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We ARE officially into our new house! I am eager to complete an update on that page, but have just not had time to finish editing the video that we took. So I may just go ahead and try to post the start to our update on moving into Hope's House, while we continue to work on the rest for you! : ) So you can be on the lookout for that coming soon, prayerfully!!! We're excited to share with you!!! It has been an exceptionally busy season for us over this past month and so we are not very settled into our new home yet. . . a lot of boxes everywhere, and we are still searching for things daily. But, we look forward to a bit more time in our schedule over the month ahead to be able to start settling ourselves in! So, I'm thinking that we'll continue to have some additional house updates for a bit yet! : )
Hope had a busy last 6 weeks of doctor appointments. . . I will try to do a separate post soon to update you on all of that!
We are also excited to share another update on Hope in school! This will come with some pictures and video, as well.
Hope has also started another blog entry for her Hope Proclaims series! Prayerfully we can finish that this week and share it with you! : )
And finally, YES we have landed in Chicago! We are thrilled to be here for the Harvest University ministry leader's conference. We are even more thrilled to have been able to bring BOTH of our girlies with us this year! We lived here for 9 months while Trev attended the Training Centre to prepare to plant Harvest Calgary, and we were so blessed during our time here to meet so many precious people! This is a very special place to our family!
The girls and I have spent the last two days visiting our dear friends, Jon, Mary and Ela Miller, while Trev attends a men's conference in L.A. with some other men from our Harvest Calgary church family. Gabi and Ela went to Kindergarten together in 2009-2010, and are great little buddies. . . they have been playing non-stop! And Hope has been soaking up the attention of her wonderful Mrs. Mary, a former grades 4-6 teacher, who has been crafting, colouring, story-writing, and completing school homework with a VERY thrilled and engaged Hope! How we thank the Lord for this precious time of refreshment with cherished friends, who serve us so humbly and joyfully!
Having fun making Oobleck with Mrs. Mary!!!
Trev will rejoin us again tomorrow and the conference will begin. We look forward to continuing to seeing a multitude of wonderful people that have blessed our lives in many different ways, both those that live here, and those that are travelling here from Harvest churches around the world! There have been some wonderful ladies/young ladies that have volunteered to come and hang out with Hope at the conference, playing games, colouring, story-writing, etc. . . so Hope will be a happy girl to have all that attention and fun activity over the next few days. And Gabi will continue her fun visit with her dear friend, Ela!
I thought it would be fun to share with you how different this time of travel went for our family than the last (and also first time we had flown with Hope since her brain injury). . . she was so unwell back at that time, the end of January 2013, just a bit over 8 months ago. It had been a hard trip where Hope struggled greatly, including having a seizure while on the plane. She had to be laid across the laps of Trev and I during the flight to try to help her be somewhat comfortable. Trev's parents accompanied us to help and were life-saving. We had to bring a ton of medical equipment and supplies to adequately provide Hope's care. Hope was refusing her seizure medication back then, and overall, it was a very difficult trip. . . but our faithful God saw us through it, and we discovered that with a lot of work, patience, and dependence on the Lord, we could fly and travel as a family again.
So, just 8 months later, how different did it look??? I wish that I could adequately put into words just how different it was, and I'll try, but I know that my attempt will be less than complete/sufficient. . . that's just how awesome our God is, eh. . . too much so for simple mere description with our words! But let me try, so that you can join us in praising such an awesome God!
The only additional equipment/medical supplies that we brought for Hope were a little blow up suction cup bath pillow and her bottle of seizure medication. . . well, and her wheelchair, I guess, too eh! : ) Hope's wonderful Education Assistant at BCS dropped us off at the airport and there were absolutely no lines with not even one person in front of us for ANYTHING as we checked in, went through customs, and then security! Last time Hope had really struggled with the necessary security check. . . this time, she smiled, visited with the lady, complied with every request, including the pat down, and then thanked her when we were done! Can I say WOW!!! We had time to get a little snack for on the plane, then waited for our pre-boarding call due to the wheelchair. The West Jet staff were wonderful and very helpful. Hope SAT in a seat with no extra supports for the WHOLE trip. She enjoyed listening to the movie, Croods, that was shown with her earphones, enjoyed her snacks and drinks, chatted with her seating buddy (daddy), even tried to look out the window because she could see the light streaming in. Upon arrival to Chicago, all of our bags were among the first to come off the baggage carousel. Our little Gabs was such a helper carrying bags and such! And Hope helped too with holding the box of Timbit donuts to give our friends when we arrived on the tray of her wheelchair. We weren't sure if the car rental would have a wheelchair accessible shuttle, and when we couldn't reach them on the phone, we decided to just go out to the pick up area and see what happened. Five minutes later, a shuttle arrived and we were able to just pull Hope up a 6" rise to the floor of the bus that very adequately held her wheelchair at the front while we made our way to the car rental lot. The van we rented is not for wheelchairs but it has middle seats that fold into the floor to make room for the wheelchair. Last time, Trev lifted Hope into the van next to me, as I had to hold her upright in the back seat at all times. This time, Trev lifted Hope into the back seat, next to Gabs, and she was able to sit just fine the entire 40 minute drive to the Miller's home! Her and Gabi had so much fun sitting together in the back seat like old times, that they had to quieted down several times on the drive!!! (One of those times that you don't feel so sad about the noise level, because it sounds heavenly and miraculous!!! Oh the things we can take for granted!!!)
View from side door of wheelchair in the middle, with the girls in the back seat.
Hope and Gabs in the back of our rented van. . . happy girlies. . . thankful parents!!!
God's hand of grace over our travels was very evident, and we are so thankful. We are also so very thankful for the amazing progress that God has brought about in Hope's recovery over the last 8 months. . . on the drive, we prayed as a family a huge prayer of praise and thanks to our awesome God, who made very crystal clear, the immensity of the marvelous works He has been doing in Hope's life since this past January and our only other attempt to fly with Hope. How could our hearts not continue to be filled with all joy and peace and abounding in hope because of the God of hope that we know and by whom we are called, His own!!! Romans 15:13
Well, that turned out to be a little longer than "quick!" I do love to share God's goodness and faithfulness with you, dear ones!!! And you know, God was just as faithful and good to see us through that really difficult Jan 2013 trip, showing us "it could be done," by His grace, as He was to pour such immense travelling mercies over this trip while reminding us of how far He has brought Hope. Be encouraged, dear ones. . . our God never changes! He is the same yesterday, today and forever. . . regardless of our circumstances, and the storms that may rage around us!!! What a treasured truth this is!!! How precious that He continues to teach us dependence on Him in all situations, and the ability to rejoice always, regardless of our circumstances!
You are so loved!!! Hope to see many of you at Harvest University!!! And prayerfully more update posts to come soon. . .