Lucy Update, and Off to Japan

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I’m writing this at 3:30 am as I’m about to shut down my keyboard and head to the airport (although it will be posted later). This will be my fourth missionary retreat with our great people in Japan, held this time at a winter resort on the northern island. I’m bracing for very cold temperatures, and I might not have internet access, so I’m not sure if I can give any updates for the next eight days. But I’ll try.

In the meantime, I’m leaving a very sick sheep. Over the weekend, we made her as comfortable as possible in the little barn. She was unable to get up, but would try to stir around some when she heard us come in. I can understand why the man in Nathan’s parable was upset over the loss of his sheep. Sheep are companionship animals, like dogs, except they have no defensive tools. They are totally dependent on a caregiver. And they’re not as intelligent as dogs.

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But Lucy had enough knowledge to seem grateful when I sat down on the floor and put her old wooly head in my lap. I even prayed over her (the Lord is concerned, after all, about animals) and sang to her (“Savior, Like a Shepherd, Lead Us”). That’ll either make you laugh or cry, but I’ll have to say that it was kind of upsetting for me.

I covered her with an old blanket and kept a little space heater going nearby, so she wouldn’t get cold. But I couldn’t get her to eat or drink anything, and she wasn’t able to get on her feet. So I’m leaving her in the hands of my son-in-law, Ethan, who will give her a good Christian burial when she passes away. She’s had a very long and enjoyable life.

And with that, I’m off. But I would appreciate your prayers for the trip. Blessings!

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