Dear Diary

Apologies for the 3 month silence – it took some time to recover from all the highs and lows we’ve experienced, (especially the lows) and our roles for this new school year are just starting to take shape. Here are my diary highlights:

July 1st: Just returned from my last all-school mountain camping experience with 100 kids. No quaint wooden cabins here. Just another rundown, spartan hotel structure with a confusing maze of hallways, obviously conceived so that one could hose the whole place down after a group came through! My roommate was a deaf mother, lucky woman. Every whisper resonated off of the tile floors and plaster walls. When I tried to find a sympathetic ear, everyone laughed me off and said that this was the stuff of wonderful childhood memories for them! The fun started by making the kids hike 4 hours to get to the place. Then after eating poorly and staying up most of the night, lots of kids were too sick to hike back. They can’t wait to do it again next year! This was the last hurrah for Olivia’s ninth grade class, (they got to sleep in tents) many of whom have been in class together since she arrived at age 7. All but 5 will move on to public high school/trade school settings.

July 20th: David and I are “worshipping with the Word” together during the week at church and I am starting to get new revelation about Jesus as we sing “new songs” based on a section of scripture. David has another blood test and ultrasound due to increasing discomfort. Results show that the culprit is his gall bladder. What a relief to finally have a diagnosis!

fruitfulness 017July 30th: Enjoying several days of painting at the school to spruce up the neglected primary building with “toxic” paint I bought a yr ago at 1/2 price. Changed my mind about using it on my stairwell and am migraine-free as long as I am outside. I had only planned to paint a couple of doors, but the paint went a long way, and I ended up doing 12 doors, a bench, and the walls of the play hut before the cans were empty. I’ve asked to be let go of my Janitor for Jesus role, and this is my final offering.

Aug. 18th: We schedule gall bladder surgery in Colmar for Sept. 6 and David gets pain meds so that he can enjoy our up-coming getaway. We receive a large gift that really helped with dr. bills and back-to-school shopping and check-ups for the kids.

Aug. 26th: Happy 50th to David – He’s in good company with our pastor and his wife also born in 1961!

I am attending my first YWAM staff conference with David and really enjoying it with him, despite sleeping on the floor and eating on cheap plastic for 4 days. YWAM France has had a huge growth spurt in the last year, so there is lots of young energy here with new implantations after years of stagnation with aging staff at the 3 bases. Now that these French-speaking teams have met us and know where we are, we hope to welcome them in future outreaches to help with our school and church needs.

25thAnniv 002Aug. 29th: We are leaving the conference a day early in order to celebrate our 25th wedding anniv. tomorrow. On the way to our B&B, we drive around Verdun to see some WW I sites. Now I know where all the fathers of France are buried – there are hundreds of thousands of them here.

Aug. 30th: Our romantic getaway was all we’d hoped for and the luxuries were so much sweeter after roughing it at the conference. God’s hand stayed my PMS migraines and David felt good. Thank you, Jesus!

Sept. 6th: David’s surgery reveals a very sick gall bladder stuck to the liver, so more invasive probing was needed. He will stay an extra night. Happily, a friend at church is a nurse at the hospital, which is 40 min. away, and she conveniently transports him during her commutes. My friend Helen (that I help weekly) is also rushed to the hospital with blood clots.

Sept 8th: Helen and David come home (and his surgeon goes on vacation.) I learn that Olivia’s class doesn’t have an English teacher and can’t figure out why no one has told me about it. After talking to the director, I decide to accept the position for the first semester, but will not start until the end of the month, after their class trip. This turns out to be a smart decision…

Sept. 11th: The devil seems to be partial to this day. At 1am David wakes up with increasing chest pain and I call an ambulance when it becomes unbearable. He spends the night in the local emergency room and an x-ray reveals a chest full of gas bubbles. His care is delayed without his surgeon available and slower test results on Sundays (?!) I go over after a few hours of sleep and try to comfort him – I have never seen him so miserable and the morphine is not touching it. I can’t believe how well he is communicating in French in the middle of it all. In the meantime, Helen was up all night praying for us without knowing why.

He is transferred back to Colmar at 11am and I go straight to church from there with a tear-streaked face. Announcements are being made and I am called up to the front immediately for prayer and hugs. I learn from another nurse that these gas bubbles are a side effect that is very painful, but they must pass out of the body naturally. I go home relieved, and when I visit him with the pastor that evening, he is much calmer and feeling better.

Sept. 12th: We learn that he will stay for testing and observation for 3 more days. See his blog for the gritty details!

Sept. 14th: I make 3 dozen Hungarian cookies for Olivia’s fund raiser to go to Budapest. I notice that the cat is scratching his ears too often. I attend a Sozo team meeting to organize new recruits who need to start observing sessions.

Sept. 15th: David has been brought home when I return from a heavy Sozo session this evening and he needs to unload. I listen for one more hour. Olivia has a terrible cold 4 days before her departure and found a louse on her scalp. The cat definitely has ear mites. Noah is wanting to come home for the weekend. My PMS has started. I am running on fumes. I douse the cat with vinegar water, smear mayonnaise on Olivias head and pop her a Nyquil, refuse Noah’s request, and go to bed until my exhaustion, migraine and depression passes a few days later.

And that brings me to now. I put the photo of David serving me coffee at our B&B on our desktop to remind myself that this was not a dream.

You may be asking, “How would you rate your first socialized hospital experience and how much did it cost?”

“Did Olivia survive her trip? Is teaching English to 5 sophomores easier than keeping a chateau clean?”

Well have more complete answers for you very soon, so stay tuned till next month!

Love, Angela

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