Friday, July 21, 2006

The return of Joy

Our daughter, Joy, left for Operation Barnabas on June 13th. She has spent all summer in a very extensive ministry training adventure out in Southern California. We sure have missed her and my how quiet our house has been. If you know our Joy than you know that wherever she is and whoever she’s with, she’s talking, usually non stop. I am so thankful that she has had this incredible experience over this summer. Each time I talk to her or read a letter from her I realize that she is just “eating it up!” It will be fun to see how it has impacted her life and to hear the many stories I’m sure that she will have to tell (and tell, and tell, and tell)!

Throughout the summer, the teenagers on Operation Barnabas stay in different host homes from the many churches that they visit. On July 11th, we received a letter from one of the host families that Joy stayed with. It also included pictures of our daughter for us to see. It was a very kind and thoughtful thing for this person to do. The note said:

Dear Distler Family,

My husband, Pete, and I had the privilege of hosting Joy in our home when the southern California Operation Barnabas team was at Grace Church of Orange. We fell in love with your daughter! How well you named her as she is a joy and a delight. She has a joyful spirit and gave us much joy. I know you must miss her but the enclosed pictures will show you that she is happy and healthy and serving the Lord in a mighty way. Thank you for sharing her with the Brethren in California!

In Him,
Elise Roberts

Yep, that’s my joy. She is indeed a very special young lady. Everyone she meets seems to share the same opinion. From kids to teens to adults, Joy is one of those unique people who is loved by everyone.

When the Apostle John wrote his third Epistle, he penned that he had “no greater joy than to see his children walk in truth.” John wasn’t talking about his biological children but rather his spiritual children. The same truth does apply, however, to biological children, maybe even more so. There are many things about Joy that brings me joy…her personality, her smile, her enthusiasm, and more. But nothing brings me more joy than watching my Joy walk in the truth of the Lord. I really do believe that God has something very special in store for Joy. It will be fun to watch how God uses her over the decades to come to influence and impact many people for eternity. What a thrill!

On July 25th, we will leave for Southern California where I will be speaking at the morning main session on the last day of Brethren National Youth Conference. We will get to see Joy there and what a joy that will be for us!

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