The Gift of Friendship

This post is shared by Barbara Trumbower, a GMI missionary in Puerto Rico. You can learn more about her and her husband and their ministry here.
    Ada and I met several years ago at the annual meeting of the Association of Broadcasters in Puerto Rico, in which both of our husbands were involved.  She was with two other ladies, but invited me to sit with them while we waited as the men did their thing, eventually even eating together.
     You know how some people just click?  I was drawn to Ada by her exceptionally sweet spirit and her warmth toward me.  She tells me kind things as well, but I credit her with being the stronger catalyst in our relationship.  She has told me her age, but I don’t specifically remember it at the  moment; approximately 10 years my senior as I recall.
     Once a year we would meet at the annual meeting, and I began looking forward to it, mostly for the anticipation of seeing her and chatting, if even just for a few minutes.  We shared about our dear families, about God’s goodness, and on a light level, about our principles and philosophies ~ which, I was happy to discover, coordinated very nicely.  This is a Catholic country, and I wondered if that might be part of the reason … simply that we each had enjoyed a basically God-fearing background.  Yet that didn’t seem to account for it all, and I became very inclined to consider her a genuine Believer.  One year I felt led to gift her with a small, lovely hardbound book ~ Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” in Spanish.  A brief stateside friend had given me her own copy years previous, and it had become a measurable encouragement to me.  Turns out Ada loved it, and it drew us even closer.  Plus, she always spoke of God (never Mary) and Jesus Christ with conviction and reverence.  I sensed that was remarkable in our professional circles.
     About a year ago, during an extended telephone conversation, I learned that her husband of six decades had left her for another woman.  I was incredulous, but listened as she briefly related the situation, which made me understand even more how she had been encouraged by the book.  And what struck me most forcibly, was her complete lack of bitterness or resentment, even as I “heard” the sadness in her spirit.  She only communicated the signs of a person being borne up by the Spirit of God.
     After Hurricane María, Ada spent almost three months in the United States before returning to Puerto Rico after electricity had been restored to her area of the island.  We still do not have show power here, so many things take longer than they used to, but she and I have been in touch from time to time.  Recently I calculated that it had been about two months since we had last spoken, and wondered if perhaps she might think Lawrence and I had left the island.  So, I called and we got ourselves up to date.
     She is not bedridden, nevertheless, her health is somewhat frail, and each of us expressed the longing to see the other at least once again.  She now has a grandson living with her, and a lady who attends to personal needs.  So, reading friend, if you would include Ada and myself in your prayers, I would be extremely grateful.  We strongly desire to see each other, face-to-huggable-face before anything might make it impractical for either of us to have that connection.  I already have an appropriate simple gift for her, plus a small series of down-to-earth Scriptures which I believe will be not only welcome, but eternally valuable as well.
      May our loving and all-worthy God receive the final glory in this relationship.  ~ Barbara
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