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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Newsletter

God with us.

"I am very big. I am very loud." Thus spake St. Julia in deep round tones, as she raised her shoulders and moved her arms slightly out from her body. She was speaking to two bear cubs and their mother bear, rather close at hand.

Only the mother bear appears in the picture below, just to the left of the rock in the upper right corner of the photo, between the two trees that appear to form a "v" on the right. The bear cubs had been on top of the fallen tree in the foreground, a few moments before.

Earlier in the day, as we were driving through Sequoia National Park, I had had the desire to see a bear, and I prayed that we would see a bear. And so, walking along Congress Trail from the General Sherman tree, we were about half-way to our destination of Crescent Meadow, when we turned a corner, and there was a trinity of the three bears. I suppose Tertullian and St. Basil the Great would have been pleased, to find such a trinity.

Our encounter was an answer to prayer, so was seeing another bear, later in the day. They were God incidences, on the path of life.

The trail was not dangerous, and in fact, many people were walking it that day, but no one we met had seen any bears in this section, let alone three.

This was not a zoo. The bears were wild. The most pressing concern was not to get between a mother bear and her cubs, or even to look like you might be giving unwanted attention to the cubs. What you do in a situation, such as ours, is: 1) look big, 2) make noise, and 3) move away. Julie did that. It worked. The bears were very obliging.

And so, Julie, a homeschooling mother of three, had a meeting of the minds with the big bear, a homeschooling mother of two who was out on a field trip with her cubs. In the end, bears and people each went our separate ways. We had a happy ending.

We are in the midst of missionary training in California. We pray for people we meet, for our steps on the path of life, and for you all, daily. This encounter was a reminder that keeping close to God is a good idea. It is also a reminder that God answers prayer. In the photo, mother bear is looking at me. Blessings show up in unexpected ways, some times.

Please keep us in prayer for the balance of our program in California, and for the next steps on our path with Jesus.

God bless you, and thank you for your continuing support! I pray for you, every day.

Shaw+, and on behalf of Julie+.

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