Katelyn Houser | Solid Rock

Katelyn Houser | Solid Rock

March Mercies

“But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’” Lamentations 3:21-24 

This month has been full of the Lord’s mercies. It started off really strong with making some new treats at the Guest House (my favorite being cream cheese toffee dip with apple slices). Kelsi and I had some much needed pool time between teams and we went adventuring with Yomalis in her hometown of Pedro Santana. I was able to spend some time with one of the families I’m close with in the barrio behind the Guest House. Jeff also started teaching Kelsi and I how to drive stick shift! I was really looking forward to having more time to explore and grow friendships during the weeks we were about to have off. 

However, the Lord’s plans were different from mine. During the week of the IU & West Clinton team, my grandpa, John, was admitted to the hospital. So the anxieties of what was happening and not being with my family made it a difficult week for me even though I really enjoyed getting to know that team. I’m thankful for their kindness and for being loved on also by my SRI team. On Sunday, March 10, just before dinner with the Concord team, I got the call that my grandpa had passed. He passed peacefully surrounded by the majority of my family, and I consider that to be a great mercy from God. Thankfully, I was able to go home the following day to be with my family. 

The Lord has been so gracious and faithful, especially during this time. I’m so glad that I got to have one day with the Concord, NC team. They’re a special team for me because I’ve been on a few trips with them and they’re from close to my neck of the woods. So, usually when I’m home, I get to see a few of them. I’m especially thankful for the love and support they wrapped me in when they arrived at the Guest House that day. I hated that I couldn’t be with them all week, but I really cherished the time I did have with them. Pastor Earl held a bible study that night on Esther and we sang a few worship songs – one of them being “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” which was one of my grandpa’s favorite songs. It was a hard one for me to get through, but was such a beautiful reminder of how seen each of us are by the Lord. His steadfast love truly never ceases and His mercies never come to an end. And that was easy to behold the night with the Concord team. 

Once I got home, I spent the rest of that week with my family. We went through photos and talked about our favorite memories of my grandpa. He was a true treasure. My grandpa’s life wasn’t necessarily an easy one, but he was filled with so much grace and assurance of who God is, what Jesus did for him, and how that affected who he was. I never saw my grandpa in a bad mood, heard him complain, or heard him speak ill of anyone, no matter the circumstance. He was always thankful for everything and was just so joy-filled. It was truly a blessing to grow up watching him and my grandma love each other, love me and my family, and love other people. Both my grandpa and grandma have always loved so well. I find comfort in knowing that my grandpa is fully healed and whole and in the presence of Jesus even though that doesn’t make me miss him any less. The Lord has brought an abundance of mercies into my life through both my grandpa and grandma. 

The following week, we were able to celebrate 4 birthdays. My sister, Mackenzie, turned 32. My grandma, Betty, turned 92. My grandma, Carolyn, and grandpa, Gene, both turned 83. We had dinner at my parents’ house and the next day my mom, cousin, and I took both of my grandmas to the Biltmore estate. It was good to be able to celebrate with them and make more memories even though it was hard without my grandpa. 

I traveled back to San Juan yesterday and arrived late last night. It was definitely an adventure traveling during Holy Week! I don’t think I’ll be doing that ever again, but I’m glad I got to experience it once in my life! 

I’m thankful for all of the Lord’s mercies I’ve experienced this month even in the midst of heartbreak. I’m praying for a Christ-filled and safe Easter weekend for all of you! 

Prayer requests: 

  • Rest before the next teams arrive
  • Deepened relationships within the San Juan community 
  • Deepened relationship with the Lord 
  • My family and I as we adjust to our new “normal”
  • Opportunities to share the gospel, boldness in doing so, and softened hearts of the people hearing it
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