More love has blossomed in the Hage household this year and has even borne some fruit. Two big events compete for emotional high of the year. Son Ruben and Alexis gave birth to Cassandra on July 10 and daughter Rebecca and Pedro married to great fanfare in Summit County August 28. While everyone (including 7 of the 10 kids!) was still in town for the wedding Cassandra was baptized on August 29. Our family, never small, has begun a new stage of growth.
At the same time my work has transformed. It was bittersweet but I closed MAPS Colorado this year. The adoption/foster care agency had become too big for me to manage and I was not able to find anyone to keep track of the records in the meticulous manner that the state demands. I am sleeping much better! Since the agency is closed I now have time to go in a new direction so am planning several aid projects. Last year Paul and I and seven other volunteers went to Manchay, Peru to build a handicapped center. The need for a classroom for the special needs children is so great that we are going to go build another one August 5 – 21. My fondness for Manchay needs further expression so I am going to teach English there for six weeks beginning in March. Raising funds for Manchay has been a great challenge but not as great as finding the means to renovate an orphanage and school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I travel there 12/15 to spend a week coordinating the start-up of this project.
Paul retired from Xcel Energy in June of 2003 and has found his calling at the paint counter at the local Ace Hardware Store. He is now managing the paint departments of two stores so is kept busy going back and forth. Not having enough to do he is now our church treasurer and is president of our local Thrivent Chapter, a benevolent organization. So much for retirement.
Matthew is flying cargo from Plattsburg, New York. Jonathan, legal name change to Alejandro (which I always forget and so continue to call him Jonathan), continues to fly for Frontier. Rachel and Kellie will both finish their doctorates in Sociology this spring. We are all waiting with bated breath to see where they will land to begin their careers. Pedro has accepted a 2 year position in Paris so he and Rebecca will move there in March. Brandon and his two little ones are doing well. Robert is back in prison where he is really safer and where he gets a place to sleep and food to eat. He was out for about 6 months, a record for him and his drug addiction/alcoholism. Jamie hopes to get released to community service in Denver in the spring. Amber is clerking in Denver. Jesse is in Reno, working and doing gigs as a rather talented rap singer. Ruben is such a proud and wonderful father. Alexis has returned to work and I get to babysit Cassie whenever they are both working and I am in town. YEA!!!!
We are all living out very ordinary lives doing very ordinary things. In very ordinary ways we attempt to carry out the generous acts of grace that tell other ordinary people that they are loved by a very extraordinary God.