What a blessing we have been given this year as our home church, Parkwood in Gastonia, brought us to the US for an on missions conference. We took an extra two weeks to visit family. It has been a whirlwind trip, but so sweet to see family and friends.
I got to put my feet under my grandparents table for the first time in two years. I even got the coveted seat at the table, the one beside Grandma’s chair, but she’s not here to sit in it any more. I could throw myself a pity party, and seriously thought about it, but the disease that stole the essence of my precious grandmother long before she took her last breath, was the means by which her wise heavenly father chose to call her home. Maybe someday I’ll get used to going to her house without her there, but I certainly miss the calm, steady joy of my grandmother who was always patient, always kind, a blessing to all that knew her. She lived a long, joyful life. The influence that she has been and will always be in my life is immeasurable. May God grant me wisdom and grace to impact others as she did.
It has been so neat to get to see new babies that have been born in our absence, meet new significant others, and reconnect with all of those that we love. We miss so much while we are in Africa. I can easily do without some of the cultural mess that goes on, but we also miss babies growing up, family graduating and getting married, last days and family gatherings. It’s all worth it to follow Jesus wherever he leads us, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.
We are on our way to North Carolina to talk to people about our work, what it is like to serve, how others can be involved in our work or in missions in general. So often we don’t have the words to explain the sights, the sounds, the emotions, just the normalness of our life, but hopefully God will use us as He wills this week.
We got word this morning that dear friends have been involved in an accident. We don’t know the extent of their injuries, but I am so reminded of the brevity of our life here. We have so few days to do what God has called each of us to. More and more I am finding that the excuse that I will tell someone “next time” isn’t realistic.
We are getting ready for medical clinic in Abidjan. The preparations are crazy! For the week to go off smoothly every detail to care for 2400 people has to be thought through and set in motion. The clinic days themselves seem endless, from set up to the end of each day, we have to run here and there and use all of our thinking ability to solve problems and work through issues. Evangelists will share with each and every person before they see the doctors. No matter how many waters we go through, dehydration sets in as the hot sun beats down and the sweat rolls. So often mid to late afternoon arrives before we can even think of eating. How can we best show love, give quality care and help the hurting as the hours tick by is a constant question. Pray love, patience, endurance and strength as we prepare and do medical clinic this year, April 9-14. May each and every care giver and volunteer spur one another on to love and good works. We’d love to talk to anyone that might be interested in clinic 2019.