katie's whimsical sheep graze in peace near a dainty butterfly
It was a perfectly girly night. The girls' group assembled in the youth room to paint a full wall mural. It was orderly and calm and cooperative, with just the right amount of giggling. With nary a male in sight (except Chris Bong, who removed all the screwed-in wall decor for us) the girls mixed up pretty paint hues and adorned the wall with a beautiful mountainous landscape, complete with frolicking woodland creatures and cute mini-footprints in a fantastic shade of violet.
So, what was the point? This term we are challenging the youth to do one thing weekly to evangelize, to share their faith, to overcome the impulse to hide their lamps under bushel baskets. Each week will offer one specific challenge: to post something explicitly Christian on Facebook, to invite someone to Church, to propose a family prayer before a meal, etc.... We're using a mountain-climbing image for the term and so (with Fr. Michael's permission) we turned a whole wall of the youth room into one huge visual aid. Each youth has created a little "avatar" of themselves and will move it from peak to peak as they meet each challenge.
The girls and I spent hours on the mural. When we finished, it was impressive! It was beautiful! It was....too feminine (according to some). Last night the boys' group added "a few finishing touches".
matthew gave katrina's "happy sun"
a little bit more of an edge
sam topped the snow-capped mountains
with a dragon
dylan placed a shark in the bubbling waterfall -
and fed it a reindeer for dinner
stephen thought this peak lacked a
flaming comet ready to crash into earth
the sweet bunny no longer munches dinner tranquilly -
an archer and a tank have appeared on the scene
no longer a hike, but a dare
If nothing else makes my point so clear about the need to balance out the masculinity-run-amok, I simply don't know what will. Please, redouble your prayers for some more women to become involved in this ministry. Stat!
And just a "P.S." on Joseph....
After many, many tests, the doctor called this afternoon to say that as the results come back, many of the most serious possibilities are being eliminated (praise God!) He is still waiting on the results of a cystic fibrosis "sweat test" from this morning, but expects that it will come back negative too due to a lack of other indicators. At this point, the doctor thinks that the worst possible diagnosis would mean that Joseph needs a liver transplant (which is practically a relief compared to some of the other possibilities we'd been looking at) - and the doctor thinks that even that course of action is highly unlikely since Joseph's liver looked really good on the scan. There is an Auckland-based pediatric liver specialist who will be seeing Joseph sometime this month once all the test results are finally in, but there is a sense that this will be resolved and will have a happy ending. Many thanks are due for so many prayers, which have sustained us and given us something to find comfort and peace in. Please do keep praying as there is still no diagnosis and Joseph's bilirubins have not decreased since his release from the hospital - although he doesn't seem to be bothered or uncomfortable because of it.
the doctors are still quite serious......
but we're feeling a LOT happier!