Our family just returned from a trip to Belem. Belem is the capital of Para, the state in which we live. It is located at the mouth of the Amazon River, about 900 km from Altamira. About half of the trip is on dirt roads and about half on asphalt. The trip on the dirt roads was rough; the part on the asphalt was a pleasure. We enjoyed the trip immensely. The trip to Belem was full of anticipation of seeing Mom after Bets’ month- long sabbatical in the states. The reunion was as sweet as we would have hoped and our stay of several days in Belem was full of rest, conversation, Macdonald’s, walks through downtown, a zoo trip (we’ve eaten several of the animals there!), walks along the docks, and visits to several church buildings built in the 1600s. The return trip was tiring but we arrived back in Altamira safely and refreshed. The kids did wonderfully, enjoying the nice hotels, the pools, and they even enjoyed the cramped two-day journey each way. It’s nice to be all together again and we are looking forward to the arrival of a team from Ohio in a couple of days. We will be on the river for about ten days with the team and then will be home for the next couple of months. There will still be trips to the bush and on the rivers, but with Brazilian teams and more of our normal routine.
Bets’ month away seems as though it was everything she would have hoped for. She was able to rest and receive love from her dear friends and family. Our time without her went well. The kids really stepped up and helped out with the details around the house, they worked hard at school, and made my job of caring for them a joy. Having Bets back is simply a joy. We will remember this time as a clear indication of how much we cherish her presence, her smile, her warmth. God has put us together as a family for a reason and we are certainly incomplete when one is missing.
I would like to thank everyone who made Bets’ trip so enjoyable. Thank you for taking the time to connect with her, for giving of your time and love to minister and to build her up. I’m again reminded that being part of the family of God is such a pleasure. We seek to give and yet we can never out give our Father. In the Kingdom, we receive grace upon grace from Him, usually through His other kids. The challenges in this life are without end, and yet the provision of our Father in the midst of the trials is more than sufficient, and always leaves me grateful.