How do we react when the unexpected happens? This is how we can truly see into a person's heart because it is in these times that a person's true character is shown. Kelly and I have already had to reflect on this so much in 2022; Reflecting on our characters when the unexpected happens in life and in ministry, in how we react, and how flexible we are in God's plans, discovering how rigid we can be on our own.
Our plans were to travel back to Honduras on January 13. Yet due to many unforeseen circumstances, we were in Ohio for an extra 2 weeks. So we finally arrived back at our home in Honduras on the 26 of January. As we were rigid in our own plans, we began to question why the things were happening at the precise moment we were planning on returning. To start, 2 days before we were supposed to return to Honduras my (Ryan) 93 year old grandmother went into the hospital where she was struggling to breathe, had swelling in her legs, and was unable to get around. The doctors diagnosed heart failure and really there was little they could do. Then we postponed our return and began to pray and prepare for what could happen to my grandmother. I was able to visit her in the hospital where she seemed like herself. I had the opportunity to pray over her and with her, and left the hospital at peace that I would be okay if that may have been the last time I spent time with her. God gave me extra time to do this.
Then we were looking to rebook tickets back, as we were anxious to get back home to Honduras and the ministry, but then another postponement. This time, Kelly's grandmother had entered into the hospital with similar heart ailments. Kelly and I were able to go to her rehab center for several hours and spend time with her, just talking about life, family, ministry, our children and raising children. It was another special time that we spent with her, time we all needed to be refreshed and feel at peace.
It’s funny how God's plans work so differently than ours. He knows all that will happen before it happens, and we are just rushing to do the next thing. God released us to finally return to Honduras and begin to work back in the ministry and we began to reflect on why we spent the extra time in Ohio including how we reacted to it. Were we patient? or impatient? Were we grateful for that extra time? or not? Then on February 10th Kelly’s grandmother passed away to be with the Lord. It was then in tears that we were so thankful for that extra time; that time spent talking and laughing where she was her witty self. It was that extra time granted to us that gave peace to Kelly, knowing that the last time she saw her grandmother was a blessing from God. With grateful hearts we prayed and thanked God for that extra time, the time that in the moment we did not understand why, or maybe became frustrated that we could not fulfill our plans. But now we are overwhelmed with thanksgiving for God's greater plans.
Kelly was very close to her grandmother. They would talk often and for hours at a time. It was their relationship that made me want to have a better one with my own grandmother. Grandma Ginny, as we would call her, deeply loved her family, and not just their immediate family. She welcomed everyone and loved them as if they were her own.
One thing Kelly and I have reflected on is how much she supported us in our call to missions. She always showed that in her prayers and her willingness to let her granddaughter whom she was so close with to follow God's call to a foreign country. She always encouraged us to do what God’s will is, never diverting from that plan, not worrying about how she would miss us but instead wanting us to focus on our mission. Her encouragement and generosity in prayer and financial support has had a great impact in not only ministry here in Honduras, but to family and friends alike. We will deeply miss her, but we absolutely know that she is residing in heaven, filled with joy to be with her Savior.
- Start of the new school year, in person!!!
- New ministry opportunities
- Cherished time with family in the State
- Grandma Ginny at peace with Jesus
- The Lord's leading in ministry always
- Willing disciples in the school, rec center and church
- Preparations for the mission team serving with us next month
- Continued healing in Misael's leg, as well as spiritually
- Peace and guidance for Kelly's family
- Continued health for Kelly and baby due in May
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