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Responsibilities of a missionary’s mom

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Stay in contact with whatever means possible

   Thanks to that beautiful satellite that circles the earth, we don’t have to feel so disconnected from our children when they leave to parts unknown. And thankfully communicating via the internet, doesn’t cost us anything! Back in the day, when people traveled across the ocean to answer a call from God, their parents didn’t know if they would ever see them again. In our day, we have been spared that burden. We have much to be grateful for, don’t we.

Pray and share with our children how we are praying

  Praying constantly for our children across the seas, is a given. We don’t have to be told to do this, do we! I suggest finding bible verses that address their particular needs. This would be helpful and encouraging to them.

Stay informed as to  our children’s prayer requests

   We should also ask our children for their prayer requests. And when appropriate, recruit others to pray for those needs. The more people that are praying for our children, the better. But remember:

Keep confidences

   Security levels vary depending on where our children are serving. Seek their permission before sharing their prayer requests. Become informed as to how it should be worded, if it is to be shared. It is not necessary or wise to give too much detail.

 

As a general rule, be vague about using personal and place names

   Many of our children are on Facebook, so check out how they present information there. Follow their lead when you share anything online. Personally, I limit myself when giving out details concerning personal and place names. My children’s service area doesn’t require this, but I prefer to play it safe when I am writing my blogs. And with all that’s going on with Facebook these days, we should be careful about any information we place there. 

Keep them informed of what’s going on back home (the good and the not so good)

   Being so far away, our children loose touch with the daily goings on. Even though they may miss being with family and friends back home, they still want to stay connected. So, keep them informed of the major events and be sensitive about the details you choose to share. Some things are best not to share. Depend on God’s leading in this. 

Make sure our children have no doubt of our support

   Our children have made some radical changes in their lifestyles to follow God’s call upon their lives. They need to know that their families back home not only are praying for them but support them wholeheartedly. They have enough to deal with. We only add to their load if their family back home, for whatever reason, can’t release them to their calling. Let’s keep our focus on what is best for them. We have God’s grace to give us the strength we need to let them go. 

 

Thanking God for you who pray for our missionaries on their birthdays!

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  Wow, I’ve always taken great comfort in knowing that my missionary children have thousands, if not millions, praying for them on their birthdays.  However, the unexpected event that occasioned my daughter in law’s birthday Feb. 21st, demonstrated anew why that prayer support is so vital. 

   On 2/21 my daughter in law celebrated her birthday. Her husband, however, was away  in another country on a one month teaching assignment!  Therefore, taking care of two very energetic boys had to be done single handily. (Birthday or not) She’s been relying on the comfort of God’s presence for the energy and will power she was daily in desperate need of. And when the day of her birthday arrived, she found herself needing much more from God than she had expected!

images-3         Why?     images-3

   Because their youngest fell from a 4′ wall and needed to be taken to the ER. No calling an ambulance where they lived! So the other missionaries  living in the mission complex with my daughter in law went into family mode. One watched over their 5 year old while another drove my daughter in law and my grandson to the ER. Now this may not sound extraordinary!  But just trust me on this…it’s unnerving!  (3rd world big city, crowded, and chaotic streets! With a 3-year old and his mother in distress? You get the picture!) 

   Gratefully, the concussion that was expected never developed. My rambunctious grandson recovered with all his energy intact. (Though he may have slowed down somewhat as a result of his fall.) The wonderful news is… he is fine!

   And during all of this commotion, my daughter in law’s birthday had to be put on the back burner. On arriving home, much was made better by the thoughtfulness of her 5 year old son (and added thoughtfulness on the part of the other missionaries on site, I’m sure) who presented his mom with a crown and declared her queen for the day. Kids just know how to lighten the moment, don’t they!

Maridith and her bday crown

  So the next time you read your prayer calendar, remember my daughter in law and the unexpected challenge that announced itself on her birthday. You may not know the particular needs of our missionaries on the day of their birthdays, but God does! And on those special days, He individualizes our prayers, fashioning them to meet needs we know not of. 

GO INTO ALL THE WORLD

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THROUGH PRAYER

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   We can have a big part in making Christ known to the world. You want to know how? By taking to heart the prayer requests of our missionaries!

   For instance, my son’s team has recently made a most agonizing decision to not return to the country where they have spent the last few years.  Yet, they are concerned about the young disciples and the churches that were planted there. Additionally, they are seeking God as to where He will lead them next. Sharing these prayer requests is a priority for them.

  There is much we can do regarding these requests, even though we are not serving as missionaries ourselves. We should never underestimate the power of millions of people praying over missionaries’ prayer requests. For the more people who know of these requests the more people there will be who will be praying over them.

  It is standard operating procedure these days for missionaries to call on friends and families to join their prayer team. Joining these prayer teams and recruiting others to do the same is a responsibility we should take very seriously. Following their blogs and their twitter accounts keep us informed of their prayer concerns. When you get a prayer request be faithful to pray over it and share it with as many as possible. (Always using the security guidelines the missionaries have given)

   Taking to heart the prayer requests of our missionaries gives us the opportunity to take an active part in making Christ known to the world. In America we live in an environment where the temptation to live for ourselves instead of Christ (2 Cor. 5:15) is formidable. This temptation won’t be so easy to succumb to, if we direct our focus onto something outside of ourselves such as the prayer request of our missionaries.G

BIRTHDAY HUGS AND KISSES ACROSS THE MILES. . .

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Happy Birthday my little man!
Happy Birthday my little man!

My grandson turns two today.

My trial in all this is not being able to be with him on this happy day.

 My blessing is that I got to video chat with him this morning,

  and without being prompted he called me by my grandmother’s name. We gave each other hugs and kisses, played peek a boo, and he even tried to feed me some of the cereal he was eating–all thanks to this wonderful invention called Facetime!

   All along I have prayed that God would make up for the distance between us by blessing our relationship with a closeness that would transcend the distance. Happy moments like we enjoyed today, inspire me to believe that is indeed God’s plan!

   So I will resist, by God’s grace, the temptation (fiery dart*) to feel sorry for myself at being so far away from my little guy on his birthday!

(What good would that do anyway? It’s a fiery dart meant to make me miserable and create a burden for my son and his family. Nope, that’s just not going to happen!).

   Instead, I will reject such thoughts and replace it with the ‘Truth thought’ of rejoicing that his parents love God and are willing to be obedient to His call upon their lives and make the most of every bit of communication that God blesses us with.

My heart is full of joy and there’s simply no room for anything else! 

*For more on fiery darts check out my blog:

http://fierydarts.wordpress.com

or my book entitled:

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

You can order it from my fiery dart blog. Blessings!

Back to the Bush: Happy Birthday!

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Our birthday boy with his dad.

Our birthday boy with his dad.

2-20-13

     While living in the bush, one of our trainee’s children celebrated his 8th birthday. Here we were out in the middle of nowhere! I was really curious about how this celebration would turn out and how it would compare to his birthdays in America! I am sure this young man also wondered what kind of birthday, if any, he would have living in the bush. As it turned out this young man did celebrate his birthday and while basic in its celebration, it couldn’t have been more unique!

   

Our birthday boy's younger brother devouring the chocolate birthday cake.

Our birthday boy’s younger brother devouring the chocolate birthday cake.

   Back at base camp one of the trainees had baked a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a coke cake with buttercream icing and brought it as a surprise. My young friend was the most popular person in camp. Everything centered around him that afternoon. 

 

 

camp chameleon

camp chameleon

   My son had just returned from running an errand and on the way back to bush camp he saw a chameleon on the road. Guess what the birthday boy got for a gift that day!

   The chameleon was exotically beautiful. At first he was kept in a box, but that just seemed too restraining for a creature who previously had run of the African Savannah. The cactus tree in the center of camp seemed much more accommodating, so that became its new home. 

 

 

  According to the birthday boys wishes, we had two types of chicken soup (one with noodles, compliments of a local store near base camp, and one with rice!) I might add both were delicious, and I’m not kidding. Do you suppose it was so yummy because it wasn’t beans and rice? No, take my word for it, those trainees had mastered the art of cooking from scratch over a charcoal fire! The birthday boy was glorying in all the expressions of love, good tasting food, birthday presents, and attention. Any American kid would have envied him, I think!

     While this young man’s birthday may not have been typical in American terms, it contained all the necessary ingredients in making it memorable. He was surrounded by his loving parents and siblings, a host of grown up friends and young friends; presents, good food, and lots and lots of love. You think he might grow up and remember his bush birthday as one of his most memorable? Yep, bet he does!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY SON!

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Celebrating birthdays with thousands of miles between me and my child isn’t one of my favorite things to do.  It takes quite the adjustment to accept this reality, but because it is reality then I must find a way to accept it.  Wishing it wasn’t so, changes nothing and evening makes it harder to deal with.

So, I choose to focus on the positive things about this very special day.  Here are just a few:

I am proud and grateful to have a son that loves the LORD

I am grateful for the abundance of memories I have with him.

I am grateful for the relationship my son has with his sisters and they with him

I am thankful for the great relationship my son has with his dad

I am grateful for my daughter-in-law; for my son needed a woman like her

And, of course, I’m humbled and thankful for the relationship my son and I have

I’m so grateful to know that thousands of people are praying for my son on his birthday

And, oh yeah, thank you God for the technology that keeps my son and I close

That’s only a few of the positive thoughts I have on this very special day.  If you have such a son or daughter as mine, then you have ever as much to rejoice over as I do.  I hope you will continue to pray for me and my family as we make adjustments to this new life God has called us to.  But you know something?  I hope you aren’t feeling sorry for us, in fact there’s much about this life as a missionary’s family that is exciting and appealing.   It’s a matter of focus or perspective, really.  I’m planning on a trip to the country where my son and daughter-in-law live and that’s pretty exciting.  Hopefully, I’ll get to work alongside my son when I do visit and join him as he ministers to those he has been called to. How satisfying it is to be an instrument of God’s will in making Christ known to those who need Him.

So, happy birthday, my son and know I love you, I miss you, and I have tremendous peace that you are where you are, doing what you are doing!  I’ll be there in a few months and the anticipation of that is thrilling…

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