Dear Family & Friends: We are having so many new and exciting adventures to tell you about. We get up around 5:45am and go as fast as we can until bedtime, learning our new responsibilities and having a peek at this BEAUTIFUL country. We hope in this blog we can express how blessed we are to testify of Jesus Christ and serve Him in this amazing corner of the world! HAERE MAI* to our blog, we're glad you are visiting us!.....(*This means 'WELCOME' in the Maori language)
Friday, June 3, 2011
FAITH & COURAGE
Let me tell you about this wonderfully inspiring family. The husband is a bishop, and with his wife and children, live in a devastated neighborhood in Christchurch. We visited with them while on our assignment in that area. They told us an inspiring story of courage and faith. They said they lost their home in the first earthquake that happened in late 2010. They felt very blessed, however, because all family members were safe and together as the quake happened in the middle of the night. They worried about an aging mother and it was some time before they found out she, too, was unharmed. Then they told of trying to pick up the pieces and about the trials in trying to find a new place to live during the following months, and then about the miracle and circumstances that allowed them to move into a very small apartment next door to their mother. For awhile they all slept on the floor in the same room and had meager possessions, but were grateful they were safe and close to grandma. Then the second earthquake hit. This time it came in the middle of the day when all were scattered in various locations. It took over 7 hours before they all made it home and found out they were all safe. How terrifying that must have been knowing the extent of the damage and that many were killed or unaccounted for. The kids each told us their frightening experiences of where they were and what they saw during the quake. Now here's the inspiring part. Instead of looking at what they have lost, this family was happy and smiling and chose to concentrate on what they have. And what they have are the most important of all possessions. They have each other and the gospel! And what these children have, are parents who are strong and steadfast and move forward with faith and courage. This good bishop told us these experiences have strengthened their family bond. They have all learned not to take each other for granted and to be happy with what they have. He has counseled his children saying, "You are strong. You have survived this hardship and are better for it. Now you know you can survive the next challenge that comes into your life." He pointed to all the houses near his and told us they were all abandoned, that all his neighbors had left for safer places. He was encouraged to leave as well. But he said, "I am a bishop and responsible for the people in my ward who are still here. How can I help and serve them if I leave? I'm not going anywhere!" What a privilege for us to meet this wonderful family!
Posted by Jeff and Karen Larsen at 8:58 PM