seven miles from Jerusalem

There is a story written in Luke about two people walking down a road, stunned by a recent turn of events that have turned their world upside down. Jesus, the one who was supposed to save the Jews had been arrested and crucified, and now the rumour was his body was missing. Some women were saying Jesus was alive but that seemed unbelievable. On the road back to their home, another One joins them, and walks with them on their way. The two recount the week’s events to their traveling companion who seems surprised, almost frustrated, by their lack of faith and ignorance in understanding. When the two people reach their home, they invite their new companion in for a meal. Only after the bread is blessed, broken, and shared, do the two travelers see that it was Jesus who was walking with them. They were blinded by their sorrow, consumed by the circumstance, that they didn’t see Christ alongside them on their journey.

Consumed by the circumstance... maybe that’s a good way to describe us these days.

Janneke is now nine weeks old, and she has dealt with her first cold. Thankfully, we have a suctioning machine in the home that can help her deal with the extra fluid that comes out the nose and mouth. (The sound of the suctioning is reminiscent of the dentist!) We enjoyed Rachel’s third birthday, and she continues to bring joy with her beautiful smile, and her interest in the things around her. Recently, she started giving hugs to her dad. It’s a subtle hug, but for her to intentionally put her arms on her dad’s shoulder is a new step for her. We can’t help but think Janneke’s arrival spurred some of her progress with touch.

Over the last three weeks, we have noticed more similarities between Janneke and Rachel. This has been somewhat discouraging. Today, Janneke went with Sara to the doctor for some immunizations. Janneke didn’t cry; she didn’t express any reaction emotionally or physically. This would have surprised us more if we didn’t have a three year old who did/does the same thing. Janneke is also showing signs of distress in her digestive tract. At least we have the experience with Rachel to alert us sooner to problems with Janneke; we can also avoid the experimenting with medicines and choose the one that we know works on their systems.

Emily and Sophia are doing well; last weekend, as a gift from friends, they went on a trip to Toronto with their dad and cousin Alanna to see Dora the Explorer LIVE at the Cannon Theatre. In true Dora fashion, they travelled to Toronto in a van, train, subway...that’s van, train, subway... say it with me!...... The goal was to see a children’s play, but included some unexpected adventures. Soph loved the escalators at the Eaton Centre the best. They are tiring of the revolving door here at home, however. Someone is always coming or going, helping out our family. We tell them - and ourselves - this will change as Janneke and Rachel grow. We recognize they have to accept some adult concepts with their child-sized minds. (We, too, have moments where we don’t want to accept the circumstance.)

In the week to come, Ralph will return to his job at Beacon, and volunteers and paid staff will help Sara make the day-to-day work.

Your prayers are requested, felt, and appreciated!