We had a wonderful surprise trip back to North Carolina. While there we were able to spend time with family and friends and visit with Hilltop our home church. It was so nice to be able to see all the faces that we have missed for over a year. When we moved to Florida to train at Hope Children's Home the last time we were in N.C. was December 2010. So, while on this visit we were able to eat at some of our favorite places including the most famous "Bojangles" for some chicken and biscuits. While this is a place that brings us much JOY.... we all quickly found how much we missed our new life in Costa Rica. God was preparing our hearts for the mission field by giving us JOY in other things. We love the simple life of no cell phone and at times even a car. It was weird to have a phone, which Wendy let us borrow. First, of all it took forever to learn how to use it and make a call. Second, we laughed at the fact that we had spent more in gas in 1 week than we had on bus and taxie fare in 9 months. WOW! How we love the simple life. Walking into stores where people don't greet with a smile while on the same shopping aisle or are always in a constant rush. I must say that on our first trip to Target, we felt like we were foreigners and that for once people were starring at us as if we should not be there. WEIRD!! However, in reality , no-one was even paying attention to us as we just walked the aisles in awe at all the things that were around us. I am thankful that when God calls you to do a certain job or go to the mission field he changes your heart and fills your longings with new kinds of JOY! The Bible says in: Psalm 126:2 "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue filled with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. While we were sad to say our goodbyes to friends and family we could find comfort in another verse. In Psalms 30:5 "......Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning." I am so thankful for the JOY that the Lord has given me. Not only the joy that I have from knowing that I am bought with a price and have an enternal home in Heaven, thanks to my Savior Jesus Christ but also the joy that I have in my heart for doing and obeying HIS WILL. Please remember us in your prayers as we go back to school on Tuesday and finish up the 2 and 1/2 months left here before we make our home in Honduras. Until next time...may you find Joy of your own.
Mark and the kids sitting on the porch of Nanny Bugs old barn.