Seventeen days away from my family and the ministry in Iquique, combined with the reflection afforded by the retirement celebration of my parents after forty-one years of faithful service, has renewed my perspective and softened my heart again for the needs and opportunities before us in this city. I am grateful to God for knowing that a release from the pressures weighing upon me was more urgent than I realized, and to my husband for making rest a reality for me by taking on the management of our home and five children on his own.
Yesterday was Sunday and my second full day back. I was blessed to simply sit and observe as my husband ministered, first to a small class of young children and then in the pulpit as he preached from God's Word. Today I listened as he handled phone calls and fielded interpersonal issues in need of resolution with calmness and grace.
Mid morning we headed to the local health office for our daughter's second-to-last rabies shot, where we ran into a lady from church who called him "pastor." No sooner had her appointment concluded and she departed, than a tearful woman we did not know asked for my husband's attention. She had heard the "pastor" title and requested prayer and his intervention for her college-student son who was just arrested in connection with a political protest gone wrong.
His patient response, words of wisdom and prayer on her behalf stirred my heart with appreciation once again for the man I married and the ministry God has brought us to together. They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and perhaps it is true. Certainly it has reminded me of my thankfulness to serve side by side, as I pray God gives us wisdom and strength to fulfill His plans and purposes for these people and in this place.