A blessed morning to all!
As I look out over the deck of what used to be my beloved father’s office, I am looking out as the early morning fog rolls in and it almost blocks my view of the former garden. It moves with a delicate ease in to the family cemetery, the place where my loved ones are now resting until He returns. The beauty is so peaceful and surreal. It reminds me so greatly of the love our Heavenly Father has for us, not pretentious or full of expectations, just full of grace that we all need to walk in, His peace and His never ending love. Someday, a book will come that tells of His grace for me. It’s inspiring but sad in so many ways, to sit in the chair where my dad once did!
Unfortunately, the flashing lights of the the computer draw me away from this tranquility and I am abruptly aware as the clock ticks away, its knowing gnawing tap reminding me that I must get book orders done, leave a huge pile of miscellaneous paper work, receipts and filing for our sweet bookkeeper Jessica, and hurry out the door to my “other” work place. Even in the scurry and pace of life, His love will remain steadily with me!
To give you all a belated update…our beloved “Uncle” Arthur Beebe was called to his heavenly home on June 28th, 2017 in Joplin, Missouri. His death was ten years to the date from when my father was called home. A coincidence? Many of us think not. His services were in July in Springfield and in Joplin. Keith and I were able to attend, along with my two brothers (David and Ariel) and so many others back from the days of a more active Ben Israel including Shelly Volk, Roy and Julie Allen, Dina Herrera and some of their family, along with all the Beebe children and grandchildren. It truly was a blessing to be there! The military service moved all of us and it was so sweet to listen to Uncle Shelly share again, just like in the days past. Please continue to hold Mary and the rest of the family closely in your prayers.
Art had been one of our Board Members. He was replaced several months back when he became ill by Pastor Rick Weinert, who is serving with his wife, BillieJean. The Weinert’s live here on the farm with us. Recently, Joann Brock stepped off the board after graciously staying on until we could find the right person to step in to her shoes, not fill them or replace her, but continue with the same heart. Jeannie Klink and her husband will part of our Board of Directors. We are hoping to have our first meeting in person this Fall. Thank goodness for internet, as that as been a primary source of staying in touch!
Keith and I continue to oversee the farm. The project list does not get any smaller, but several things are in the works! The garage is nearly done being resided. It has a new roof and new doors in place. There were leaks and holes that would have made the damage already present worse in the Winter months ahead, if not repaired. Keith is close to being done with the gutting and remodeling of the bathroom in the cabin after finding out that what we thought was a mold issue, was actually rotted wood and flooring that had destroyed the under-flooring. Our nephew Cody (who currently lives here on the farm with with his wife, our niece Jessica), helped “Uncle B.” and we were also deeply blessed by a young man, Chance Storey ,who gave us two weeks of his vacation time to drive up from Texas and help with the repairs. We would not have been able to accomplish what was done without him. Evenings were spent with food, laughter, games and building a strong friendship. We pray he will come back soon, just because we love him like family!
What needs to be done next? We have students with families and a staff member with his wife who are part of Mokahum Native American Bible College in Cass Lake, but were in need of housing. The staff member and his wife, Bill and Cindy, will be moving in to a larger home but this home had some damage left to it, needs to be painted, have flooring redone and a major cleaning! We had hoped to accomplish this task in July, as we had a dear sister from Florida offer to come up and help us, but our July was here and gone before we knew it!
Does this mean that we have become part of Mokahum? Not, but this means ministry to us. We do not charge much for housing and this opens the door for them to learn about the Lord, teach about Him and be able to do what otherwise might not have been possible. It blesses all of us here to be a part of this vital ministry. This is an opportunity to serve, while we continue to seek His will and plan for the farm, and it provides a source of income to help meet the growing expenses on the farm.
Dad’s books continue to sell for which we are so grateful as that does pay for the significant tax bill every year. Books are being printed in so many languages…Hungarian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, French, German, Romania just this year alone…it’s amazing! Thank you all for supporting this ministry!
The lodge is in desperate need of work and to be used properly, but it’s going to take a miracle. There are significant signs of damage from season after season of rough weather and lack of use. There is the risk of losing the building which would be a heart ache, but we trust that He will give us wisdom on this building!
For those of you that know our Mama Pearl Rose, she remains in the nursing home in Walker, MN. She is currently bed bound with her kidneys failing but, she has a strong spirit and her smile is ever present. Whenever I can be with her, I open up my Facebook app and we go”live”. She giggles and gets such joy from this and she loves to share, sing and pray over everyone. If we are friends on Facebook, take a peek a the previous videos. You will be blessed!
Life here doesn’t stop for anyone, anything, or any season…it just keeps moving, whether or not we want it to. The fog rolls in, the fog rolls out, the shadows of the day rise and fall, we get up and we start again…gently, gently as the leaves fall.
Thank you everyone for your love, prayer, and encouragement as we continue on in Him, taking care of this land and believing that “for such a time as this”, we are called.
Sissie (Keith and Sarah) Pennel
Ben Israel Fellowship
Art Katz Ministries