December 2010 As Well!
Although we sent our last prayer letter out in December, it really dealt with our mission trip to Puerto Rico this past fall. We didn't actually reach home until December7th, so that isn't too surprising. But, since we want to focus in this prayer update on what we do while we aren't on mission trips, it is probably best to start from our arrival home.
We left sunny Florida on December 6th, and arrived home in cloudy and cold Indiana the following day, Tuesday. We both realized Dennis was sick, within a day of arriving.
When we finally checked his temperature, we realized he had a fever of several degrees. He stayed sick for about a week and a half. We really aren't sure what the problem was. It could have been a flu, or he may have contracted Dengue fever while in Puerto Rico. They were having an outbreak of it, and we both seemed to get mosquito bitten far more than usual this past trip.
When he next visits a doctor, we plan to have it checked out, but until then, we just know he was sick. This isn't at all unusual.
One, or the other of us, is frequently sick, either when we leave for a trip, or when we get back from them...
Sometimes we get sick both before leaving and when we get back.
I suspect it is part of the spiritual warfare, which means you can help us, by remembering to pray about our health particularly, around the time we'll be traveling on trips.
We did have one stretch of two or three days in December when the temperatures reached the low forties. So we were able to get out a few Christmas lights, but our holiday preparations and celebrations seemed very rushed this year due to the late arrival from Puerto Rico.
We've both decided that we'd prefer not to stay that late another fall. We hope we'll be able to plan it that way.
If you really want to understand what it is like to travel in short term missions, playing catch up continuously, isn't a bad analogy. The major things you deal with, for at least a month after each trip, is catching up with personal business, health issues, and personal relationships that you're behind on, since you've been gone.
Playing Catch Up
In addition to the fever Dennis ran for about two weeks after we got home, a few days after he recovered from the fever, one of his back molars broke in two. So we had dentist's visits for a few weeks until he could get it capped.
He thinks he broke it in Puerto Rico biting down on an olive that hadn't been pitted, but it didn't actually crumble out until after we got home. This was truly a blessing since he was able to go to his regular dentist here, and didn't have to try to communicate in Spanish about the problem.
There are always huge stacks of mail waiting for us after a trip as well. I've spent several days on the phone before trips trying to cancel every catalog and magazine we've ever subscribed to, but we still have a full postal letter tray, or two, waiting for us when we get home.
So it takes a week, or more to wade through it all, try to pay all the necessary bills, and take care of any other issues that come up. If you do it too quickly, it can cause further difficulties.
Around these things, we tried to do the normal activities everyone does at Christmas.
The church put on a play for the first time this December. Since the membership of our church is still quite small, both of us were involved.
The regular pianist for church, an elderly lady, has been quite sick, so I've been practicing on both instruments, never knowing whether I'll play the piano, or the organ.
Our church Christmas party was scheduled, and re-scheduled, three times due to weather difficulties. I believe we finally had it on New Year's Eve. And lest I forget, we celebrated Dennis' birthday with two of his sons and their families, the day before that.
I'm sure I'm forgetting plenty of details, but this gives you some idea of what the holiday season was like.
Things did settle down slightly after the New Year arrived, but during January we have two family birthdays to celebrate, so it isn't like there was nothing going on. Nevertheless, we did have a little time to catch our breath.
I continue to work on building the web sites I've started. They truly are a wonderful opportunity for our situation.
I can work on them wherever we are. When things get too busy, I can leave them alone for days, or weeks, if necessary, and then pick up where I left off, when I have the time again.
There are always a few days, to a week, that I don't get much done at all when we go on the trips, and when we get back from them. But the blessing is, they continue to grow slowly, whether I have the opportunity to work on them, or not.
We also made several trips to Indianapolis for different reasons during the month of January. We enjoyed the opportunity to get together, and share a meal, with our friend Judy after the wood working show we went to.
It is amazing how many different things come up that take days out of your schedule. I usually figure if I get four days at home during a week, I'm doing very well.
We kept hoping we would get a call from Puerto Rico telling us the power had been hooked up, but unfortunately that call never came.
This winter was one of the coldest and snowiest I've ever lived through. We had numerous snow storms, and toward the end of January, first of February, it was capped off with a massive ice storm.
The national weather service predicted it would be "catastrophic" with more than an inch of ice.
It was a nasty storm, and we actually lost power for about fourteen hours, so there was one night we didn't get a lot of sleep, but praise the Lord it wasn't as bad as what they predicted. We were able to find a kerosene heater before the storm struck, so we didn't even get too cold.
Although we would have loved to be in Puerto Rico to have avoided the nasty winter weather, and gotten the permanent power on in Mayaguez, the Lord worked it out so that we truly weren't needed this spring. That was a blessing because we were needed here.
Dennis is the only deacon in the church, so when the Pastor (my Dad) needs to be away, Dennis takes the Wednesday evening service in addition to teaching his adult Sunday School class.
Dad is celebrating his 80th birthday this spring, so we were able to be here while he and Mom went on an all expense paid cruise, which one of my sisters gave him, as a birthday present.
Additionally, we were able to celebrate Valentine's Day with a "date night" at the Creation Museum. Since we're usually in the middle of a trip, it has been a while since we did much celebration around Valentine's, so that was special, as well.
We did get a couple of calls from Puerto Rico during the month. They've had a couple of church teams down working on the building, and things are continuing to be completed. However, the electric company still has not hooked up the power, so our services aren't really needed.
Please pray with us that the Lord will make this hook-up happen soon, so that the people there will be able to get into this building, and begin to use it, in reaching people for Christ.
Although we suspect someone may be waiting for a bribe, the Lord can move on their hearts and make them decide to hook the power up without one. We are waiting, and trusting Him to make this happen, in His time.
It is a blessing to know that we can serve the Lord where ever we are. My most regular Sunday School student accepted Christ as Savior in Junior Church, a week or two ago. It is great to see the Lord still reaching people with the truth of the gospel here, as well as in Puerto Rico. And it is encouraging to know we can be used of Him where ever He has us.
Your faithful prayers and support are continuously appreciated.
Electrifying for Eternity,
Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson
Central Baptist Church
2422 N. Thompson Drive
Sullivan, IN 47882
They accept tax deductible contributions for us.