So tell us, Karen and Gary, how has the Lord blessed you in 2012?
Let’s start with, an adoptive grandson! We’ve known Sammy since before he was born, since his grandmother is our live-in housekeeper and friend Rosy, and we are his godparents. Because of Sammy’s difficult home life, Child Services gave him to us temporarily in April, and just this week gave Rosy permanent legal custody. We’d been without children in the house for a couple of years; when Sammy arrived, daughter Vikky teased, “Ah, so how’s that empty nest thing working out for you?” Just fine by us, Gary and Karen report: Sammy is a ray sunshine, and he will be part of our family for the foreseeable future.
Residents of Costa Rica! After many years of trying, we finally became Permanent Residents. One benefit is that we can go in the short line at Customs; another is that we don’t have to jump through hoops every time the country changes its laws for foreigners – now we just visit the local bank once a year to do a little paperwork.
A New Car! After two years without, we decided that our car-free lifestyle was hindering more than helping. We got an excellent deal on a used Sentra, due to the generosity of many donors. We’re already using it to speak in outlying churches and also a trip to the shore for Sammy.
Teaching at ESEPA! Gary and Karen are both regular professors at ESEPA. Gary has taught Greek exegesis to the graduate students; Karen has taught on Bible interpretation and counseling.
A trip to Spain! We were invited by the SEND missionaries of Spain to give a conference in August. Gary spoke to the adults on “When a Missionary Rams an Iceberg.” Karen spoke to the kids on how Missionary Kids can handle loss and separation with her presentation “Good Goodbyes.” This was Karen’s first time to Spain, and we got to do a lot of sight-seeing.