t was fun sending you a letter recalling my first Christmas with Les and my new family last month, and now I get to write you again to start off a brand New Year. And what better way to begin than to remember, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Last year, I traveled again to Managua, Nicaragua to help with another pastors’ conference where over 300 gathered. My very special travel group included Granddaughter Mary, Professor Al Valdes and Patty from our LOGOI office. Mary brought her wedding dress along with several more she gathered from friends. They are precious gifts for the churches to use over and over. My dear Les is still very much remembered and so I took one of his teaching videos to be seen and heard. It ended with a standing ovation — and tears from me. Those pastors and wives are much loved and I was thrilled to get to see them once again.
Another 2015 trip was very special for me. I helped organize a cousin reunion in Cancun for a week in May. Many of us hardly knew each other and it was a sweet time to get re-acquainted. All of us are in our senior years now, but we well remembered our childhood adventures and enjoyed every bit of our extravaganza week. Keeping connected as a family is such a treasure!
Of course, while we were there, I could not resist looking up a pastor and his wife whom I have kept up with through the years. Some of my cousins and I went away from the gorgeous tourist beach area into an unpaved, rough, squatter area to see the church and work they are doing. It was a special thrill to see how God is blessing my amigos especiales – some of our national missionaries.
Here at home, much of my LOGOI work revolves around helping our national pastors and missionaries obtain the Bible resources they need. That means I not only get to help prepare them for internet downloads from our online Bible resource center (see https://logoi.org/resources/), but I then get to see which resources they actually download. It is not uncommon for someone to get so excited about the wealth of trusted Bible resources that they download 20 or more items at one time! My heart always soars when this happens and of course, then I want to find out a bit more about them. So I send an email and start building a friendship.
With my curious personality, Ed gave me a new title here at LOGOI:
Grandma to Thousands
nd while I’m “Grandma to Thousands,” I am Great-Grandma to just three, Corrine, Elise and Lewis. What a joy to have been able to visit all three of them this past year. It is thrilling to see my grandchildren raising their children to love and walk with the Lord. “But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands” (Deuteronomy 5:10).
Being a Grandma also means I get to cry and grieve along with those in my family who are hurting and facing great difficulties. While God’s blessings are in abundance everywhere I look, we also live in a broken world where “all creation groans” as we long to be released from sin and suffering (see Romans 8:18-30). As “Grandma to Thousands,” I get to help remind them (and you) to not be surprised when trouble comes our way and encourage them to cling to God’s promises. After all, “if God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Some of you may be starting your New Year under a great cloud of heartache, pain, and struggle. If so, this Grandma here in Miami would love to pray for you and encourage you as best I can. After all, you are part of my extended family, too. Just send an email to: email@example.com. It would be my joy to pray for you and be in touch.
I have to finish my letter to you with this fun note about my Grandson, David. He is just one of my fourteen grandchildren, but because he has been living here in Miami, I have been entertained watching him play baseball since he was 5. This past year, his junior year at the University of Miami, he led the entire nation of college baseball players with 90 RBI (runs batted in, for those of us who don’t know) and his 19 home runs were second best in the country. The University of Miami team went on to play in the College World Series in Omaha. Then, to top everything off, we got to hear David’s name called by the New York Mets who drafted him as their third overall pick in the MLB draft.
My other children and grandchildren are embarking on just as exciting journeys in their respective professional fields. I get to cheer them on, too. Their “ball fields” are everything from construction to medical to business to missions to education and service. Each one is wonderful and remarkable and a reminder that, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
So, here I am – a “Grandma to Thousands” – but a very blessed one. As I write to so many people around the world, it is truly my privilege to encourage and pray. So even though I am an old grandma now, I still have a wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord every single day – with my very own family as well as with my extended family… of which you are a part.
Thank you for your interest and prayers. Now let’s get busy with 2016 and all the opportunities each one of us has to serve the Lord.