I was surprised and excited when He answered my prayer so literally. One afternoon in May my doorbell rang. I was still in my PJ's and glasses and feeling sick as usual. I quickly brushed out my hair as I curiously answered the door. And there stood Joy carrying her baby boy and her toddler son peeking out from behind her. "Is this the Hospitality House?" Of all things...she had gotten lost looking for a ministry house and found me, another American and someone who actually knew what she was talking about. I praise God for our big white Transit van (identical to the Hospitality House's) that made her stop at my house.
I ended-up driving her over to the House on the other side of our village and stayed for a "Hair & Tea" time for women. While Joy got her hair done, I held her baby and watched her son down a bag of lime Tortilla chips. We chatted and hit it off immediately.
Joy quickly became a good friend and important part of my emotional/spiritual support system here in Germany. It was through her that I met several other incredible ladies that have been significant in their support and friendship. And later, it was through Joy and her husband, that Anthony and I got connected to other families in community that have encouraged, supported, and loved us.
It has been 4 1/2 years since that day in May that I met Joy, and I can't emphasize enough how much her friendship has meant to me. I could spend hours sharing great memories and telling you ways that she went out of her way to love on me and my family. She has walked through both of my pregnancies with me, sat with me at the hospital through the night when Masami was sick, made us meals, listened as I walked through struggles, shared her own heart, struggles, passions with me. We walked together through her husband's deployments, our ministry challenges, and learning to parent well. She is a beautiful person and I am honored to call her my friend.
Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Joy and her family last month. The military called them on to a new place. I have adapted somewhat to the reality of the rotating community of military life, however, this goodbye has been one of the hardest I've had to experience. Because Joy's friendship has been a constant presence the entire time I've lived in K-town and because of how much life we have shared, I feel a great loss at her departure. I am so grateful to God for the gift that her friendship has been to me. For through her, the Lord blessed my soul. I know our friendship will continue through the distance and time, though it will change now. And just as the Lord was faithful to provide over 4 years ago, I know He will be faithful to provide for me now in other ways and through other friendships. I am also certain that He will bless many others through Joy's presence somewhere else.
So, thank you Joy for your friendship, support, and love! You are greatly missed!