Have you ever dived into a pool and tried to swim as far as you could under water while holding your breath? I feel like I made that dive in mid-November and just came up for air. Gasp! and Whew! I made it to the end of the pool, and now I can get out for a rest.
Of course this is a figurative illustration. My pool has been a series of things: a 3 week trip to the east coast in late November and early December. I had a cystocele surgery a week before Christmas which included not being able to drive for several weeks and one week until all the family was home for Christmas. The snow started the day I had surgery and continued for weeks. We ended up with 72 inches here- I think just until the end of December and then we had more adding up to 80 inches. This meant shoveling tons of snow both at our home and at the townhouses including a 10 car parking lot. No snowblowers were left to buy in the whole region!
Our girls all came home and we had a very nice Christmas. We had 16 here for Christmas dinner. Then I helped promote the Kidzana conference that was set to be held at our church here. While doing that I was helping Jesse get all the things he needed together for his trip and to finish high school which he did on the 23rd of January. Jenni was here until mid January and I helped her search for an engineering internship this summer. I did 6 sessions of PT on my left knee and all the accompanying home exercizes. A friend has come over several times to help me sort and set up our basement- a BIG job! Then last week the Kidzana training took place at our church with 19 participants, which I hosted logistically. We enjoyed hosting the speaker in our home. She is a kindred spirit! Jesse left with the speaker Saturday at 5:45 p.m. for the drive to the Seattle airport. Friday night I made some gifts for him to take to the leaders in Africa he will be staying with. On Sunday, I went to church and then SLEPT! That was the breath catching day!
Greg and I are now really, truely, empty nesters- at least for the next 5 1/2 months. I am planning a trip to Denver Feb. 13th-15th, returning early on the 16th. I will be with Cherry Hills Community Church doing a program for about 170 kids about missions. Leadership meetings of all Partners International's international regional staff will be held here in Spokane the second week of March, and I have been working on setting up one of our guys to speak at Whitworth University while he is here. He is from Malaysia and his topics include poverty and community development. I am also on a committee that is preparing for a regional "Inland Northwest Mission Connection Conference" to take place in about 20 months. (I am feeling tired just reading what I have written here- Yikes!)
And a big prayer request is that I can discern whether or not I should go to Ghana this summer with a team from our Spokane church for 2 weeks to train Ghanaian children's workers in how to do effective Christian education- i.e., training the trainers and disciplers of children. My main concern is that I need to be healthy enough to go. My knee hurts and I see my orthopedic surgeon on Thursday to discuss what to expect from my knees in the next several months. Now that the PT is done, what next? Just time? If particularly my left knee gets worse, I don't know if I should go. There is still the issue of blood in my urine that we have figured out must originate in my kidneys. My bladder has been carefully checked. So the kidney specialist is the next step with that. There is a very sore place in my low back which my chiropractor is working on. When I see the oncologist, should I bring up the idea of having a bone scan? or a PET scan? It has been 3 years since my last cancer. I'm not worried, just wary. I just want to commit to the trip with as much confidence as possible that I will be able to do it. I very much want to go and have myself and two others from my church trained last week do this training. I think the 3 of us would be an amazing team. So pray for the Lord to show me clearly what to do about Ghana. Thanks!
I need to get some other things done today, but wanted to be in touch with you all. Jesse is in Dakar. I haven't heard much more but expect he will be putting an entry on his blog you can check if you want: http://www.whereistimbuktu.com/ Greg still has his job at Partners. Several were laid off last week and hours cut for some others. There will be no more layoffs at least until the end of June. We are $3000 behind on our support for last year. Thank you for praying for us. If you are interested in being on our ministry team, get in touch with me and I will let you know how to do that. Have a great day! Blessings- Nancy Fritz firstname.lastname@example.org 509-990-8465