I consider Fred one of my brothers ... but he always calls me "Mom". The fact that he's about the same age as my husband, who is significantly younger than I am, it makes me twinge when that word hits me. He means it in the aspect of respect. And that's one thing Fred and I have for each other... a great deal of respect and appreciation. He's one bright guy, a good husband and dad, and a totally focused servant of God.
The last event we had together was important and intense and humorous, in a rather strange manner.
I had spent the night at their home outside of Jinja. Their house was partially constructed; in fact, mostly UNconstructed. I was exhausted, having left Soroti that day after several weeks of very serious work and ministry. In spite of wanting to visit them, I spent most of my time sleeping wherever there was space to put my body.
The next day I went to the home of a man, Patrick, that Dave and I had helped pay for his schooling for both senior school and college from '91 to '95. Hadn't seen him since '96. When he picked me up to take me to his house, about 20 miles up into the hills, there was a young teenaged girl in the car who looked very much like a family member. He introduced me to her, and I went into shock. She was his daughter and named after me.... but we had never heard anything about her; the pregnancy and birth occurred when he was between high school and college. I wasn't pleased to hear this, although it didn't hurt my attitude towards her, Joanne. I was hurt, because, even when Dave and I had been with him before, paying his school bills, going on a vacation together in '95, he never mentioned this "event." I felt cheated, to be honest.
I had hoped to spend the weekend in his country home to rest and recover from my work in Soroti, struggling with my health, not realizing I was heading into malaria. But had almost no rest.
Patrick was involved with a lady, Faith, and wanted to talk to me about their issues. I spent all evening Friday, most of the night, and all day Saturday counseling. Late in the day, I called Fred and see if he would meet with them in Jinja and he agreed to. One of Fred's ministries with YWAM was marriage counseling. He said he would.
Fred had suggested that he would talk to one first, and then the other, and then together. Well, the stories and opinions and expectations had been so incredibly different I said that he should only do it with them together.
When we got to a resort park area, Fred met the others and took them to a table to talk.
I wandered around for three hours, took a tour ride on Lake Victoria/Nile River source stretch. Had just a restful time to myself.
As we left, and Fred was being taken home, and was sitting next to me in the back seat, he suddenly, intensely, grabbed my leg. I glanced at him, and he just shook his head and rolled his eyes. He whispered, "You were right! Needed to listen to them together and even that was just crazy."
Patrick and Faith separated shortly thereafter and I've had no more contact with them. But Fred truly did the best he could, spent as much time as possible, gave them his number so they could contact him any time, either separately or together. Really poured himself out to their hearts. After a short time, they both disappeared, even though Faith contacted him a few times.
And that is what Fred is like. He gives and gives and gives again. As mentioned in Josephine's story, he was in Rwanda helping the young folks who had been forced through genocide. They have had businesses over the years as ways to support their family and ministries... and they have struggled almost more than anyone I ever met over there.
They are possibly coming to the States in September for a YWAM training event connected to their particular type of ministry. My huge hope is, of course, that we might somehow meet, even though their location hasn't been indicated, yet. It would be such a blessing to simply have them with us and bless them. Am hoping the Lord will open that door.
They are very much worth it.