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We Hosted a PAIS Intern...and LOVED it!

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It was almost a year ago when we were sitting in church and heard about PAIS. The person talking mentioned the type of work the interns would be doing and that host families would be needed for the year.

Here were our thoughts at the time: Could we be a host family? Maybe this was a “youth” issue. What impact would this have on our lives? Maybe someone else would volunteer? Some of these thoughts and questions were because we had never done something like this before. We haven’t had anyone that wasn’t family living with us for over 15 years. We weren’t sure how this would work!

I had recently retired. Bob and I planned to be away for most of September.  We decided it wouldn’t be fair to have someone come stay with us starting in September and then leave them for weeks - though it still played on our minds to host a PAIS intern. We were relieved to hear all the team members were hosted for September.  We had heard some interns were staying with Bayer family.  We asked Pastor Rick how it was going with the interns.  We shared our thoughts on hosting, however the timing didn’t work for September. We did say to him “if anything happens with any of the placements after September, let us know. We would be willing to host.”

Time marched on.  We had seen the interns in action during church and with the youth.  We had each commented a time or two “we would have hosted, but we were away in September.” Always said with longing of the what if.

Bob drove the bus for youth camp up to Tulahead in the fall. He commented on how the three interns from PAIS were so involved in different ways with the youth at the camp.  He had commented on how positive it was.

At the beginning of December, we received a random email from Kim Savage.  She said she had heard we were interested in hosting a PAIS intern. She wondered if were still interested as one of the interns was in need of a host family for January. Bob and I agreed we would like to give it a try and Corey came to stay with us starting January 2 of 2017.

His stay with us has been fun, interesting, educational and comfortable. He is a kind, considerate young man.  His is enthusiastic about his role with PAIS, the youth and the community.

As PAIS interns, they are incredibly active in the community, church, youth and their own personal growth. It helped to have a “Corey Calendar” so we knew where he was and when – he was a busy guy and the calendar helped us know if he would be home for dinner and for him to know if we wouldn’t be home. This was a great tool on the kitchen wall we referenced daily!

Corey has been part of our family all spring and summer. He has a great sense of humour, he is kind and considerate. He likes to help out, especially in the kitchen. He is eager to try new things as long as it isn’t a green vegetable. At Easter we told Corey we were having 28 people for dinner.  He commented “I’ll help out! Who is going to do all the dishes!”  Corey and Johnny (another PAIS intern) helped fill some plastic eggs we hid outside for the children – always helpful!

Corey has made us aware of the youth at our church.  He shares activities they are doing and shows how involved they are in the community.  This has given us insight and involvement with the youth we wouldn’t have had without having stepped up and out of comfort zone to become a host family for PAIS and for Corey.

July 14th Corey flew home to Germany.  This was a hard day for us as Corey became a part of our family in a really good way. We will miss his smile and his “oh, oh yeah!” when we ask him a question (for those that now Corey, you know what I mean!).

We know his family has missed him and will be excited to have him home. We wish him well in the new job he is going home to at Carhardt Europe. We will continue to pray for him. We will keep in touch with Corey and intend to visit his parents this fall in Germany.

There are so many positives about being a host family.  I’m so glad we decided not to question or come up with reasons not to do it.  I’m glad we said yes to the opportunity and the possibilities. We would like to be a host family again.  It is fun!

A "Not Asked" Prayer is Answered

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While Lois and I vacationed together with Ron and Judy last week in Maui there was an interesting incident that took place. We were enjoying the morning surf and sun, swimming and snorkeling at Ulua Beach Park, near Wailea.

We had gone out snorkeling and while returning to the beach I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to remove my wallet from my bathing suit pocket. Luckily, I had placed it a Ziploc sandwich bag to protect it from moisture. I reached down and to my horror I found that the wallet had disappeared! Controlled panic took place and I headed for shore to search for the wallet. But I already knew it was not there.

I yanked everything out of Lois’ beach bag, but my wallet was nowhere to be found. Gone were my credit cards, debit cards, I.D. cards, medical cards, Nexus card, all of my cash, and more! I was dismayed, but controlled (Lois would say frenzied) in a manly sort of way. I got the car keys from Ron and headed to search the car for the wallet that I already knew was not there.

As I walked a short distance towards the parking lot I heard someone call, “Hugh”. I did not recognize the voice, but I turned and saw a young man who asked me “Are you Hugh?”

“Yes” gasped and he asked if I had lost my wallet. He said that he recognized me from my photo ID (which must have been easy when he noticed my finely chiseled features) and that his dad had found my wallet floating out in the ocean.

My wallet was returned dry and with nothing removed. I thanked the strangers from Boise, Idaho profusely.  I commended them for their honesty.

I returned with my wallet to Lois, Ron and Judy, who were surprised, relieved, and amazed. I found myself marveling and continually thanking God for the return of my wallet. Imagine someone, an honest person, finding my small wallet in that large expanse. I went from dismay to euphoria. Coincidence alone? I don’t think so! During my short ordeal, my first inclination was not to pray, but God blessed me anyway.

Psalm 136:1 NLT
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.”     

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