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A New Season of Life Awaits Us

November 8, 2022

Warren Lathem, still “ Wally” as I knew him in college and seminary days, wrote and shared this in late August of this year —-

It’s our last night in the house in Rome, GA. We survived the pandemic here. We had about a year here before the “two week quarantine guaranteed to flatten the curve,” we got our three vaccines, guaranteed to protect us from Covid. We wore the masks, then we didn’t wear them. We washed every grocery item wrapper until we didn’t have to. We maintained the 6 foot rule until we learned it was not so helpful after all. We worshipped for weeks in the church parking lot. We sang behind plexiglass even though we were at least 10 feet from the congregation. We buried friends who succumbed to Covid. We avoided it completely, so far.

During this time we spent a lot of time in the pool. We welcomed “Covid refugees” from Venezuela who got stranded in New York by the lock downs. They have lived in our guest house now about 3 years and have become family to us. They will move into our house this weekend. We were reminded through them of the multiplication of blessings when we give.

I think I wrote 8 books, or was it 9, during this time in Rome. All but two of them were for the church in Venezuela. What a blessing the pandemic proved to be for this season of our lives. It made us slow down and do things differently.

Yet the work of Venezuela Now continued in spite of the pandemic. It certainly was impacted and many methods both here and in Venezuela had to change. But we still supported the Seminary, bought three more properties in Venezuela, saw the Medical Centers expand from two to five, shipped several million dollars worth of food and medicine, started the largest building project on the Seminary Campus, successfully launched the Virtual Seminary touching students in 8 countries, and more. All during and just after the pandemic.

We were received here by a loving church family and pastor, Dr. Millie Kim, at Second Avenue UMC where they let us sing in the choir. We went to a couple of Red Back singings at some churches in the area. We saw the splintering of a once great denomination. I even moved my ordination credentials out of the UMC after 50 years of ministry.

Now the house is empty except for a few pieces of furniture to be loaded in the morning, just Jane, Bessie and me. God has blessed us here. I even got a new hip while we lived here!

Tomorrow we will be greeted in our new home by Jared, Lim, Zoe, Elijah, Alana and Zyana…the reasons we are moving. A new season of life awaits us. We will be living just 5 minutes from them. We will get to worship with them every Sunday we are in town.

What does tomorrow hold for us? The first solo I ever sang in 1972 said, “I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.”

Good night. Until tomorrow, if we are granted another day.

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