This week Brendan and I are in Zakynthos, our favourite Greek island. Brendan only has a debit card. The day before we left Ireland I canceled this card and ordered a new one. This new card in now in our post box back in Ireland two and a half thousand miles away. To say Brendan was unhappy when he found out is a bit of an understatement. We are budgeting whatever cash we brought.
We arrived last evening. It was a cool, had been raining, was very windy and the sea was stormy. Many hotels are closed as it is near the end of the season. Brendan was wondering if his favourite restaurant was open. Would there be any days in the sunshine? We sat out on the veranda and looked up at the bright full moon. I reassured Brendan that God is our shepherd and he promises to lead us beside still waters and green pastures to restore our souls, Psalm 23.
It is good to be back here. I am expecting to be rested, despite the jet lag. I have mentioned before that God intends for us to have times of feasting. Scripture says I would have fainted if I failed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
Sure enough this morning the wind stopped, the sea stilled, the sun shone, we sunbathed and ate at our favourite beach restaurant!
Zakynthos is a place we visited nineteen years ago this month. We met our good friend then. She remembers the exact date that Brendan baptised her.
We have been back to the island about twenty times. It has proven to be a place where we get rest, healing, sunshine, good food, and renew fellowship with our friend and our other good friend a Greek Orthodox nun.
Brendan brought me here just after I was diagnosed with cancer. I did not want to go anywhere after getting the news, but God strengthened me. Instead of being in hospital I was on holiday!
My body clock is still working on Irish time so I am wide awake. I have time to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness. We are here for fourteen days so Brendan suggested I write a little about each child on each day we are here. He promised to help me.
Shann is my first born, my beautiful, blond, curly-haired girl. Brendan and I used to talk in the night what the name of our first born baby would be. He used to say “This is a special child that has brought us together.” We rehearsed all the names we knew. Then one night I said “A cousin of mine is called Shann.” Brendan said “That’s the name if this child is a girl.”
Shann is a leader and a hard worker. I didn’t realise she was going to be the first of so many. She was an enormous help with her siblings, quietly working away without complaint. She may have found it hard at times but never showed it.
Shann now looks after her husband and four children. When Shann was expecting our first grandchild Brendan had a dream. In the dream he saw a blond haired boy. Jean Luc was born soon after.
All that training years ago did not go to waste. Shann is a great encourager and has a ministry of helps. She built up her local play group when her children were pre school age. He helps her neighbours and now works full time as a Community Nurse. People are always glad to see Shann arrive at their door. Well done Shann.
Brendan and I are proud of you.