camp, which I have been sad to miss for the last eight years. I am thrilled we can go this year!
In terms of our furlough, I begin classes through Gordon Conwell and CUME next month, when Phoebe starts school. Alberto is trying to do some work at Park Street Church, some work on our Quincy house, and visit his family in El Salvador. We also have the joy of planning a trip to Hawaii in December for Ana’s wedding!
Ana and Frenchie got engaged recently, and are planning a December 17th wedding in Kona, Hawaii, where they both work as missionaries with YWAM. We are thrilled to welcome Frenchie into the family, despite the fact that Hawaii is the absolute opposite end of the globe to South Africa.
Isaac will be moving in with us this week! It is an unexpected blessing to have him with us in Boston, after having been separated from him for so many years.
We hope to see you soon. Thank you for partnering with us!
Margaret has enjoyed reconnecting with various friends, like Sofi, pictured above in our old camping spot at Ponkapoag.
Margaret is now working at Tatte Bakery & Cafe near Berklee School of Music, which she is enjoying. She is trying to earn as much money as she can, so that she can go backpacking in Europe. Having a home base in Boston is ideal for her, and I am happy we are here.
Phoebe has loved all the attention she has been receiving. Andrew, pictured above at the Spanish camp, is one of Phoebe’s favorites. She hadn’t seen him in three years!
Naomi adored Phoebe at the Joni & Friends Family Camp last week. You can read more about this amazing ministry here. Joni and Friends is answering the call of Luke 14 to “Go out quickly…and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame…so that my house will be full.” Since there are 1 billion people around the world living with disabilities, the need is great.
My sister Audrey and her two kids came to visit from Denver.
- God’s blessing on the people and projects we have left behind in South Africa, including the halfway house in the planning stages with Hope Prison Ministry, the feeding outreach in the local township, and the upcoming discipleship training schools through YWAM,
- A good teacher and classroom for Phoebe, and a helpful school nurse,
- God’s guidance and blessing on Ana and Frenchie’s wedding planning,
- Margaret’s gap year to be spiritually, socially and financially beneficial,
- God’s guidance and blessing on Isaac’s time with us.