Like so many other folks Patty and her husband are going through a rough time right now, and that was badly complicated when one of her alpacas caused her to fall, seriously injuring her knee. Their house and farm have been for sale for a long time, with no buyers, and so Patty's husband has moved on to Texas where he found work and income to send back home. I enter this picture when the Lord directs me to come here and care for Patty through her knee surgery, helping her to recover and helping to look after the needs of her seven (!) dogs, one cat, six horses, nine alpacas and one big llama! Not even in Peru did I get to experience alpacas up-close-and-personal as I have here. They are funny and adorable, even if I DID get kicked in the thigh by one. Yesterday a woman came to pick up the alpaca she'd bought and Patty and I went out into the pasture to help her "catch" it. While the herd protector, Dalai Llama, hurled huge chunks of grainy spit on us, Patty held both her crutches out at arm's length to try to coerce Peaches into the pen so we could catch her! It has not been a boring week.
But waiting so long for the farm to sell has been tough for Patty. I've prayed with her over the phone for well over a year now. Being all alone and barely able to walk has been even worse, with all the work there is to do on the farm. But today our gracious Father broke through the silence and the frustration and worked through total strangers to bring Patty encouragement and His blessed assurance that He has not forgotten nor abandoned her. First it was an e-mail from a woman responding to an ad Patty placed in the local paper to sell furniture. The woman wrote, "Can we come look at it? Give me your address and I do have cash available. I hope your surgery went well.. you're in my prayers. God Bless!" Not long after that the phone rang and a man was calling on another ad where Patty was seeking help with feeding the animals. Patty told him her needs were met. The man asked, "How are you doing now?" She said, "OK - I do have help with the animals." But the man persisted, "Yes, but how are YOU doing?" Surprised, Patty said, "I'm doing fine. A friend is here to help me." He said, "That's all that matters. I'm glad you're OK."
Since when do people answering newspaper ads have this kind of compassionate, genuine concern for a total stranger? We both recognized Jesus breaking through the long, difficult silence, offering love and encouragement in the most unexpected ways. The knee is healing. The house has buyers flying in from Michigan to look. God is faithful.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. " (2 Cor. 4:16-17)