Wow.... I hate to see Christmas vacation end. I've so enjoyed relaxing with our family, sitting around the table laughing and telling stories with friends, watching movies and sleeping late. We've had some much-needed rest but aren't feeling quite reading to resume "life as usual" (whatever that is...). School starts again for Alana and Isaac on Thursday.
After a Christmas Eve dinner with 30 other friends and a quiet Christmas Day at home, we spent New Year's Eve at "Mount of Oaks", the restful community our friend Barbara has started three hours north of Lisbon. It was a day of talking with friends old and new around the table, walking in the woods, sleeping in the hammock, laughing around the campfire.
It was also a special day because we brought our friend Marcia and her few bags of belongings there, as she begins a new chapter "stepping out of the boat" that has been her normal life. Last Friday, she left her job and has now moved to Mount of Oaks, where she'll spend the next six months, resting, serving, growing, listening. After that, it's on to Mexico for a YWAM Discipleship Training School. May God's grace shine more brightly on you with each new day, Marcia!!
I was also touched to meet a young German guy at Mt. of Oaks - our daughter Alana's age and with a green mohawk that matched hers, too :o). Spiked hair, punk clothing, jacket toting the anarchy symbol... yet just a little love, caring and acceptance quickly shattered the rough exterior, revealing the heart of a child, soft and seeking.
In halting English, he shared the story of his recent difficulties in school, with his family and with the law, how he was ordered to find a place to do community service for the next 6 months and how he's ended up at Mount of Oaks to do just that. He says he doesn't believe in God but finds what's going on there at the land pretty cool. Late in the evening, he sat with our 10-year-old Isaac, asking him to show him the right way to hold the drum he was trying to play, to teach him about rhythm. So much for anarchy...
God is so good.