Saturday, July 9, 2011


There's an angel coming to Mt. Maunganui! Richard's sister Christine has decided to join us here early in August and we could not possibly be more excited. Maria is so excited that she has already covered the door to the spare bedroom in "welcome Aunt Christine! art" but Rich and I are not too far behind Maria in terms of joy. I've made a sign and stuck it on the door too.

Christine was visiting when Joseph first became sick and she had offered on the spot to stay behind to help out. We were pretty piteous at the time and Christine's generous heart couldn't help but be moved. There were several practical points to consider before a decision like that could be made - we all decided to wait on God's will to manifest itself. In the weeks that followed, impeding circumstances changed, signs were given, peace short, the Lord seems to be in favor.

I have been praying - hard - for a good woman to come along and help minister to the girls' group. Not only is this prayer answered as perfectly as I could possibly have hoped, but the girls have already met Christine and absolutely loved her. They are thrilled and there's peace in knowing that it's a good "fit". I can't guess what other types of service Christine may find herself called to give during her time here, but the young women of the parish will be richly blessed by her presence.

Christine's decision also blesses our family tremendously as we continue walking with Joseph on his journey. There have been so many hospital stays, tests, doctor visits and other medical appointments - and this has affected our girls - they either are dragged along to these things or abandoned by Mama for days at a time. They have watched Joseph get stuck with so many needles at this point that Maria's play with her dolls is peppered with words like "biopsy" and "jaundice" and "blood test". Bernadette asks daily, "Go to Auckland?" (she pronounces it Aw-twind) and she steals the oral syringes we use for Joseph's daily battery of vitamins to pretend to give Maria shots. Despite this, and all the attention that they see Joseph getting in medical offices, at church and at home (it takes a long time just to get all those vitamins in the little guy!) they are coping beautifully and seem to think it's all rather normal. Maybe they just assume that that's what boys are like, always rushing off to the doctor and such. Nevertheless, I'm relieved to know that there will be another beloved adult around the house to help fill in the gaps in time and attention that the girls may be missing.

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