Spring or Winter?

Posted on May 5, 2022, by Hope Douglass

This month, the weather has vacillated between spring sunshine and winter storms. The daffodils turned their bright faces toward the sun only to shortly thereafter be pressed back down to the earth by an icy blanket of snow. Many forms of life are beginning to stir and shake off the winter, but the snow keeps coming, trying to postpone and forestall the inevitable spring that is beginning to dawn.

It is sad to feel the first sweet caresses of warmer days, only to be jostled back into the icy cold, BUT, we see the good it’s doing. The lake is steadily rising as the snow deposits melt and flow headlong into it, the hills are green as the snow releases its icy grip and the sunshine beckons the grasses toward its light, the flowers are blooming in gardens and abandoned trails alike. Though the spring feels suppressed by the winter that doesn’t know when to quit, we know that spring is here and will only harken in warmer and sunnier days. 

In the same way, as we face challenges and discouragements in the ministry here, we have only to lift our eyes to the Lord and trust that He is working beneath the soil and the snow covering and His light will beckon in a season of growth and fruitfulness in His timing, whether we’re here to see it or not. Not only that, but the “winter” of ministry is, to steal from Paul, “a light affliction which is but for a moment [and] is working for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). God has been changing us through the season we’ve spent here. He makes us patient, dependent, humble, bold, and provides us with the faith to endure whatever He brings us into and through. 

We are enjoying the young adults’ ministry and have more young adults now than ever, praise God! It has been so sweet to host in our home and walk through the book of Acts together. Isaac is honing his skills as a Bible expositor, and it’s my privilege to watch him grow. Likewise, I’ve grown in hospitality, and I genuinely enjoy opening our home to our friends; we have a living room to host people it is such a sweet gift! God-willing, one day we’ll live somewhere large enough for a kitchen table for dinner parties. ***Update- We are moving into a two-bedroom house right next door to us that is large enough for a kitchen table! God is SO good!

Easter was a sweet time of fellowship with our church. Isaac was able to teach on Palm Sunday (I was so proud of him), and we enjoyed leading worship together on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We spent the mid-morning with our church enjoying a potluck brunch and then the afternoon as a family. We went disc golfing and had burgers for dinner, not our typical Easter traditions, but maybe a new tradition as long as we’re far from family.

Fletcher remains our only child in children’s ministry, Brady remains our only youth, and we remain expectant that the Lord will bring more in His time.

Sadly, Fletcher and I will not be going on the mission trip to Hungary that I mentioned in my last update. We haven’t received any of his documents yet, and I don’t think they’ll make it here in time to apply for his passport. On top of that, the trip is 18 days long, which Isaac and I felt was too long to be separated after further consideration and prayer. Happily, I am able to support the team by helping manage the trip on the front end, purchasing flights, managing payments, etc. Please pray for God’s hand of protection over them and for doors to be opened and strongholds to be removed as they minister to the young people of Hungary.

Please continue to keep us in prayer as we wait for God to melt ice and snow in people’s hearts and herald in the spring of His salvation. We look to and wait on Him to do the work that only He can do.

With love,

Hope, Isaac, and Fletcher