I will post again in the next couple days with the full update on how my weekend at camp was this past weekend with our church's women's ministry. But in the meantime, I have a number of prayer requests to share with you. Please lift these items up in prayer.
1) My dad's close friend's wife passed away on Friday night. His name is Jerry, her name was Dawn. She was a strong believer, and I have no doubt that she's spending eternity with Jesus. I look forward to seeing her there again someday. Even though I didn't know her extremely well, I had a deep respect and admiration for her and her family. Jerry is an amazing man and the president of a denominational conference. They have both been very dear to our family for a long time, and I love that my dad and Jerry have been able to stay friends for so long. After a while it's so easy to lose touch with our friends from long ago. I'm so thankful for dad and Jerry, their lasting friendship, their love and respect for Dawn, and as they feel her loss I am deeply saddened for them both. Please pray for Jerry and his family through this difficult time.
2) My brother had been in touch with this one church about candidating to become their pastor. It's a small church in the Midwest. We tried not to, but we couldn't help getting a little excited about it. It's been a long, slow process for him so it was nice to see something looking like it might turn out. He got some difficult news on Friday night. The church decided not to have him come interview or candidate for the position. They chose the other guy. But they called just one week before he was due to go out there, so he'd already spent a lot of family time working on his sermon and prepping for the interview. My heart just broke for him and his family. He had been there to preach several weeks prior to that, so to hear the news last minute was heart-wrenching. However, if it was going to happen this way, we're thankful it happened when it did and not even later in the process. We also know that God sovereignly knew that would happen, and that he's asking my brother and his family to wait on God's calling... as hard as that is, we know that it's meant for good and that he has something even better in store for them. It is just really hard to see and understand that right now. We are all really sad that it didn't work out, but we're trusting in God's promises, and we know it'll work out for their good.
3) The flooding - my aunt and uncle are directly affected, as well as some of our family's farm land. My aunt and uncle were affected in the great flood of 93 when the Mississippi slammed into their home and ruined much of their land. It was so sad to watch what was happening to them. Now it's happening all over again 15 years later. They have started moving stuff out of the lower levels of their home in preparation for the worst... which is expected to happen fairly soon. Please pray for all affected by the flooding.
4) The tornado damage - specifically those affected by the deaths and injuries at the Iowa boy scout camp. I am so deeply saddened for them. Having just been at camp this past weekend when we were under a tornado warning and the sirens went off... I can feel their pain a little more closely. Thankfully we were already in a session where we were safe and secure in the only basement at the camp. I'm not sure why we were kept safe and why the boy scouts weren't and why several of them died... but I trust in God's sovereignty and that he knows better than we do. I pray for all of the families affected by this tragedy, that God would just wrap his arms around them and hold them close.
Thanks for your prayers!