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Bringing them home!

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   The plane trip home from Scotland did not involve sad good bye’s this time.  While I had to fly to Scotland by myself, the trip home was something I could look forward to. This trip all 5 of us boarded the plane that would fly us back to the good ole’ USA together. There we would be lovingly welcomed by my husband, my mother, my two daughters who live in the area, along with their families. Our happiness exceeded our expectations.

  Thanks only to God’s provision, I was able to fly over to help out with the packing and preparations in moving out of the flat. I was quite proud of my son and his discipline in completing his assignments. Not an easy task, for sure. But with the support and understanding from his wife and colleagues, he completed his proposal.

  Now for the next two months, while here in the US, he will be writing his dissertation. That is going to take quite the effort and exercise in discipline to complete. But he has proven he is capable and with the continued support of his wife and family, I am confident he will finish well. Please consider the following as you pray for him:

That he would look to the LORD for his strength and seek his face always as he encounters the challenges, and seeks the discipline to finish his course. (taken from 1 Chronicles 16:11)

   Then early in September they pack back up and return to Africa. First to Uganda, then to Chad. The whole team is relocating and the logistical details are staggering. They will need your prayers. Please consider the following as you pray for them:

That they would look to you LORD and Your strength and seek your face always as they encounter the discouragements, challenges, and trials of the day. (taken from Psalm 105:4)

Show them the right path O LORD: point out the road for them to follow, lead them by Your truth and teach them. . . (taken from Psalm 25:4)

Saying Goodbye Yet Again? It’s Doable!

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Jeremiadoss Family Back to Africa

   The time has come for my son’s team member’s family to return to their ‘home’, as their children call it, back in Africa. Stateside is a blissful experience in a lot of ways. (Not without it’s stresses, for sure) But one is always comparing life here with life there. Life in Africa with it’s vastly different climate and culture is a far cry from life in the United States.

   But, you know, that’s not what makes it hard to say goodbye to each other. For the missionaries have come to love and value their life where they serve. As is evident in this quote from the article above.

Africa has a way of never leaving you the same-once you go, the beautiful, perseverant people have a way of intertwining with your soul and leaving you with a heartsick ache. It is with great excitement that we return to Africa

   And for us as their family who must bid them farewell, yet again, knowing they feel this way about where they serve, is a blessed comfort. 

   At those moments when the farewells must be said, it’s the  fact that our lives must move forward in separate directions that hurts. Now our memories won’t include each other as they did during stateside. This is and never will be easy! That’s the fact, the reality of their calling (to go) and our calling (to release) is something that can’t be taken lightly! 

   But we are not without comfort! God built those comforts into our obedience! Personally, I don’t expect these farewells ever to be easy. Though by experience I have come to realize they are doable. And as God promises,

I can do all things through Him who strengths me.Phillipines 4:13 NKJV

My final adventure – flying home!

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March 17, 2013

   Sitting at Gate B5 waiting on my plan to Newark. The path here led me to go through security. Wasn’t quite sure about that but when I finally got to GB5 they said I was at the right place. Got my Brussel boarding passes to United.

Our last selfie (for awhile)!

Our last selfie (for awhile)!

   In Newark I will have to get my bags and check in at customs. I will have about 4 hours, so that should be enough time. I ask more questions now but still a bit hesitant. But I’m following a friend’s advice and trying to look as if I’m relaxed and confident. I’m not afraid as long as no crises come up. I am trusting God to guide my steps, however!

   Went to a vending machine and though I didn’t have proper coins to get a Belgium waffle, I at least saw them this time? Saw a coffee place, but I’m waiting to get to the U.S. for my coffee. Want to wait until I am in familiar territory and can use my card or U.S. money.  

   Also tried to get on wifi here but no go. When I’m in Newark I’ll get online there and use my phone to message everyone. I know that some of my grans will not be there to meet me and that is disappointing. But excited to see the ones that will be there. My husband, my mom, my daughter, and two granddaughters were standing there waiting to greet me. I could hardly contain myself when I laid my eyes upon them.

Back on good ole American soil.

Back on good ole American soil.

One of the first things I wanted to do was to go to Cracker Barrel and sit by the fireplace while enjoying some good ole American food. My husband and I went the next day. A crackling fire in the fireplace, sitting where I could feel the coziness of it as I feasted on turkey and dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, biscuits and cornbread, and oh yeah, a traditional Southern favorite, sweet iced tea–yep, I was home! Traveling alone was not scary but it was boring. God hovered over me every step of the way. 

Summing it all up!

   Going to Africa was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I disappointed myself quite often, especially when I got sick while living in the bush. Those were unpleasant and difficult memories but as God is always faithful to prove the truth of His word, it all worked together for my good. I grew so much spiritually but again it came from enduring the difficulties. I was inspired again and again by the commitment of my son and daughter in law to making Christ known to these new people God had led them to. 
   Would I go back? In a heart beat! For now I’ve a better idea of what to expect and that is huge in my book in handling those rough spots and uncertainties. My heart’s desire is to go to the home where my son and his family now live. I want to walk around the place they live,  see where my grandsons play, meet their adopted family, and experience the work they are doing for our LORD.

   Will just have to wait on the LORD for that and trust Him to do whatever He desires to do! I am willing, if He presents the opportunity!

BACK TO THE BUSH: And a good ole country breakfast

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Journal Date:  3-10-13

   Yesterday a young couple, friends of my son and daughter in law, arrived at base camp to spend a few days.  They would be heading out to bush camp to teach some classes on health care, language, and culture. 

   Since this would likely be the last time I would enjoy the company of these good folks, I came up with the idea of fixing a good ole American country breakfast before they and we, the bush camp staff, headed out to camp later in the day. Here’s the menu we decided upon:

Scrambled Eggs

Bacon

Hasbrowns

Biscuits

Milk Gravy

Lots of good coffee

   Everyone, who was cooking, chose their dish to prepare. I chose to make the milk gravy that would be poured over biscuits made from scratch by another. Now, here we were, a group of Americans, mostly southern and bent toward country living and eating. We were in ‘hog’ heaven! 

   Though our environment looked nothing like the setting we associated with such a meal, the homey smell of bacon frying and homemade biscuits cooking, put us all in mind of gathering around the table in a country kitchen back home. The spice of conversation and fellowship completed the picture that Norman Rockwell would have delighted to paint. 

   It just goes to prove that no matter where you go, home is always with you, just waiting for moments like these to bring forth fragrances that will transport  you back to the place of your memories. Yet expanding those memories while blending the familiar with the unfamiliar, creating new scenes to be recalled in the future. 

   Though Africa is a long distance from my country kitchen back in the US, for a moment in time, I was in familiar surroundings. That good ole country breakfast just had that kind of an affect on me!

Delayed Gratification – God’s Way

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Grandchild #10

Grandchild #10

   This has been the year of babies in my extended family. In the space of about a week, our family welcomed 4 new additions! One of my nieces, who lives in another state, gave birth to a beautiful little girl, and my other niece, who lives nearby, gave birth to twin boys! While my daughter-in-law, on the other side of the globe, gave birth to  grandchild #10 for us .  

   I was asked about how hard it must be for me to see and/hold my new great nephews and not to get to do the same with my own grandson. I replied, “Yes it is! But when God calls you to something, He equips you to be able to handle the hard stuff!”

   Now, that’s a short statement, but the process God took me through to be able to make that statement was lengthy. For it started when I was 9 years old, when I accepted Christ as my Savior. Then at 21 years, I surrender my total life and future to God. This was pretty significant because I remember vividly, in tears, telling God that even if He called me to Africa, I would still give my whole life to Him. Well, God didn’t call me to Africa, instead He called me to be a pastor’s wife who would one day surrender her only son to Africa at His bidding! 

   However, God didn’t wait to give me what I needed to deal with having a grandson who would be 5 months old before I would get to hold him and love on him (while nephews and nieces were being born seemingly all around me; while their grandparents were enjoying holding and loving on their precious grand babies).  No, through out my life, one step at a time, He would be walking me towards that eventful day when my newest grandson would be born.

   And how on earth did God accomplish this?

   I believe that one of the most beneficial things God did for me was to open my understanding to the debilitating effects negative thinking can have. I was tempted, as you would suspect, to feel sorry for myself that I would not get to be present when my grandson was born! If I had of allowed myself to remain focused on such a thought (I call them fiery darts), I would have been pulled toward despair. 

   But God has taught me to recognize such negative thinking for the fiery darts they are and guided me as to how to reject them and replace them with His Truth thoughts. I will offer below just some of the Truth thoughts with which God has sustained me: (in trying to keep my word count down, I will only post the references)

Lamentations 3:22-23

Philippians 4:6-7

Isaiah 26:33

Romans 8:28

Philippians 4:13

2 Corinthians 12:9

   So whenever those fiery darts come knocking at my mind’s door, the above Truth thoughts are sent to answer, leaving me to live my life free of the victimization brought about by fiery dart thinking. 

   To find out more about the weapon of fiery darts and how they are used to produce bondage and undermine God’s plans for us, click on the following link:

http://www.certapublishing.com/fiery-darts.html

 

BACK TO THE BUSH: A Day of Adventures!

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Journal date: 3-7-2013

   Our friend George, the logistics coordinator working with my son’s team, needed a ride to the airstrip. My son, daughter-in-law, grandson, co-teacher friend and George piled into the vehicle and off we went. 
   Motivated by hunger, we stopped along the way at a run down restaurant. Actually, every thing built here looks run down. But I think it has to do more with the type of available materials when the building is built than things wearing out over time. With no building codes to be bothered with, one just puts a building together with whatever materials they have.
   Tasty potatoes slightly seasoned, alongside tender beef, and chipoteh (goodness, at the moment I can’t remember what that was. But not the deliciousness of the main dish) was the general fare. Meat and potatoes are always sure to please, even back in the States!
At the restaurant

At the restaurant!

   As we drove to the airstrip (can’t really call it anything else, no buildings you see) we saw a group of people parading in celebration of “The International Day of the Woman.” Made up of mostly Jia’s (people group, identified by the platted bangs and patterned markings on their foreheads. We were told they were of a fierce nature. But all decked out in their pleated plaid skirts and chanting in unison a very African sounding euphony, they didn’t look fierce to me at all! But intimidating? oh yeah! 
A young lady from Jia people group.

A young lady from Jia people group.

    Our final adventure of the day was in arriving at the airstrip. We all tumbled out of the truck and, as always, immediately drew a crowd. I never did get use to that! If I lived in this land long enough, I am sure I would. But given my bent to shy away from being the center of attention, it probably would take quite a long while for me to adjust.
   Airports in these bush areas can only be described as an airstrip. No security checks, no baggage checks, no tarmacs, no hustle and bustle of people’s goings and comings, no air traffic control towers guiding the multiple planes in their landings and take-offs. You just drive up close to the airstrip (made of firmly packed dirt) and wait until you see the plane drop out of the sky. The pilot knows you are there and thank God for that. (Of course, before you set out, someone calls the aviation company you are flying with to book your flight. That’s about as close to modern day flying as you can get!)
   Eventually, the plane arrived and my son helped George get his luggage on board. We said good-by and watched as the plane took off (only a few feet from us) and disappeared into the sky. You really get up close and personal with the flight experience here.
  We closed out this day of adventure and headed home. Can’t really compare traveling back home to traveling here in this part of Africa. But each has it’s appeal!
Airport? Yep, dirt runway and 1 plane!

Airport? Yep, dirt runway and 1 plane!

Waiting on the plane!

Waiting on the plane!

Back to the Bush: Expanding Friendships!

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Living in Africa!

Living in Africa! Now this is a tukal I could get use to!

       Since my son and daughter in law’s move to Africa, their expanding horizons has had an affect on expanding my horizons too.  After their transition from here to there, they met a missionary couple living about an hour’s drive from their home.  Their friendship formed quickly as the husband of the couple was a linguist  as is my son. They are with a different missionary organization and several months after meeting each other, this couple came back to the States for 6 months.  While they were on furlough, my husband and I had the privilege of a visit from them in our home.

     With that brief history we shared, meeting up with them again during my stay in Africa was like a family reunion. Family-like ties grow quickly in this environment. Making memories with family get to gathers are now no longer possible, therefore it becomes imperative to adopt new family asap so that those memory making opportunities continue. 

     While I was at bush camp this couple joined in the training. The wife, who is a nurse, was invited to provide medical training, and the husband, who is a linguist, offered much needed advice on culture and language learning.  After they completed their classes they were to travel to their home to move back in.

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This view trumps my concern over any spiders I encountered.

      It was our great joy to meet them there later to assist in the reopening of their home. I swept and dusted just like I did back home, that wasn’t anything new. However, some of the critters I came across in my efforts proved to be a fresh and new experience.  I wondered if these African spiders might be more formidable than ours back home. However, I was assured that quick action on my part with a spider killing spray would allay any latent anxiety on my part. Nevertheless, I was considerably relieved when that part of the cleaning process was completed!

     You know that verse in the Bible that speaks of God supplying all our needs?  Well, I saw that in action as I witnessed how God sent my son and daughter in law to be the new friends this precious couple had been praying about for two years. They lived a rather isolated life there and they needed people they had things in common with, that they could relate to, and with whom they could share their life and work.

     Not only did God meet the need for friendships for all couples concerned, the kingdom’s work was expanded due to their combined efforts. God always comes through for His kids!

 

Philippians 4:19King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

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