Claire sent me a picture this morning as I was starting my last day at JV Winter Academy that so beautifully illustrates why we're here doing what we do.
The spiritual kingdoms of light (through Jesus) and darkness (through the enemy) are very real. But stepping into and/or continuing on the path that leads towards light is what will not only save us from darkness, but what will lead us into a fruitful, abundant life now and forever.
I choose that path again as I did nearly 40 years ago!
During this morning's worship I just wept over the joy of my salvation and being under the loving care and protection of such a mighty God.
After a full morning of sessions, which were again so nourishing, inspiring and motivating, we ended with lunch and goodbyes.
It's been very sweet this week to be in a smaller (ish!) group of 100 JV missionaries (we are 350 all together). The sessions have been very interactive so all week I got to hear the voices of those who are spread out over our 14 countries, giving their lives for the sake of the Gospel and discipling the next generation to walk in the light.
I think we're all leaving more equipped and motivated to do our part in God's movement in this part of the world.
Just before leaving the hotel, I had the sweetest surprise to top off the week.
My brother in law, Steve, who lives in Oregon, oil-painted this for me for Christmas and it just got delivered through Josh, my other brother in law!
It's a painting of the spot in Newport, Oregon, near where we stayed last summer to celebrate Mom Patty's 90th birthday. While we were there I told him I hoped he got my name for Christmas (we trade in the Patty family) as I love the paintings he's been doing and really wanted one from him.
Well, he didn't get my name. Nor did he get Dave's. But he painted something special for each of us anyway!
Dave's is a scene from an early morning departure at our train station in Ostrava! Both are just exquisite, as well as so personal to each of us. How we both will treasure these gifts for a lifetime!
With a full heart I left the hotel, walking out into a blizzard, ready for what's ahead in the coming days, weeks and months of 2019!