Big Frank, Ms. Persistence, & Iris

Author: Michael Babienco

August 2023

“Come quick! Big Frank is here!” Caitlyn called to me while I was packing some belongings in another room.

I ran to join Caitlyn by our large dining room window, and sure enough, there was Big Frank, our backyard’s resident groundhog. A few summers before, Big Frank and his spouse had some baby groundhogs, who we had affectionately called Little Links. Today, Big Frank came right up to our back porch and was chowing down on the grass. Click, click, click. I snapped a few pictures on my DSLR camera before Big Frank ran back home, and I returned to my packing.

Thunk. Thunk, thunk. A strange sound emanated from our front yard. Caitlyn and I peered out the front window amidst our partial packing chaos. We were amazed to see a female pileated woodpecker, Ms. Persistence, attacking the large stump outside. Thunk. Thunk, thunk. The bird went ‘round and ‘round the stump, searching for some juicy worms. I grabbed my DSLR and ever-so-slowly opened the front door. Click, click. I got some great pictures before Ms. Persistence flew off.

As the packing was nearing completion, I noticed that the irises around the back porch would bloom soon. Dear God, it would be great to see one of those bloom before we moved out, I prayed. A few days later, as Caitlyn and I toured our now-empty apartment for almost the last time, I noticed that not just one but two of the irises had bloomed. With my DSLR packed away, I took a quick picture on my smartphone. Click.

Thank you, God.

One of our favorite features of our old apartment was the wonders of nature we saw regularly. As we packed up and moved out, God brought many of our favorite wonders right by our home, just for our enjoyment and pleasure. Now, Caitlyn and I live at AFM’s training center and are participating in the summer training program.

God has led every step of the way in this adventure, and we see His blessings even in this stressful season of transition. Please continue to pray for us as we train and prepare to move full-time to Japan.