To all our Special Friends and Loved Ones,
May the Prince of Peace reign in your hearts now and forever. What is peace? Where is security? As a wise friend told me recently: “Sister, security is found in total trust.” So true! When we trust the Lord our hearts are at peace, for we know He wants only the best for us. We know too that everything will work out to our benefit, for: “All things work together unto good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28). On the threshold of 2020, we place our trust in the Lord, and walk into the New Year confident that His loving providence has a perfect plan for our lives.
We have much to be thankful for, as always. This summer we made our retreat in Sugarloaf, PA with a community of Byzantine Nuns founded by a Carmelite, Mother Marija, who has a special love for the Byzantine liturgy. The nuns have adopted many Benedictine traits in their lifestyle, including manual work on their farm where they raise a large number of prize-winning mini-horses! We truly enjoyed our week of retreat with them. May God bless them for their kindness to us.
In September, our Oblate, Jeffrey Delgarn, made his final commitment to following the Benedictine way of life as a lay person. Jeffrey has been a big help to us in many ways. God’s blessings upon you, Jeffrey! At the beginning of November, a friend from our Florida days, Father Jose Maniyangat, spent a few days with us. Father Jose has a healing ministry which takes him all over the world. Since his visit coincided with our First Saturday Devotions, many of our friends were able to meet him and hear the marvelous story of his death in a motorcycle accident and his subsequent return to earth when the Lord sent him back with the gifts of healing, peace and deliverance. More details of his amazing story and ministry can be found on his website at www.frmaniyangathealingministry.com.
We continued to make a few more improvements to our property this Fall. The guest area received new light colored laminate flooring which has brightened up the area considerably. We also had a stone walkway put in between the driveway and the back porch, which has greatly reduced the amount of mud that is tracked into the house! Since our sheepdog, Abby, guards our cattle at night, a tender-hearted dog-lover—concerned for her warmth this winter—had a deluxe doghouse of cedar built for her! Thank you, Bea!
Our three Black Angus steers are all about the same age so, in order to stagger the processing, we traded one of them for an older TX Longhorn and got 400 lbs of beef out of it! We sold enough beef to make up for the processing fee, but local residents may still buy our surplus of grass-fed ground beef, if interested.
Our next project is to install a hand pump over the well. A severe storm last winter left us without electricity (thus, without water and heat) for a number of days. We can bundle up in the cold, but water is a necessity for us and the animals. After considering our options (generators vs hand pumps) we decided the most practical course of action is to get a hand pump. Anyone who would like to contribute towards this will be eternally in our prayers and gratitude!!! Indeed, we take this opportunity to thank all our benefactors for your goodness to us. The Lord will surely bless you beyond your wildest dreams!
As we prepare this Advent for the Birth of Our Lord we are temporarily once again a foursome: a friend of many years, Debbie Louden, is making an observership with us for the month of December, discerning if God is calling her to our Benedictine way of life. Please say a prayer for her! And finally, may you all be blest this Christmas and every day throughout the New Year of the Lord, 2020.
Love and prayers from all of us