The first annual End of the Year Grind

The year that ends today began on the heels of the great unnamed tsunami that wiped away a quarter of a million people. We remember 2005 because this was the year when a Roman Pope died; when fanatics carried out attacks on London; a year when a massive earthquake devastated Pakistan and the so-called Orange Revolution shook up the Ukraine. The French will remember 2005 because of the riots. For thousands in America, 2005 is the year of Katrina. This year should have gotten everyone’s attention.

 

For Maya and me, 2005 was perhaps the most eventful year of our marriage. It began with a step of faith: starting a new work in a little, impoverished village near UU. The friends that arrived yesterday shared that that work is still going strong with an entirely local team. No news could have encouraged me more!

 

We traveled more in 2005 than in previous years. Some trips we planned – others we accepted as necessary (such as my last-minute trip to Finland for visa renewal). I counted that I spent over 30 days on trains this year; a whole month-worth of days rocking and rattling over the trans-Siberian railroad tracks. By fall, our family had so wearied of travel that God gave us rest from it for a while.

 

In the spring, to our great and continuing joy, our daughter, Hannah, was born. That March 21st morning is a smiling highlight of 2005 for us. Also, David’s personality emerged more than ever in 2005, and my love for him with it. Our early mornings together, when only he and I were awake and we roamed the house, making breakfast and telling stories, will form some of my most cherished memories of the year.

 

In the late summer of this year, we packed up everything we own and moved 2000km west. The countless small and big steps of faith involved in that remind us again of His faithfulness. This year we were also blessed when we joined this fantastic new team.

 

 

For us, a greater sense of seriousness and depth descended in 2005 on our family, our marriage, our personal relationship with God and the work that we are involved in. We were reminded of the brevity of life, the great call to radical and sacrificial living, and the need to sense the urgency. Above all in 2005, God reminded me of His never-ending grace.

 

 

With all of its tragedy, tears, joy, happiness, and despair, 2005 stands tall as a Year among years. May 2006, should the Lord tarry until next December 31st, do that again. Happy New Year's to all who read The Siberian Grinder!

 

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV)

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