May was an amazingly challenging month for the Damrons! Yet GOD remains faithful and has brought us every step of the way... although we are only in the very beginning stages of our Food Pantry, we were able to help our first family from the New Day Resource Center with Vern Herman's help. This family had first visited on Easter Sunday!
The beginning of May found us still recovering from Alan's surgery and taking advantage of basement living! That next week we greeted some new friends from Springdale, AR: Fred Hash and his sister, Geneva Worley. They were such a genuine blessing to our lives! Fred & Geneva stayed about 3 weeks and worked very hard on anything we needed--and there were several projects we had not been able to get done. Other than several repair projects Fred completed, they also cleaned out one of the closets for our Food Pantry, and built racks for our future Clothes Closet, installed two coat racks downstairs, and much more. They are now part of our family and we hope to see them back next summer!
As the month progressed Alan was up enough to sit on a tall stool to preach a brief Mother's Day message. On May 16th we drove to Seattle to pick up Alisha for a two month visit in the US from Uganda. It was so wonderful to have her here, face to face, give her hugs, and walk around the beautiful city together. Tuesday Alana rested in the hotel room while "the girls" went to the downtown market, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and enjoyed a great day. But, that night Alisha had excruciating stomach pains which did not ease. We drove back to Haugan on Wednesday and by Thursday morning we drove her to the ER in Missoula. She was admitted into the hospital with pancreatitis and gall stones. She was seriously ill. Fred and Geneva were kind enough to drive to Missoula and pick Alan up to go back to Haugan while I stayed at the hospital with Alisha. It ended up being a 5 day stay! She was released after most of the inflammation and fluid subsided, but they scheduled her for outpatient surgery to have the gall bladder removed the following Thursday--the same day Fred and Geneva had to leave to return to Springdale. This was quite a challenge, although Alan is much more independent--it still left one very inadequate nurse with two patients! It was quite a ride... Alisha had to extend her stay with us for one week and had a follow up doctor visit the next Friday. She then flew to Durham to travel from North Carolina to Texas meeting with her supporters and seeing friends and family. Since the doctor would not release her to fly to Louisville on schedule, the Lord provided a way for us to bring Alana to Montana.
On May 23rd we were honored to have our home pastor, Dr. Cliff Jenkins, visit and preach for the Haugan services. He and Harlan Earp came to visit over the weekend and see the area and potential of the work here. They also drove Alan to the hospital in Missoula on Saturday to see Alisha and return home. Most amazing of all, on the last Sunday of May all four of the Damron family were in Haugan for services! We had not been together in one place for over a year--how thankful and blessed we were!
Some exhilarating "highs" and heartbreaking "lows": One of the girls in our core Youth group graduated this year and received some scholarships to attend nursing school in the fall in Missoula. We are so proud of her and this is a wonderful opportunity. Then, our senior high boy just won state at high jump recently! Way to go, T! Sadly we just found out that one of our favorite junior high girls has been removed from her home by Child Protective Services and sent to live with a family in another state along with one other sister. Our hearts are absolutely broken and will miss her dearly. We are praying the Lord will send new Christian friends into their lives.