Saturday, December 27, 2014

Away in a Manger....

No crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head. Did you know that the word Jesus means Savior, or God saves. So when the angel told Joseph and Mary to name the baby Jesus it was not because God thought it sounded like a cool name, (the name has actually been changed around a lot and is not really original anymore but that's besides the point) God was calling His son what He was -the Savior. So when we sing about how sweet the little baby Jesus was all wrapped up and laying on a bed of straw, I think we ought to be deeply moved with emotion, God's love for us was so great that He entered His own creation in this way, sweet innocent and vulnerable, only recognized by very few as the king of kings and Lord of lords. So let's make sure that we recognize Him as king over all kings, and Lord over all Lords. Think about how you might feel if the president of your country came to greet you personally, or maybe your favorite actor/actress, or singer, or if we had a world president how would you behave in his presence? How about the president of not only the Galaxy we live in but every Galaxy out there. Something tells me that if you were the author and ruler of all that exists, you would demand a great deal of respect from everyone, especially if you made yourself to be part of your creation in order to save your creation from your own wrath, even when your creation hated you and did not recognize you as their creator. I love thee Lord Jesus look down from the sky, and stay by my side till morning is nigh. 
In our Thursday night group we agreed that it might be fun to go out and do some caroling, so we began our practice at the songs we chose. And while sitting around in a circle singing our favorite praise and worship is easy enough, singing to perform was a little more difficult. The Lord knows He didn't give me the talent to sing :) but we got pretty good. We started out by the beach, singing and waiting for those crowds to come and see what this beautiful sound was about. No crowds. So we moved to the town square and I think we sang a bit better, but still no crowd, but a few people did pause to listen for a few seconds. After that we thought we would give it one more shot at a place in town called "the walk of peace" this is where lots of people hang out at night. We sang our hearts out, and by the last song it actually seemed like we were gathering a bit of a crowd, so we decided to quickly decide on one more song to give to the crowd, only to watch them leave before we could start the song, and we found out later they were family and friends of one of our guitarist :) I learned two things that night, one, Peruvians like things loud and they will not pay attention unless it's loud enough to do damage to the ear drums (I like to blame it on that rather than our singing :)  ) two, if you have your mind set that you are serving God and not man, than no matter how the outcome, you feel good and satisfied knowing you've done good in the eyes of God. I'm not saying that we sang all that bad, I think it was actually pretty good, I'm very proud of my group, but we're not pros, but just as my kids scribbles look like a master peace to me, whatever we accomplish is a master peace to God when our heart is in it for Him. God bless you all in the name of the King, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Friday, November 28, 2014

Less than 4 weeks till Christmas!!.. and I'm having trouble getting excited this year.  Instead, I feel my heart sink a little as it gets closer each day.

This will be our third Christmas in Peru, and as much fun as it has been celebrating Christmas peruvian style with the Casa de Paz kids, (if you want to know what Christmas in Peru has been like for us, read our post titled Feliz Navidad) I do miss my Canadian family a little extra much around this time of year, and I had a different picture in mind for this Christmas...

This was supposed to be the Christmas we spend with family and friends in Canada, (possibly the last Christmas we spend with them).. this was supposed to be the Christmas where I finally get to meet my two new nieces, and new nephew.. this was supposed to be Tahlias's first time experiencing snow. This was supposed to be a white Christmas. cold and snowy outside, but warm and toasty inside with the whole family gathered together at mom & dad's, eating familiar food, sipping on Tim Hortons coffee, watching the cousins play, catching up with the sisters, looking at pictures of my brother's wedding that I missed, exchanging gifts..etc etc

Ever since last Christmas this is how I pictured this Christmas being.  I have been looking forward to it all year. But it wasn't until sometime in October that I realized (or accepted) that my dream of Christmas 2014 was not going to happen.
God had a different plan, and had been speaking to me and Jake a few months earlier than October already, but I didn't like what He was saying, so I kept pushing it aside.
We looked at buying tickets at least few different times, but every time we either got interrupted somehow, had a poor internet connection, or it just didn't feel quite right. God had something to do with that, I'm sure.

As Christmas got closer, family kept messaging asking when are you coming? Do you have your tickets yet? And we kept them hoping for a long time, saying that we were still praying about it. Well we were praying about it... We prayed for Tahlia's Canadian citizen to be here on time, we prayed for the right people to be lined up to take care of the orphanage while we're away, we prayed for good deals on tickets, we prayed for dates and times and about how long we should stay...We did pray about it, but didn't pray much about whether it was even God's plan for us to go at all. I guess I had just assumed that my desire to go was God's way of saying that's what He wanted for us too. Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart, right?  Yes that's what the scripture says, but I realized I am still learning what it truly means to delight in the Lord. I'm learning that to delight in the Lord means to live and seek His will (not mine) and that it means to seek first His kingdom.. it means going after God's own heart and our spirits being so in tune with His Spirit that our desires line up perfectly with His. It is more about heavenly things than earthly things, it's finding joy in Him alone.
That being said, doesn't mean that I am perfect at delighting in the Lord, and it doesn't mean that it's always easy and that I will never fall. We still live in flawed bodies of flesh in a broken world where living a Godly life is like constantly swimming against the current. We live in a world where because we know Jesus, we are richly blessed, but where knowing Him also means pain and heartache, and sacrifice.

I came across a quote awhile ago that said "You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."

Oh how true that is! And although when I first read this I was thinking of being torn between our two families in Canada and Peru, I know that my heart is also longing for another place - my ultimate home - Heaven. Thank God that this earth is only temporary! So my hope is in this. Whether I never see my family again, or if we were to go back to Canada and never see our peruvian family again, or even if somehow we were to find a way to all be together in the same place on this earth, my heart will never stop longing for another place until we are all together in our eternal home. And what a glorious day that will be!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do you understand what I've done for you......

Jesus, eating supper with his disciples for the last time, would not have wasted  his timing doing anything that did not have profound meaning. And He chose this opportunity to perform an act of absolute humility. He did this because He wanted us to imitate Him. Not just in this one act but in everything we do, everything we do should be for the benefit of someone, someone other than yourself. Christ called us to be humble, because He Himself is humble. Humble doesn't mean thinking of yourself as unimportant, but rather being confident in yourself and in your identity in Christ so you don't feel the need to make yourself feel better, so that you can focus on serving others. With a willing heart, not expecting anything in return.
I had the great honor and privilege of speaking at a small church in a tiny town just a few minutes from Pacasmayo, if you read my post "where the breeze of the ocean turns to water" then you know where I mean. They had women sitting on one side, men on the other, they sang out of a hymn book, and said glory to God a lot. There's nothing wrong with this at all, but it was a strange feeling to be there, it actually kind of reminded me of where I grew up. But they had a piano and the preacher got out his cowhide drum. Some people as they came in went to the front to kneel and pray. So as I sat there waiting for the preacher to call me up for my message, I thought to myself, well I should be nervous about this shouldn't I? But I found myself feeling quite comfortable. We were received very well, and at the end of my message about being the children of God I ended it with imitating what Jesus taught us, to show them that I was a servant I poured a basin of warm water, and me and Maggie washed the Pastor and his wife's feet. We had smiling faces and eager eyes, are these crazy gringos really gonna get down on there's knees in our dirt floor church to wash the pastors feet! After me and Maggie carefully put their shoes back on, it's hard to explain what I felt in my heart in that moment, full, content and happy. God bless you as you humbly search your Fathers will. Amen. 

Is it "hurry up and wait" or "wait and hurry up"

"Put on your party hat! quick hang the piñata!! They'll be here any minute!!" So much for what ever I had planned, lol. Off I go with my two Peruvian style piñatas, one for the girls and one for the boys. It happens to be lunch time and all the kids are sitting at the table looking confused as I walk into the hall and start hanging the piñatas. "Are we having a party!?" "Who's birthday is it!?"
Sometimes I can get a little frustrated when I don't get a heads up about things, or it seems like our director keeps things from me, it is the Peruvian way to be very unorganized and sporadic. But I forget that our director also works with Peruvian who are probably more "Peruvian" than she is. So while I get upset about why she didn't let me know sooner, I have to remind myself that she may not have known a moment sooner herself. Dealing with the randomness is hard enough, she doesn't need me to pester her about it as if it's her fault somehow. 
On this day it was a long awaited judge approval for two very special people to take their brand new little baby home with them. Although the process for little baby Angelita's adoption went quick, the four months seemed like a lifetime for the new parents. There were two other families that desplayed an interest in Angelita, but I knew from the moment I saw them that this couple is the right one. The proud adoptive father would hold her with tense arms, clear that this was his first time holding such a tiny little life. Today there was no hiding there excitement. And even though we only found out minutes before they arrived we were ready to celebrate this special day with them. The story that brought this little girl to us was a sad one, but she will now grow up never remembering any life other than with her loving parents. Life is good!! Yes there's always problems and down times. But when the good times come you grab on and don't let go until the next one. I pray God shows you the fullness of his Goodness, bless you in the name of our Lord. 

Have you ever seen a happier little family?

The new parents put together goodie bags for the kids, and cake. Camila is a second name they gave Angelita

Pinata fun! One for the boys...
and one for the girls

The whole gang. So happy for Angelita!

May God bless this beautiful family as they start on this new journey together!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where the Breeze of the Ocean turns to Water.

God never ceases to amaze me, you would think by now that this little gringo in Peru would have figured out that with God it's never a dull moment. I can't even express how blessed we are to be here and experience the wonders of God.
So I have a prayer group that gathers in the church on Thursday nights. And when God lets you feel His presence in a tangible way, you feel his peace and love fill the core of who you are, you just can't contain that and keep it for yourself. Every Thursday the urge to do more became greater and greater. So we made up a day, where we would go out to "pray in the streets". Segundo, one of the group members already had an idea of where God was leading us, so I told him pray some more and on Saturday you will lead us to where we should go.
Well Saturday came and I went to pick them all up to go pray. Well it turned out that Segundo was the only one who was going, everyone else was busy. Never the less we started out to where he thought God was leading. We headed south east, and God had gave him the words "where the ocean breeze turns to water" At this point I was still thinking we would end up on the outskirts of Pacasmayo, that made sense because that's where the poorer people normally are. But when we got close he asked if he may drive, so being polite that I am I said "ya of course".  He kept driving, past the out skirts, into a new subdivision, and still past that until we reached a hill. At that point we got out and it made sense to us both that we should climb the hill. From the top we could see all of Pacasmayo and more. We bowed our knees and lifted our hands to God, it felt right but we were still unsure - buy now I had forgotten about my idea of walking the "streets" and praying. On our way down we looked and we saw, where the ocean breeze turns to water, Of course! When you look across the desert sand, you can see the ocean breeze blowing across the hot sand and it ripples, it looks just like water. So out into the desert we drove, and drove, it actually wasn't very far but in the suspension it seemed like forever.
All of a sudden we came into a small town, it almost felt like driving through the heat waves we had arrived in the 1800's. It was quiet as a mouse, in my head I imagined tumbleweeds blowing. Finally we spotted two little old ladies on their little donkey drawn cart. We went over and asked if there was a church in town, and they pointed to a direction as the donkey trotted off.
At the church of course there was no one there. So we went to the nearest house and found someone to talk to. The guy seemed unsure about us but we found out they hold a service every day, and because the pastor wasn't around we told him we would come back the next Tuesday before their service to chat with the pastor.
We left feeling all sorts of things, were we out of our minds, but mostly we were just excited.

Tuesday night at about 7:20pm I picked up Segundo, this time Felix and his mom came as well. We drove out into the desert hoping we would find the little town in the pitch dark. We arrived at the church but it was pitch dark, the house we had asked at the Saturday before was also pitch dark, in desperation we knocked anyway,mane sure enough a girl answered and we found out that on this night they were gathering at a brothers house, in Peru everyone is a sister or a brother. When we reached the house we found out they were gathering at this mans house because this day marked half a year since he lost his wife. When we explained our crazy sounding story of why we were there, they envited us in to join them. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, they sang hymns and worshiped God, they gave me an opportunity to speak and all I could do is encourage them to do just as they where doing, to worship God and to act like the body in Christ that we are, one member was hurting and they all joined in to make it better, they were living the first and second greatest commandment, to love God and to love one another. Afterward we had some awesome food. What a night! I pray that God gives us more opportunities like this to share in the community, to bond together in love and unity, to learn from each other and to be inspired into action.
If you feel God is leading you to do something, but it just seems to weird or strange, don't let that hold you back! To keep up with God you need to learn how to think out of the ordinary. God bless you, in Jesus name amen.

Me and Mateo with our new friend Pastor Luis


Monday, November 10, 2014

Blessings of New Opportunities

Beautiful day in Trujillo yesterday, a trip filled with beautiful events. We are very blessed indeed. A few weeks ago I was invited to speak at Maggie Guerrero's church on Sunday, so we made a trip of it. I invited my small group to come with us and they jumped at the chance to see something other than Pacasmayo. We packed the van full and we were off for the long sweaty ride, our van does not have air conditioning and with the Peruvian sun beating down not even opening the windows makes that big of a difference. Maggie and her husband just moved their church to a new location that is bigger and better suited to fit their growing church, Maggie speaks fluent English and has been a translator for our church from Canada on their yearly mission trips. So she has been a good friend for a long time.

After the service I had the great honor of dedicating a beautiful little baby girl to the Lord. A couple from my prayer group had asked me for a while already and we thought this was a great opportunity. 



After church we headed over to the mall, you just can't go to Trujillo and not go to the mall, especially if you have people with you that have never seen it before. We took the group out for pizza, one of the ladies just kept marveling and saying "wow this is so good, I have never had this before". It was hard to believe that in all her 60 something years she had never had pizza before. 
Afterwards of course we had to take them to the escalators, it's always fun to watch them giggle nervously as they hold on for dear life when they step on. After walking around marveling at all the things, and testing out a portable sound system, it would often be nice to have small events, but we could only look since we didn't have the money to buy it. Before we left Trujillo we stopped in at Auden and Wendy's place, they just got back from a long trip to Mexico, US and Canada, so it was awesome to see them again. I can't express how grateful and blessed I am for the people in my life. God is so good all the time, and it's so much fun serving him, even in the hard times when it seems like everything is against you, it's still fun, because you know the the outcome will be to His glory. God bless you, in the name of his son. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Celebrating a Special Woman & a New Book

Today we celebrate a very special lady. It is Avis' 70th birthday! All the kids and staff at Casa de Paz wanted to wish Avis a happy birthday, so a few of the older girls put their artsy skills to work and created this huge birthday card with everyone's signature on it. Isn't is beautiful? They did an awesome job! We took photos of the kids, staff, and our bible study group with the birthday card, and sent the pictures and card to Avis as a birthday gift from all of her Peruvian family.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AVIS! We miss you and love you!

Happy Birthday from the Casa kids & house mama's, and the Hiebert's!

Happy Birthday from the Casa de Paz staff!

Happy Birthday from Tammy, me & the Bible Study Women!

Happy Birthday from the bible study kids club!
Avis has been busy speaking in churches all over the United States over the past few months to promote her new book, Out of the Dust. She has also been on a few radio interviews, and will be appearing on the Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street sometime in January.
 Out of the Dust tells Avis' life story and how she came to be a missionary in many places, including Pacasmayo, Peru where she built the church, orphanage, and school that are here today. Her story is truly inspiring, and I would encourage everyone to read it! The book can be found on Amazon, and all proceeds from the book go to Go Ye Ministries to help the kids at Casa de Paz. 

God has used this amazing woman to help the lives of many, and now He continues to touch many more lives through her story in Out of the Dust. 

All by God's Grace and all for His Glory

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

the Babies of Casa de Paz

It has been such a joy having babies around for the past few months. Genesis and Angelita both came to Casa de Paz as tiny newborns, and are both doing well, growing and gaining weight and stealing the hearts of all those who meet them!

 I remember mama Martha sharing how frustrating it was trying to find clothes small enough to fit Genesis, and how she burst out laughing when I suggested lending my daughter's doll's clothes for Genesis to wear. Well as funny as the idea was, the doll clothes turned out to be a perfect fit! and she looked as cute as a doll :)


                         Well she quickly outgrew those doll clothes; look at her now!

Genesis' time here seemed to go all to quickly, and last week we said good bye as she got to go home with her new mom & dad, Amy and Marco. Genesis not only has a new family and a new home, but also a new name! She is now known as Angela Rose, a name that has special meaning to the new parents.

Amy & Marco on the day they took Angela Rose home

To celebrate the occasion, Amy and Marco invited the whole Casa de Paz crew to their house for a BBQ cookout.  We all had our fill of burgers and hotdogs, potato salad, watermelon...and for dessert - ice cream cones and chocolate cupcakes. Yummy! The kids got to enjoy horseback rides, futball, Wi, and a pinata for the little ones.

The kids loved playing the Wi


If all goes well, little Angelita will also be going home to her new adoptive family very soon!

Angelita with her soon to be mommy and daddy

And today we welcome yet another precious baby to Casa de Paz. Naomi is a beautiful, one month old baby girl.



Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another addition to the Familia

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest days we had last week, (same day as all the events written about in the previous post) we had another new addition added to the Casa de Paz family. At first we almost thought he was part of the group from Lima, but we soon found out that he is one of ours. Thank God for Gina, our orphanage director, who does an amazing job keeping up with kids' coming and goings!

José Fernando fits in well at Casa de Paz.  He's in the same age group as the majority of our boys, and has already made friends. I'm proud of the Casa kids for how well they welcome in new kids.  They all know what it's like to be abandoned and hurting and be brought into a strange new place with no familiar faces. They know because they have been there too. 

It seems to be common for the new kids to make friends with other new kids. It didn't take long for José Fernando and Miguel Angel to become fast friends!

Please continue to keep all these precious ones in your prayers. We know that our Heavenly Father has a great plan for each and every one of them, and part of that plan includes people with compassionate and generous hearts; those who are willing to to be the hands and feet of Jesus for these kids.. those who are willing to bless and care for them through constant prayer, and in whatever other ways the Lord leads.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.' Matt 25:35-36

'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'  Mat 25:41 

Bless, and be Blessed! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Loving people living Jesus

Its a good day to be alive! until Jesus returns in the clouds, shining bright as the sun, with the angels sounding their trumpets, their will be a war in the realm of the spirits, every day we battle against principalities of  this dark age. (Rom 12:9)  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. This verse wraps it up good doesn't it, there are days when I can hardly stand to be in this wicked world, I hate the evil that is in it with all my heart, the beauty that God has created is being abused by people who in their arrogance chose to live in sin.
It is no wonder then that the angels in heaven dance when we profess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord of Lords. (Rom 10:9).
I had the great privilege today to pray with a 86 year old great grandma and watch as she professed Jesus to be her Lord and saviour. When I asked if she believed in God, "yes" she replied with enthusiasm, "do you believe Jesus is Gods son and He came to earth to die on the cross to pay for your sin" "yes I do" "have you ever asked him to live with you in your heart" she fell silent. "Would you like to" "Yes" After praying and professing Jesus as Her Lord, repenting and asking to be washed in the blood, we also prayed for her back pain to be removed. The day before I was called over to pray for her, I went and when I saw her she was lying on a sofa half passed out, she was breathing heavy and could hardly move, after praying for some time there seemed to be little difference. We decided that we needed to take the next step, I went home and did not eat, their whole family also started fasting in the morning and did not eat until 2 o'clock when I again came to pray. This time by the time I left she was laughing, moving her hips and raising her hands giving glory to God. What a feeling! On my way home I noted a woman sitting on the ground resting up against a wall, at first I walked by but the spirit would not leave me be until I turned around to go and pray for her. When I walked up and asked if I could talk to her for a bit, she asked. "what ever for!!" With almost a chuckle I explained how the spirit had lead me to go and pray for her, "o well of course you can pray for me" assuming she was not from around here I asked "where are you from" "just a few houses down the block" I actually only thought about it later (I'm not very smart that way) but she happened to be sitting maybe 50 yards from her house right where I would be walking filled with the fire of the Spirit! pretty sure God put her there on purpose. I prayed for her and no sooner did I say amen when they called her back to her house.
I say I love God, I need to start showing more frequently through taking the time to love people. I'd like to challenge you with the same. In what way has the spirit been convicting you to show your love for God.
God Bless you in the name of his Son.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Happy Heart makes a Cheerful Face

(Pro 15:13)  A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Well we lived the first part of this verse yesterday :)

What a busy day! As usual with peruvian style scheduling where 1 o'clock means 4 o'clock and where yes means "we will see how things go" we left for our adventure only two hours late. Arrangements had been made with a huge agricultural/crop farm just over an hour north of us to, to go for a tour. I had driven by their many times and wondered about the line of trees along the road which you couldn't see past and the many buses parked in front of them. They took our ID cards as we drove in and from there we were escorted from spot to spot by one of the workers, our first stop was their avocado patch where the man in charge explained the process of growing avocados, it was acres of perfectly uniformed trees, they were in blooming season and he explained about the pollination process, we where later given a jar of honey that looked much too dark to be a regular honey, but the man explained that honey from avocado trees comes out looking a kind of dirty brown.
Avocado trees to the right.

Next we stopped by the vineyard, and it truly was something I had never seen before, not only were the plants in perfect uniform in space between each other, but every plant was shaped and molded to grow exactly the same way, the vines which lay stretched out on top of bail wire acted like a beautiful ceiling with leafy green and sparkles of sunlight peeking through here and there. even the bundles of grape did not grow randomly, they grew in a perfect straight line almost as though they were hung like a decoration, this was done for easy harvesting explained the man in charge and was done by careful pruning. 

After this we went for another drive and reached a spot where the van could no longer go further because of the loose sand, and after pushing and shoving to get the van back to where it again had traction, we all jumped on the back of a pickup truck, with the wind in our hair and a cloud of dust trailing behind us we anticipated our arrival, with every bump in the road getting us closer and closer. Finally after wizing past fields and huge piles of sheeps wool we saw them, 20 beautiful horses each in its own pen, except one little baby following its mother around. The men in charge picked three of the more calmer ones and started giving everyone a ride, some of us were more nervous than others but we all had our turn.

For anyone who has never seen this before, this is not fake,
this is how a pineapple grows.

At the end of the day we went to their meeting room were they gave us a snack and introduced us to all their head employees, each one explaining their role as person in charge, in total they  employ 1000 people in their slow season to 1500 in their busy season. before we left they presented us with six bins of avocado and three huge tubs of other food goodies. What a day, what an opportunity to see something more than sand blowing in a sun scorched dry land, there is something fight for, with hard work and dedication the opportunities are endless. Energy drained and on the road back home, laziness set in, with the son pressing in sleep would come easy, if this would have concluded the day there would have been no complaint, but wait, we live in Peru after all do we not.....

As the door to the orphanage came into view, in pulls a huge bus full of young teens just a few metres in front of us to beat us to the gate. A school from Lima had showed up to throw us a party. (This was planned but you see what I mean with Peruvian style planning) We had arrived home three hours late but this didn't seem to bother anyone, everyone quickly grabbed a bite to eat (in the kids houses this time) and gather up in the dining hall where the teens were waiting with boxes and boxes of gently used toys, books, crafts and games. Because of the now short time frame, they simply put the boxes in the center of the room and let the kids loose, free for all each to their own, what a riot! I started talking to the leader of the team and after stumbling through my spanish for about twenty minutes, he asked me where I was from, the stunned look on my face was not because of the perfectly normal question but rather because he asked it in perfect english! "I just like to see how good your spanish is" he says. After playing with the toys some and playing volleyball as usual, they packed back into the bus to leave. 

At this time I was running behind in my preparations for bible study, a small group that gathers in the church, we sing songs, read a little lesson and discuss it, we pray a lot and talk about our lives. I can't think of a better way to end the day. by the time I made it back in everyone was in bed, except of course my little Tahlia who was wide awake on my pillow waiting for daddy to put here down, she will have it no other way, tired as she may be, she will resist sleep without making a fuss until daddy can put her down, and gentle kiss and "night night" is not returned with "night night daddy" but rather with the most beautiful little grin and "chau, daddy chau" this cracks me up every time, Her pinky may be tinny but I'm wrapped around it completely. 
God bless you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.