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  • Writer's pictureJane Ritzenthaler


Praise God, I'm going back to England! After I met the couple in Oxford last fall from Australia who sold their home and house sit globally 24/7/365, I signed up on the website that matches homeowners with potential sitters. And I just landed my first assignment! I will be spending 10 days (plus travel days) at the end of March in their home in Aston, England. It is a village on the edge of the Cotswolds, but they live in a new home. A delightful couple in their 60s, they are off to Morocco, and I'll be tending their 3 cats and (very large) dog, Peggy. And to make it even more amazing, they will let me use their car...and take me to and from the airport!

But even more amazing, I think God is giving me wings. Wings to visit the people and places that have been dear to my heart over the past several years.

In 2005, Richard and I took our one and only cruise - the inland passage in Alaska. At our table that first night was a Jewish couple from Israel - Micha and Michal Livny. We hit it off, and over the years, the relationship blossomed. We flew to Israel in 2007 and stayed with them, touring the Holy Land as only the locals could do. We traveled there two more times, visiting the old city of Jerusalem, Galilee, Capernaum...and seeing things most visitors on tours never get to see, like spending the weekend in a hut in the Negev and riding camels!

Then in 2014, after losing our businesses and home in the economic downturn, we moved to Boquete, Panama. Our 'plan' was to retire to a place where we could live comfortably on our Social Security (since that's all that we had left!) but God...He had a bigger plan. We soon became involved with an expat fellowship that ministered to the Indigenous peoples of the country, I honestly felt more connected and in sync with God's purpose for our lives than ever before.

But then Richard's health declined. Within months, his mind and body were failing. So we came back to the States, and even with expert medical help, within six months, he was gone.

I fully intended to return to Boquete...but the Lord told me that chapter in my life was over. I had fulfilled my assignment. So I settled into Camp Verde, Arizona, living in the guest house at my son's home. A home that my husband had designed when Mike and Dawn purchased the property many years prior. I started attending their church, a Calvary Chapel, and quickly found my new spiritual home. Just three months after Richard's passing, I began working at the church two days a week...and loving it.

Over the last four years, I think the Lord has continued to mature me. (Yeah, I know - I just turned 78, it's about time!) He has drawn me closer to Him, comforted me, challenged me...and tested me. Now I hear him whispering in my ear that we're on to something new.

Part of that new adventure is the return to England in March. And I believe, also back to Israel. And to Boquete. Brief visits, but important to whatever the Lord is doing in my life and to those whom I love and to whom He has called me!

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