Home

Compensations of sacrifice

Leave a comment

 

   A call from God can present some difficult challenges. So God always equips those He calls. God called my son and my daughter in law to the mission field.  Therefore, they have been and continue to be equipped by God to be able to deal with the challenges of such a life. But just as my son received God’s call to go, I received God’s call as well–to let him go.  

  Since their departure, God has given me opportunities I could never have imagined.   I’ve traveled to Peru where I have walked the ancient stone paths of Machu Picchu. In Africa I experienced the excitement of a safari, floated down the Nile River of Moses fame, and lived in a thatched roof mud hut in the savannah bush. A lifelong dream to go to Scotland was fulfilled not once but 3 times while my son studied for his masters at the University of Edinburgh.

   All of these adventures went a long way in compensating me for the sacrifice God had called upon me to make. But these adventures alone couldn’t have made up for the heartache my son’s exodus brought about.

But the following  has

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

My pain forced me to rely on God

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

In God I found comfort

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17

I learned to focus on God, not my pain

  You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. Isaiah 26:33
  It was good for me to be affected so that I could learn Your statues. Instructions from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. Psalm 119:71

I learned that my pain would not overwhelm me

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

I have drawn again and again upon the lessons I’ve learned from my experience as a missionary’s mom. And that is compensation far beyond any sacrifice I could have made.

 

Wrapping up one adventure; preparing for another one!

1 Comment

Grandaddy w/Shep

Grandaddy w/grandchild #9

   When our 9th grandson was born, my husband and I were blessed to be able to travel to where he was born. Then after about 2 weeks, my husband left for home and I remained in order to work with the staff children during a training session in the bush.

Sweet Togetherness!

Sweet Togetherness!

 

 

   On July 5th I wrapped up my ‘back to the bush’ posts about that great adventure entitled, ‘My final adventure-flying home!’  

 

 

The land of my dreams.

The land of my dreams.

   And just in time too. For in August, my husband and I will be meeting our son and his family in Scotland.

Why Scotland you may ask?

  Well, it just so happens that next year our son will be studying at the University of Edinburg working on his master’s in linguistics. Therefore, they will be taking care of the details involved in finding a place to live, etc. They will take some of their vacation time to accomplish this.

Now here’s where we get involved!

Our grandson (grandchild number 10) was born back in March. We were not able to travel to visit with him after he was born like we were able to do for his big brother. Therefore, we planned this trip to meet them in Scotland. Not only will we have the delight of seeing our new grandson for the very first time, but we will also get to see his 2 1/2 year old big brother, our son, and our daughter in law.  I have dreamed of traveling to Scotland for years and now thanks to my son’s need to study at the University of Edinburgh, my dream is coming true.

   Now, there’s a verse in Luke 6:38 that pretty much describes how I feel about embarking upon this new adventure:

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

Yep, in about 25 days my husband and mine’s blessing register will go off the scale. 

BACK TO THE BUSH: Last day!

Leave a comment

It is March 14, 2013 and I have spent my last days at bush camp. I had a lot of mixed emotions about leaving.

I searched my photos but no pics of the shower after the doors were installed by Simon and Cameron. That was such a vast improvement.

Outdoor shower!

   I confess mostly I was glad to be returning to a less rustic way of living. Carrying a 40 lb Jerry can of water down hill to an outdoor shower stall so I could pour cold water into a large bucket to wash off with, to stepping into an indoor shower stall and turning on the warm water; well, let’s just say it was kinda hard to teach this 64 year old grandmother a new way of doing things.

Filling up the Jerry cans!

Filling up the Jerry cans!

   

(By the way, the name Jerry cans originated with the Germans during WW II. They came to be called Jerrycans which was a snide name for the German soldiers.)

 

Outhouse!

And concerning that infamous latrine? When I walked away from that outhouse, I never looked back. And that’s all I am going to say on the subject!

Three parts of my heart!

              Three parts of my heart!

Of course, there were many more things I was going to miss. First and foremost was my son, grandson, and daughter in law. I was going to miss the opportunities to make memories (I’m big on that) with them. Soon, I would no longer be able to reach out and touch them physically. (Any reaching out and touching them after this would have to be accomplished electronically!)

775620_10152464779880389_869595158_o

I was going to miss getting to know the people they ministered with and ministered to. I would not get to experience watching those relationships blossom and become more dear. I would not get to watch the effect that coming to know Christ would have on new believers there. I would not get to be present when God gloriously answered prayers that I knew were heavy on the hearts of my son and his team.  

550769_10151831157820389_1002524896_nBut as I prepared to leave bush camp remembering the high points and even the emotional, physical, and spiritual struggles I endured and being somewhat disappointed in myself because I did not rise above them more successfully, I did not know then that it would be after I got back home before the lessons contained within the whole of my missionary experience would begin to take root. 

So, off to base camp we ventured where I would pack up and begin my long journey home. But that wasn’t to be the final event of my stay there. For malaria was yet to strike again!

BACK TO THE BUSH: Malaria

Leave a comment

3-11-13

On a Monday

   Thought I would be spending the night at camp, unlike my son and daughter in law who are now going back and forth from base camp to bush camp daily. (about a 45 minute bumpy drive)  But as it turn out  it was decided I would be returning to base camp as well. My teacher friend wasn’t feeling well and had remained at base camp.

   Returning to base camp was a change of plans I welcomed. This would give me more opportunities to hang out with the other staff members, plus my son and daughter in law. And, of course, at base camp I got to do more of the things a grandmother loves to do–helping out in the care taking of my grandson, plus having more time to spend with him so that he could hear my voice and get use to me. Hoping those baby memories of this time will linger and I won’t be such a stranger when next we meet. 

   Only one more night left at bush camp. I remember sitting on the side of the top of the mountain where the bush camp sat on my last day there. It had recently rained and the air was cool and moist without the dry dust and smokey smell (from the burnings) it usually carried. It was quiet and I could hear villagers in the distance singing. It was a peaceful moment and from my vantage point, it was hard to imagine this being a burdened land with violence and depravation. I wondered what sounds I would be hearing if the animals that once grazed this formidable land were still roaming about. (If they did, I might not be sitting here, actually)

   One of the team member’s daughter (6 years) has come down with malaria. She nor her mother would be returning to bush camp until she was well. Especially, since her younger brother came down with malaria a short while thereafter.

   Malaria seems to be a way of life around here. That is due I’ve discovered to a combination of factors. The type of mosquito which exists in this area is itself very efficient at spreading this disease, while local weather conditions (hot and rainy) allow transmission to occur year round.

   But using mosquito nets, which we were faithful to use at camp, and having access to medicines to treat malaria minimized the breakouts. If malaria is diagnosed and treated promptly those who come down with it can experience a complete recovery. Such was the case with my little friends!  

   One more night at camp and I held my breath that I nor my son or daughter in law or my baby grandson would be affected by this disease. 

BACK TO THE BUSH: Timely Words

Leave a comment

Quick action on the part of our trainees kept my tukal from catching fire.

3-5-13

(while alone in my tukal)

 

    I read in my journal today of a time when I was feeling kinda down. It seemed I felt I had missed out on some memory making time with my grandson and because my son was busy with camp things, I hadn’t seen much of him either. Put these two together and I’m sure you can understand the source of my sadness on that day.

   The real problem, however, was with me getting a bit too focused on myself. I would like to be able to write that this was only a temporary problem while I was there; that I succeeded in overcoming them, but I can’t. Oh, I did have moments when I clearly got past myself. Yet, there wasn’t as many of those type of moments as there should have been. 

   And in this instance, as I sat alone in my tukal sadly contemplating the long 5 days I had just gone without being able to connect with my son and longing for more moments to spend with my grandson God gave me a gift.

   My son popped into my tukal just to chat with me! He talked about what an honor it was to have me there and to work alongside with him in ministry. Those timely words delivered by my beloved son were just the balm I needed to lift the sadness from my heart. Just those few words dispelled the gloom and my world was bright again. 

Timely words, delivered by God who loves us more than we can imagine, will always dispel the gloom and make our world bright again.  

IMG_7077

BACK TO THE BUSH: God’s Provision

Leave a comment

IMG_4338

3/2/13  Journal  entry:

   Yesterday while I was here by myself with my grandson a young man named Mo dropped by. He had seen my son earlier in town and arrived here a little ahead of him. I took my grandson and went outside to visit with Mo for awhile.

   He gave me a gift of a multi-colored strand necklace of the colors of his country’s flag. I was deeply touched, telling him I was grateful and would cherish his gift.

   You know how often God will use unbelievers as instruments of His will in our lives? Well, that’s the case with Mo. On numerous occasions he has literally been a God-send to my son and his fellow team mates. He and my son developed a close friendship while my son lived in his village.

   I had heard many tales about Mo and how he just sort of ‘showed up’ when my son or others on the team were facing a challenging situation. It was like he had taken it upon himself to watch out for and protect these strange but very likable Americans! Of course, Mo had no idea that JEHOVAH-JIREH had been  responsible for providing for the needs of his new friends through the friendship Mo extended to them! 

   I had longed to meet Mo, for I wanted to see with my own eyes the man who had been such a source of help and encouragement to my son and his friends. It was a privilege to finally be able to express my thanks to him in person.

   To meet this man warmed my heart. He was physical proof that God indeed was supplying the needs of my son and his family as they served Him in this unfamiliar and foreign land.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

BACK TO THE BUSH: Loneliness isn’t hidden from God. . .

Leave a comment

 

 

The fire had crept up to the very edge of our camp.

Bush Camp – February 24, 2013

I was lonely at times during my bush camp adventure!

   That caught me off guard actually (for I’m not one that minds being by myself), but as I mentally revisit those days in my journal, I get why it happened. My main reason for signing on to this adventure in the first place was to store up as many memories as possible while getting to know my brand-new grandson, and reconnecting with my son and daughter in law as I served alongside them in their work. While my husband was still there and we were vacationing with our son and his family, my days were full of opportunities to store up those lovely memories. But once my husband left, and the preparation for bush camp begin, those opportunities became fleeting at best. 

   Part of the problem was that I was the only 65 year old person in the group. I was not accustomed to being the lone ‘old person’. Aside from my family, I didn’t really have much in common with the rest of that youthful crew. Therefore, as we hung out at camp or as we returned to base camp to recoup, individuals tended to gravitate towards those with which they had most in common. And ever so often I found myself alone feeling a bit out of place. 

   Those moments usually occurred when something I was hoping would happen didn’t! Oh, I had my pity parties but thankfully they didn’t last very long. For, I had plenty of journal writing to catch up on, good books to absorb, fun videos to watch and a nap was always welcomed. 

   Time spent by oneself can always be profitable, especially, if you are aware that your longings and sighings are not hidden from the One who loves and cares for you the most and who is your constant companion. The following explains why loneliness has little chance to overwhelm a child of God.

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. Psalm 38:9 

 

 

BACK TO THE BUSH: The Healing Power of Thankfulness

2 Comments

Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

BUSH CAMP – February 23, 2013

Something from my journal on this date:

Self-pity (the kind I experienced while living at bush camp) is referred to in Jesus Calling as a pit or demonic trap. The author’s advice on staying away from the pit is to stay close to Jesus as you praise and thank Him.

   When I wrote this paragraph in my journal, my mind was recalling the discouragement that almost overwhelmed me during my bout of illness shortly after arriving at bush camp. (Sickness, 9/26/2013). I hovered around that pit of self-pity almost daily. There would be moments when I felt the pull of the pit lessened, especially after an uplifting conversation with my son, reading something encouraging from Jesus Calling or my Bible, or having the Holy Spirit remind me of a precious promise from God. But in spite of all that, I struggled with self-pity, in my opinion, way too long.

Another journal moment:

I realize (from that experience) that sickness is the greatest of discouragements. It was so hard to pull myself out of the pit as long as I felt so sick. Ever been there? 

The following scriptures,

1 Thessalonians 5:18  KJV in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippines 4:6-7 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

offered the BEST of advice on how to handle difficult situations, but being physically ill had drained me of my ability to maintain an attitude of thankfulness when I went to God in prayer. I am sorry to say that most of my prayers during, those days of a challenging sickness, were me having a pity party and complaining to God.

   And I am sure that it comes as no surprise that I endured, on top of my physical illness, major fiery dart (http://fierydarts.wordpress.com) attacks because I wasn’t able to be the obedient Christian that I should be and thank God in the face of my difficulties. That’s condemnation, folks, not conviction.

   Fortunately, I knew the difference (thanks to the book God had me write about that, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice) and as I persisted in prayer, I became more cooperative with God as He continued working on His plans for me in that situation.

   You know, I would love to be able to tell you that I gloriously, and speedily rose above the self-pity and discouragement brought on by my illness, but I can’t really say that. However,  as I prayed and read my Bible and as I listened to others share about God in their lives, I found myself focusing on God more and less on my suffering. Eventually, my discouragement and self pity gave way to the healing power of thankfulness. 

BACK TO THE BUSH: Unconventional Prayers!

Leave a comment

Airport? Yep, dirt runway and 1 plane!

Airport in the Bush: No buildings, dirt runway, one plane!

     Living in the bush is nothing, and I mean nothing, like the life I live here at home. I want you to think of going to the airport to pick up someone. Images such as driving down a smooth highway in rather heavy traffic, making a mad dash to the airport so you get there before the plane lands, pulling into the airport with planes taking off and landing overhead, air traffic control towers positioned strategically near the asphalt covered runways, or entering the multi-leveled terminals perhaps come to mind. Now, discard almost every one of them. 

February 22,2013

     On this particular morning, I was given the opportunity to ride with my son to the airstrip (notice I didn’t say airport) to pick up a couple from their mission organization, who were making a routine visit to see how well the missionaries in their charge were faring. 

     By the time it was decided that my son and I were to leave it was 8:52 a.m. and this couple was to arrive at 9:30. It typically took a minimum of 45 minutes to make such a trip.  You do the math! This was the familiar part of the experience–making a mad dash to the airport to arrive before the plane landed! 

    We needed to navigate the route as quickly as possible and for a very good reason–if the plane arrived before we did this dear couple would have to wait for us. Not a good idea!  For you see, unlike our airports, there were NO buildings where they could wait. It would be a matter of standing out in the open, on this lonely little strip of dirt!

    At the outset of the trip, I began praying. Roads there are pitted with holes of all depths and sizes, so my son’s daunting task was to dodge these potholes as speedily as possible.  My task was to keep my eyes glued to the road and warn him of the potholes and bumps ahead. 

     At one point, I failed to warn my son in time about a dip in the road ahead (we were in rather a hurry, you see) and the land rover went airborne. You know, I had always wondered what it might have been like for those Duke boys when the General Lee catapulted into the air! Well, now I knew!

     And just as we turned onto the road that led to the airstrip, my son saw the plane high up in the sky just beginning to make its descent. We high 5’d each other and shouted with relief! (Just like the Duke boys!) I thanked God (for the sake of the couple we were meeting) for understanding and mercifully seeing fit to  answer the rather unconventional prayers this not so typical mom of a missionary had been praying!

BACK TO THE BUSH: Making Memories?

Leave a comment

February 19, 2013

It was time for the staff to recoup and return to base camp.

     Something that I had come to associate with delicious and expanded recipes, sleeping on a comfortable bed with the luxury of having the bathroom a few steps from that bed, living quarters inside a ‘real’ house protected from the elements, and a warm shower. I can rough it with the best of them, but having this break to return to a life more akin to what I’ve become accustomed to–we’ll for me it was restorative!

     On the way back, we had to stop at the open market in town.(You know, time to go to the grocery store!) An experience that put me in touch with my country roots for it reminded me in many ways of the farmer’s markets back home. There were the familiar red tomatoes, potatoes, corn, rice & beans, pineapples, bananas, etc. I was fascinated with my daughter in law’s skillful ease with which she moved through the market making her selections and hashing over the prices with the vendors with sensitivity and fairness. 

    However, in the short time I lived there I never reconciled myself with the cultural phenomena of our truck being swarmed by a legion of curious onlookers during these market experiences or each and every time we entered town and brought the truck to a stop.  I remember one time when our truck was swarmed by so many curious observers that we felt movement as they began pushing in to see inside the truck. An adult male came to our rescue; shouting and waving his arms commanding them to back off. Finally, we were able to ease pass them and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

     I realized that my son and daughter in law have come to see this life as “home”. Slowly but surely these sights and sounds that to me (and to them at first, I imagine) were strange and unfamiliar were eventually being transformed into the familiar and were becoming the stuff of memories for them. My son’s children’s ‘growing up memories’ will look nothing like their cousin’s and there won’t be those familiar memories that will bond and unite them as family.  

     Nevertheless, we will pray for God to guide us as to how we can find ways to bond and be united as a family living on different continents and within a vastly different culture. I am confident He has a plan and we will be trusting Him to reveal it to us.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

 

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: