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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)

Facing a long distance crisis!

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   What do you do when you live in the African bush and your son tries to climb up a bookcase, falls to the floor and hits his head, resulting in grogginess and vomiting? First,you alert the prayer warriors then get busy about the business at hand. And in my grandson’s case, my son called upon the services of a missionary airline who flew close to where my son and his family lived and picked them up. Within a few hours my grandson was flown to the nearest hospital for a CT scan which revealed he had not suffered a concussion! X-rays were taken and the next day, the pediatrician read them giving the good news that my grandson was okay.

How do we (my husband and I, plus his sisters, plus great grandparents) handle such long distance crisis?

   In our situation our reaction mode was to fall upon our knees and pray, call the prayer warriors to intervene on our grandson’s behalf, draw from the strength of God’s Word, and rest in the knowledge that God is faithful and in control of every detail.  All this, while the crisis across the world from us was being played out.
   Then as we prayed, we stay glued to our computers, searching social media for any word as to how things were going. Or we may walk around with our cell phones in our hands to immediately respond to any news, not in a worried mode but all the time focusing on God’s power and faithfulness.

I ask one more question, “How on earth do we pull this off?”

   For me, it is possible because years ago, I surrendered my children to the only One who could always be with them, who would never leave them, and who would know exactly what to do and what to provide in any crisis situation. I prayed that they would always seek to be in the center of God’s will, and when, in my son’s case, that transported him to the other side of the world, the best thing to do for all concerned was to submit to the plans God had for him. In that submission, I was supplied with all that I needed as I walked this journey of release.
   When I put all this in its proper perspective, then I see the bigger picture. I see God working in my son’s life as he works to help build God’s kingdom, as He provides and cares for him and his family, as He imparts strength to us to be able to walk these times of crisis being so distant from our loved ones!

Never think that this is easy! We face those temptations of fear, worry, and despair. We are human after all. But we face them down with prayer and faith and those demons weakly retreat!

BACK TO THE BUSH: God’s Provision

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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

Christmas In Africa!

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I really shouldn’t have posted that picture of the snake in the schoolhouse because it was a bit premature.  Lots of pretty cool things happened before then that I’d like to share with all of  you.  So forgive me and I promise I will get to explaining that picture soon.

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May I preface these pictures by expressing my gratefulness to God for making it possible for us to share this Christmas with our son and his family.  It’s not cheap, as you can imagine, to fly to Africa.  But thanks to God, His provision made it possible.  Our joy could not be measured.  The memories we made (which as you know is a really big deal to me) will be cherished and returned to time and time again-sustaining us in those moments when being apart becomes difficult.

Never underestimate God’s provision – esp. you missionary parents.  Just ask God to make a visit possible, then just be prepared for God to do what to you may seem impossible.

FIRST THINGS FIRST!

Shepherd's all decked out in his Christmas clothes!

Shepherd’s all decked out in his Christmas clothes!

Nammy holding Shepherd while Mom & Dad open Christmas presents.

Nammy holding Shepherd while Mom & Dad open Christmas presents.

Bet Maridith will be trying out some of these recipes!

Bet my daughter-in-law will be trying out some of these recipes!

Granma Warren's  Banana Spice Cake - all the way from the USA

Granma’s Banana Spice Cake – all the way from the USA

Shepherd's 1st Stocking - all the way from the USA

My Grandson’s 1st Stocking – fresh from Nammy’s mantel!

We celebrated Christmas just a couple of days after the fact but just as soon as we could when we got to Africa.  We traveled across the ocean with 5 lockers packed with items our son and daughter-in-law needed and along with their Christmas presents, plus their stockings (that traditionally hang on my mantel).  Of course, this was a momentous Christmas because it was my grandson’s first and Nammy was making sure he got his stocking.

This was our first Christmas with our son being in Africa.  So, it was interesting to see how it played out.  With a newborn grandson celebrating his very first Christmas, it was a given that Nammy & Grandaddy (at least) would represent the family in welcoming him.  I know my daughter’s arms were aching to hold their brandnew baby nephew.  While they didn’t get to hold him, thanks to a video chat shortly after he was born, they all did get to see him – even his Great Granma Warren and Great Granma Lane.

The next 3 weeks the Jr & the Sr Lanes romped all over this country enjoying a vacation packed with bonding moments and creating memories that we will savor all our lives.  In my next post I’ll share some of those memories with you.

In the meantime, you’ll never guess the name of the river we are cruising down!

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