As I have explained in earlier blogs, I have been playing catch-up when it comes to sharing posts about our past ministry activities. There are a variety of reasons that have kept me from being active on social media and unable to keep up with my administrative duties.
HOWEVER – that being said… I have apparently managed to find a creative solution to this growing problem. I had surgery on my right hand about 10 days ago. Now I’m “grounded” and cannot do anything fun. Though my right hand is constantly in pain (seriously) – the left hand doesn’t seem to care at all and is totally happy to do all the typing by itself! lol! **Anyways – little by little I’m gonna eventually get caught-up!
WE WILL MISS YOU MISS BETH
It is with a sad but grateful heart – that we officially announce (on this blog): that as of October 2021, Miss Beth has retired from the mission field.
If you are on Facebook -or – have received the mission’s monthly email blasts… then you are already aware of this big change for our ministry.
This blog should have been posted A LONG TIME AGO!!
I have always wrestled with the fact that we didn’t immediately post an update with this news – considering how influential and essential Miss Beth has been to our ministry. In fact, I started writing this blog in November.
BUT – no matter how many times I pulled up this blog – no matter how hard I tried to find the words – I always broke down crying…leaving me unable to focus & finish the task.
But alas…it’s time to share & celebrate all that she has done for us.
HOW GOD BROUGHT US ALL TOGETHER…
Miss Beth has been our home-school teacher since 2009, when we still lived on the St. Louis Campus. While I was pregnant with the twins, she interviewed in Kentucky and agreed to teach the girls that Fall.
The earthquake happened a few months after school started in January 2010. At the time, Beth hadn’t committed to how many years she would serve alongside us. After all, it had only been a few month since our adventure had begun.
However, shortly after the earthquake, Jose and I felt a very strong calling to go to the Mole, where the mission was beginning a new campus. If you knew us back in 2010, you’d think this was “fake news”.
Though the mission was constantly purchasing properties and developing ministries in the northwest, we were absolutely not leaving St. Louis. It was all we ever knew and it was where we belonged. The FAR-WEST was never meant for us. Yet, here we are 12 years and counting..
I was SO nervous that Miss Beth wouldn’t feel that same call! But after visiting the campus and praying over this change – we moved to the Mole in June 2010. Miss Beth has been the only school teacher my kids have ever known. I love my boys, but I have NO idea how she kept her sanity when they began to attend her school! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt – God gave our family Beth. Not because we needed a school teacher, but because she was going to play a very important & essential role to our family.
Besides the role she played for us personally, she also discipled our women’s group, taught English to leaders from the community, mentored the teachers/mommas who work in our children’s home, started leadership/discipleship classes with those same kids who live there, shepherded our staff, participated in mission teams, etc…. seriously the list could go on and on.
Honestly, she has been the one real constant in our lives – the person who always shows up when they say they will – who keeps their word – and never leaves your side… not just in the good times – but also during the completely chaotic times.
Loving On All The Campus Kids…
Miss Beth told us in August, that she would be moving back to the states with her mom. She spent the first part of October packing up her things, saying her goodbyes, and loving on our campus kids!
**We know that this isn’t “good-bye” – but -more like “see you later”.
She does plan to visit the Mole every year, as long as her health permits. And she is still apart of our mission family – even from afar.
The “Going-Away” Party…
A few nights before Miss Beth left, we held a party in her honor. We invited everyone on campus – all of our staff – our Dames Group – as well as others from the community who were deeply connected to her. Many of the staff and children also made/bought special gifts for her to take home.
THE FAMILY MEAL & SPECIAL PERFORMANCES
We filled the church with friendly faces! Miss Beth sat in a chair while different ones shared songs, verses, and expressed their appreciation for her years of service. SO MANY lives were forever-changed by her Christ-like example. We will miss the daily love, the passionate prayers, and the constant cheering/encouragement that she is known for.
Sweet little Rosie wrote a letter explaining all that Miss Beth had done for her. She was so nervous standing in front of everyone. When it was time to read it, I asked her if she needed someone else to do it – since she was shaking a lot. She said, “No. I really want to do this for Miss Beth”.
Right before the service ended, we brought Miss Beth on to the stage for one final surprise. The Dames Group lined-up one by one. Then as Pierre read scriptures, each one of the ladies washed Miss Beth’s feet. It was their way to honor the disciple – who has spent all of these years discipling them!
Below are 3 SUPER SHORT clips from the celebration service.
One is from Momma Gigi as we opened up with worship. One is of Rosie, though you can’t hear her speaking on the video. We told her she didn’t need to speak loud for us – just speak right to Miss Beth. (I just thought she should be applauded for her bravery). And the last clip is from the campus kids singing.
IT’S SO HARD…TO SAY GOOD-BYE
As you can imagine, ANYONE AND EVERYONE who has been impacted by Beth- wanted one more hug. The line could have easily wrapped all the way around the church (several times). It was at least 15 minutes – before the last person got that full embrace!
I STILL do not have the words...but I’ve realized after all of these months – I actually don’t need them. We’ve known each other – lived beside each other – raised my kids together – engaged in daily ministries together – for over a decade.
She knows what is in my heart – and I know what is in hers. AND – I believe that God can fill-in the blanks and connect all the dots– whenever our words simply fail us.
Our lives have been forever changed by Beth – in more ways than could ever be explained. She is dearly missed everyday – by everyone.
No matter the distance, she will always play a large role in our family and ministry. We can’t wait to hug her again!
Because it’s not “good-bye” – – – – IT’S “SEE YOU LATER”.