"Peace like a River"

Josh and Beth Paulick on March 1, 2016

    Isaiah 48:18 says, “Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!  Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea…”  This verse sticks with me often as I (Beth) remember in college going through the Beth Moore bible study, “Breaking Free.”  In it, Beth Moore talks about this verse and how God doesn’t say that our peace will be like a pond, but rather like a river.  Rivers have rocks, twists, and turns, basically, rivers are filled with the unexpected.  In the study, Beth Moore says, “To have peace like a river is to have security and tranquility while meeting the many bumps and unexpected turns on life’s journey. Peace is submission to a trustworthy Authority, not resignation from activity.”  It can be “a peace [that truly] surpasses all understanding” such as is talked about in Philippians 4:7.  
    Our hearts and thoughts have been with our team in Mango at the Hospital of Hope this past week, and definitely with Jen and the DeKryger boys.  Todd DeKryger was called home to be with his heavenly father after a short illness on February 26th, 2016.  One year after the opening ceremony of the hospital he so tirelessly and selflessly helped to see come to fruition from the ground up.  We praise the Lord that we know we will see him again in eternity, but we are still grappling with why this happened.  Todd loved the people of Togo and gave his life to serving them and this great God we have.  We first met the DeKrygers in 2010 during a trip to Togo. Todd was a surgical PA and was the only full time surgeon on the field. Todd and Jen shared their passion with us and it was definitely contagious.  We were able to go to Mango for a long weekend with Todd and knew that was were God was calling us.  Todd will be dearly missed and definitely left some big shoes to fill at the hospital.  We never for a minute thought that when we said “goodbye” this last July morning that it would be the last time on this earth, but we are clinging to the knowledge that it will not be goodbye, but a “see you later.”
    Here is a picture of Josh working with Todd while we were in Togo last June as well as a picture of the DeKryger family.  This is also a link to a tribute to Todd with a video that shows Todd’s passion.   Tribute to Todd.

IMG_0880 Todd and Josh
10660105_10100246687923634_7684881502455590655_n The DeKryger family

   Our prayers have also been with the Dodson family who are missionaries in Cote d’Ivoire.  Jenna and Justin (who went to Cedarville with Beth), have an almost 2 year old daughter, Colette, who had fallen ill with what was thought to be malaria at first.  It turned out to be Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome which is caused by a type of E. coli that creates toxins that started attacking her red blood cells.  Having a 2 year old daughter as well, this hit a little close to home, and we have praying for Colette and the Dodson family.  She was evacuated to Paris from the Ivory Coast and has been there since the middle of February.  Colette is doing well and is now out of ICU and in a nephrology unit.  They are trying to get Colette stable enough for a flight home to United States.  
    With no full time surgeons at The Hospital of Hope now, we feel the urgency so much more than ever.  We are continuing to pray that we will be at 50% of our support by the end of May.  As long as we reach that mark by the end of June we can attend our next training at ABWE that is only offered once a year, in July.  January and February were spent making phone calls to churches we had made contact with and through that, we have church meetings about once a month. We are also are planning on attending a course on evangelizing to Muslims in June.  We are still at 30% of our support, but still have at least one church that we have spoken to that might support us.  We have a week we will be in Dayton at the beginning of March working on support raising while we are there, and we plan to have a “baby” dedication for Avery and Isaiah at our sending church, Washington Heights Baptist Church in Dayton.  

Praises and Prayer

1.)  Please pray for the DeKryger family as they mourn the loss of Todd and are still making final arrangements.  
2.)  Please also pray for our teammates and the Hospital of Hope staff as this is an incredible loss felt by all.
3.)  Please pray for the Dodson family and for Colette for her body to continue to heal.
4.)  Praise the Lord for multiple times to share our ministry over the next few months.
5.)  Please pray that we would be able to make 50% by the end of June to be able to attend our next training class at ABWE.
6.)  Praise for our teammates Stephen and Lisa Wreesman who have made 100% support and will be heading to language school, God willing this summer.