Jason & Nicole Hoover | Solid Rock

Jason & Nicole Hoover | Solid Rock

In the Eye of the Storm

It seems like many people are weathering through a storm right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused upheaval across the world. Our family is no exception. We also have endured some difficult moments over the past several weeks. 

When I last wrote a blog, we had decided that we were going to stay in San Juan and hunker down. We were mentally prepared to do so. However, the morning after I posted a blog, I received a call from immediate family with devastating news. My younger brother had lost his life to a drug overdose.  Weighing all options and seeking counsel from some church family, we decided that it would be best if we left San Juan and traveled to central Pennsylvania during this time of grief and loss for my family. COVID-19 has not made the grieving process easy. We still have not been able to come together for a memorial service as we are waiting for a “hopefully” safer time to do that when stay-at-home orders are lifted. 

We are staying at our small, 2-bedroom apartment in the bottom of the house that we own in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. We have tenants that live above us. When we initially traveled, we completed 14 days of self-isolation because we had passed through the international airports, but now that time has passed and we are interacting with our tenants as if we all live together in the same house (I mean- we do) and we are helping out one another. They have a toddler and a newborn. I have a super social 7 (almost 8) year-old and a 10 (almost 11) year-old introvert that needs time apart from his sister.

We have continued with homeschool and have appreciated being able to participate in a few extra “Zoom” Bible studies. Our church has also been preparing and dropping off packets for children’s Sunday school lessons each week. Knowing that we were all going to need to keep our hands/minds busy while away from San Juan, we decided to build some gardening boxes and plant seeds. If we are not here to reap the harvest, we know that our tenants will enjoy the fresh vegetables. Jason has also been updating the kitchen in our apartment. It was quite old and unconventional and each year we try to do at least one improvement/update to the home. 

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We continue to keep in close contact with all our San Juan friends and co-workers and pray for them daily. It is extremely difficult not knowing when we will be able to return to the place that we have come to love so much. Having the borders shut down brings out an additional feeling of grief in all of us. We have never been in central Pennsylvania without a return date on the calendar since our initial move to the DR.

I have continued to work on the 6-month child nutrition report from here by using the electronic database that we created just before shut-down orders began. We participate in bi-weekly SRI staff meetings and had the opportunity to participate in the Zoom board meeting on Saturday. 

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I find myself contemplating about the despair and desperation that drug addiction causes and how lonely and depressed my brother must have felt. I also think about those that have not placed their hope in Jesus Christ as Savior during this time of pandemic. I imagine that there is despair and desperation for things to return to “normal”. It is our responsibility as believers to share the hope of Jesus Christ. He is the Only thing that can provide ultimate peace in our lives no matter what the circumstances may be. I encourage you all to seek Him and lean on Him during this time. If any of you have questions about what it means to have Jesus as your personal Savior, please reach out to me. I would be happy to have a conversation with you about it. 

I ask that you cover our family in prayer through this time of grieving and that we would feel God’s peace through the storm.

I will leave you with some song lyrics by Ryan Stevenson. They speak to me and hopefully they can speak to you too. 

In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
And in the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm

When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm

Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m runnin’ out of faith
I see the future I picture slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

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