July 24, 2021

We made it!  After 25 hours of traveling on three continents, we arrived safe and sound in Boston (pictured above).  Praise God!  So much stress, so much uncertainty, so many potential roadblocks, but we made it!  Thank you for all your prayers.  Phoebe’s inability to wear a mask was a non-issue.  No one asked for any of our copious paperwork.  All our three flights arrived on time, as did our luggage.

We left South Africa in the gulf of a third wave, with no mention of vaccine access.  It was cold, dark, wet, and depressing for me.  We left the airport on the only international flight, an almost empty plane with the other foreign-carrying passport passengers.  I felt like we were escaping.  I felt sad for leaving Cape Town in the midst of need.  At the same time, I couldn’t believe we could actually fly to Boston.

Arriving In Boston felt unreal.  I felt like I was walking in a movie.  We had left all the stress of the pandemic behind and arrived in Boston on a beautiful summer evening.  The contrast was too much for me!  Seeing my parents after two years was a gift! Seeing Kara, who has been in constant contact with me and organizes our Missionary Care Team, was also unbelievable.

I cried on my first Sunday back at Park Street Church.  Being surrounded by my church family, participating in a seeming post-pandemic gathering, listening to amazing organ music with voices lifted up in worship to God, hearing the Word of God preached from a pulpit instead of Zoom…it brought tears to me eyes!  The stress melted from my shoulders and I felt immersed in God’s blessings.

It has been wonderful to reconnect with so many of you.  Thank you for welcoming me back!  We are here until Aug 6.

This Sunday I will be sharing in each of the services at Park Street Church, and will speak at a lunch reception after the 11:00 service.  It would be great to see you!  Please stop by!

We arrived just in time for my mom’s 81st birthday, pictured above.

Isaac came up for the 4th of July weekend.  It had been 18 months since I last saw him!  My heart was instantly filled with joy!  He is enjoying his internship at Ambassador Advisors in Lancaster, PA.

While here, I decided to see a doctor myself!  I never really knew what made me so sick last year.  I was sick with digestive stress for a full month, and have had a few relapses since then.  So, I had a my first colonoscopy!  They did a scope of my digestive tract, and found that I have lymphocytes colitis, which may explain things.  I’m on medication now, so praying that it helps, and ultimately that God will heal me.

Margaret has been working in Quincy Market selling ice-cream and cookies.  She is happy with the extra income.

She has the opportunity to attend “Infusion” youth camp at YWAM, Kona, Hawaii next week.  It is an absolute miracle how this came to be, and I am amazed at how God works through the impossible!  Please pray that God will draw Margaret close to himself during that week!

Phoebe is pictured above, rubbing her arm after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.  Margaret, Phoebe and I were able to get both vaccine shots here.  What a relief!

While here, I have been scheduling as many medical appointments for Phoebe as I can at Children’s Hospital in Boston.  She has seen the Down syndrome program, endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), diabetes dietician, diabetes nurse (twice), otolaryngologist (hearing), ophthalmologist (vision), dentist, gastroenterologists (digestion), physical therapy (for a DMO, or Dynamic Movement Orthosis top).  We are still waiting to be seen by Augmentative Communication (for ipad communication ideas).  All these appointments represent areas of concern for Phoebe’s Down syndrome or diabetes.

Most areas tested well, though there is still question as to why she is not gaining weight.  She is growing quickly, so that is reassuring.  The GI department will do a scope on her digestive tract on July 30.  They will also do an ultrasound on her liver, which has been in question in the past.  Also while under, her vision will be tested (don’t ask me how), since she was uncooperative for her vision test.

It is a lot though, and has been challenging for me to squeeze everything in while we are here.  I am however, grateful for our insurance and continued care from the same doctors year after year.  Overall, they are happy with her progress.

Alberto stayed back in Cape Town.  He is pictured above roasting marshmallows after having a devotional with ex-prisoners and a police officer, who was converted to Jesus by the guy he arrested.

Alberto is also doing a lot of work on our house, namely floors, walls, patio, and bathroom.  This is the longest period of time we have been apart.

Ana is enjoying her outreach at Port Macquarie Anglican Church.  When not in the cafe, she works with youth and a kids club, which she loves.

Australia has been minimally impacted by COVID.  Their international borders are still closed.  Provincial borders were also recently closed, which means Ana’s outreach will be extended by a month, as she cannot get back to Brisbane.