Friday, June 20, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 29

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Genval! We trust you all are well.

It has been several weeks since our last communication. I've been traveling quite a bit. Our friends Charles and Carolyn Simpson were here for 4 days, and Phillip was home for 3 weeks.

There are lots of things to share. Several weeks ago, after the e-mail in which I mentioned our need for additional help caring for Rebecca, a friend in Oslo contacted me. This friend spoke of a young Swedish woman named Josefin who had lived and worked in Oslo for the last year. She was seeking God's direction regarding a year of service outside Scandinavia. I met with Josefin on a subsequent trip to Oslo and invited her to come for a few days' visit to Brussels - just to get first hand experience of life inthe Petrie household. She visited last weekend - a wonderful time, and will be moving to Brussels in early September for 9-10 months to help care
for Rebecca. This is quite an amazing answer to your and our prayers.

Rebecca's strength has remarkably increased. She is up in her wheelchair, or in one of our wingbacks, for several hours every day.

Next weekend Robert & Tracey and Rebecca & I will go away together for one night - our first venture like this. We'll visit a little hotel in northern France, about 2 hours from here, which has a handicap accessible room and dining room. We want to see how both she and we do away from home. This is the first of many trips, I trust.

From Rebecca: "This week Judy brought me a little bouquet of Sweet William which she found in a pot in the corner of our garden. It reminded me to begin afresh praying for my nurses at Pellenberg. In case you wonder what the connection is, let me explain. Sweet William is not a perennial, but a bi-annual. A bi-annual reseeds itself each year. Three years ago I thought it might be lost in the upcoming construction of our kitchen so I hurriedly dug it up and stuck it in a pot in the far corner of the garden - and promptly forgot about it. It has grown, unattended, and it's flowers now grace my room.

In Matthew, Jesus gives the parable of the sower. In it He says that the seed is the word of God. In ll Cor. 9:10 Paul says: "Now He who supplies seed for the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness." Isaiah 55:9 says: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. As the rain and snow come down from heaven, making the earth bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from my mouth; it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire."

When I saw the Sweet William, I remembered all of the seed I'd sown at Pellenberg, and also that the One who guards the seed was faithfully watering it. He will see to it that it accomplishes all that He intended. What an adventure we're about. As you go about sowing, remember that the life is in the seed, and that the Gardener tends it carefully."

Paul again: This afternoon Robert and I will take Rebecca back to Pellenberg for her 8-week check up. Tomorrow evening we will have our first full meal outside of our home - at Robert & Tracey's, of course (They have been an incredible blessing, as has dear Judy).

Stephen and I will be in the US and Canada for several weeks in July looking at universities for him and visiting friends and family. Please pray for Judy and Annie, and the others who will be caring for Rebecca in our absence. Also, please continue to pray for additional help here. As I have mentioned, caring for Rebecca and the home is really a 3-person job. Now that I'm returning to my usual, extensive traveling schedule, additional help is required. The Lord has been so faithful, as Josefin exemplifies - and, of course, He will continue to be. We anticipate watching His faithfulness unfold.

Our love to you all, and our thanks for continuing with us on this journey!

Paul & Rebecca

PS We're back from Rebecca's check up. The evaluation of the doctors:
"marked global improvement".

PPS Hopefully, construction on Rebecca's bedroom will now begin early
August. This also needs to be covered in prayer.