Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HABAKKUK 2:14

 "The earth shall be filled
 with the knowledge of 
the glory of the Lord 


 as the waters
cover the sea."

 ==================
And we are blessed beyond belief.  
Why?  
Because we are filled with the knowledge of our Lord... 
simply because we know Him.

This has been on my heart today,
and I am one grateful woman!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

DAVE LOVES WIDOWS AND ORPHANS

...AND I'M GLAD.

James 1:27: External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts) that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need...

God can be so funny in our lives.  We know something is happening, but we have no idea where it's going.

After my divorce in summer of ‘84, moving back to Omaha from Oklahoma to gain the support of friends here from previous years, I struggled... BIG TIME.  I felt I had failed.

I had a daughter and a son.  



I had a good  job, but could hardly meet the basic bills.  My kids had breakfast and lunch at school, for free, which was really good, because I could afford few groceries.

In January, 1985, I was asked to write a series for Lenten services.  It was a different church than I’d been at before, but had friends in it; I’d previously written much for churches before leaving for Oklahoma and was known for it.

At the Lenten services, I rather upset people.  I told them that I was very aware, both personally and by observation, of the "less than" treatment which those who were divorced experienced, in our overall Christian culture. I told them I  hoped that the moms and their children, instead of being treated as outcasts and unclean, would be received as spiritual warfare "widows and orphans".   And,  surprisingly, the Lord led me to join this church.

That's how Dave entered my life. He was a youth leader and I had youth.  A series of events occurred, and through them we were put together, surprisingly and rapidly. We both say the Lord did it, have never thought otherwise.

I told a lady that we were engaged.  She looked at me and said, "You have the most giving man in this church."  And, believe me, those missions-oriented people didn’t have a cheap attitude.


I had already seen he was a giver.  Another mom who also had two "youth" told me that one night Dave showed up at her low-income apartment.  On his motorcycle, he had carried a gallon jug of coins. It provided approximately $200 for her rent.  She was amazed – and appreciative.

When Dave and I began dating,  he started putting cash in my hand.  He always bought groceries for me, gave the kids money for movies or fast food jaunts with friends.  If he saw me look at clothes or shoes or anything else and noticed that my eyes sparkled, he always bought another gift.  I had “never, ever, ever, in my long-legged life” experienced this joy, this kindness.

You see, Dave strongly felt that widows and orphans do not have to be women-without-husbands and children-without- parents in only the physical realm.  Spiritual warfare may have occurred and they ended up alone, outside the box, struggling, and, in some ways, both physically and spiritually, starving.
 

And this is a ministry that has been buried in our hearts for all these years.  We have done it in our area, in other parts of our country, and the world.  Not a big thing, maybe just finding some clothes or food for a family, or giving a few dollars for their basic needs.
 

Knowing his heart, I did something.  

I was in Soroti, 2004, and had just spent time praying for a woman.  She was dying and had six kids with her on the veranda where she'd been living for months.

  Pastor Joseph, who had made me go with him to see her, said we needed to get blankets, food, charcoal and other goods for her. 

When we left her, again, after dropping everything off, we joined a meeting involving a number of local and international pastors.  They were  connected to the funds for which I was responsible, and when this purchase was mentioned, a man from the U.S. asked me very bluntly, "And where did that money come from?"  I knew he didn’t approve of what I had done and he thought I would have broken the rules, using money without permission.   I said, very intensely, "It was my money.  My husband and I have given money to single moms in the States, but now we have made it international."   He wasn't pleased, but he couldn't demand a refund.

Dave was very happy when, on the phone that evening,  I told him what we had provided for this lady.

That is his life.  He does it today, any time, any way he can -- fixes computers, provides low-cost piano lessons, repairs homes for next to nothing.  I often say that he would have been giving more and more to single moms and their children IF the Lord hadn't given him a single mom and her children and had to provide for them on a moment-by-moment basis. [But I’m an extremely blessed lady, believe me!!]

Most of the women and children we have helped have truly been widows and orphans.  Their husbands and fathers abandoning or abusing them, even when the husband/dad was a Christian.  My case, too.  My only safe thing to do was leave... but being a single mom, totally responsible at all times, nearly crushed me with depression and fear.

Dave was dropped into my life with a heart for “widows” and I became extremely jubilant, through this godly gift, and, since then, our main heart ministry is what began this story:  James 1:27.


Nothing can make us more joyous than seeing someone come to safety and freedom -- and be blessed and strengthened in heart, soul, and spirit.

[BTW, "widow" can be a "widower".]


--Drop to Peter Pollock's Word Carnival which is "Jubilant" today.  A good way to feel, doncha think? --



 
Tell Me a Story

Friday, June 22, 2012

ISAIAH 58:11

The Lord shall guide you continually..


 And you shall be like a watered garden


And like a spring of water whose waters fail not.



[My Bible note:  What a blessing and encouragement
 at tough times! June 14, 2011]






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SEX TRAFFICKING...AND ME

This, basically, is a repost.  However, recent news hit my heart again. What amazes me is how the Lord protected me in those days.  I was a Christian, yes.  I was not 12, which is an age that is sometimes grabbed by the pimps.  As I say in my post, I was 22 and I looked about 16, and was obviously traveling a long distance.  Consequently, I somehow jumped out to this guy's attention.  And, as I describe, he did not give up.  However, neither did my Heavenly Father.

Even though some of the recent news was referring to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and we know sex trafficking has been taking place there for some time, it also has been a significant issue here in Omaha for many, many years.  Studying our area's history, it has not been uncommon.  However, it is usually slipped underground and rarely dealt with officially.  I'd like to fight for it to be destroyed, believe me.

The Lord had me write this a few months ago, and has touched my heart again to share truthfully.  Hope it will touch yours.

========================

Sorry if this is too blunt, but thought I'd toss this out, and you can choose whether to read it or not.
 
On FB someone mentioned the seriosity of it right now and mentioned an article about Seattle.

Well, it's been going on in various parts of our country and all around the world for many years. A ministry friend of mine is in Greece at this moment, ministering to the prostitutes in one area. These "wo
men" are often young teens, forced into this life, and no one is stepping up to free them. Overall, sex trafficking has been one of my ministry study areas for many years.

Thought I'd share one episode involving me that occurred about 44 years ago. You'll certain
ly see that this has been a common occurrence; it's not just a "today" issue.

In March, 1968, I left East St. Louis, IL. I had been there for about a year, working and in a street ministry. Because of some serious issues involving rac
e rioting and street fighting and the people I was heavily involved with during those events, I was, basically, forced to leave town and return to the Northwest.

I was on a bus and it stopped for a couple hours for layover and transfer in Kansas City
, MO. As soon as I was off the bus, a man came up to me and flashed his rings at me, and opened his jacket to show me more and more jewelry.

I was 22 at the time, looked about 16
. Even though I had a tough background, very little "sweetness and light" connected to me, I was shocked, confused, and, unfortunately, didn't try to find a security guard or police officer [don't even know if bus stations had them in those days]. I tried to get away from him, and he always followed me and always found me. He kept telling me that, because I was such a cute girl, there was a party he wanted me to go to and he would let me have a good time that night and they would make sure I was on the bus the next day so I'd reach home. Later, to try to push me closer to agreement, he said they would pay airfare for me so I could get home quickly. Once, when I was in the women's rest room and lounge, the door was hammered. I was the only one who wasn't involved with children, so I answered it, and it was the man again, trying to get me to go out with him. I quickly shut the door and hid inside. When I had to leave, I mixed in with a group that was also heading out, so he couldn't get near me.

When it was finally time to get on the bus, I DID!! FAST! He still stood outside flashing the rings and trying to convince me to get off the bus. I wa
s very relieved when the engine started and we hit the road.

I was sitting beside a man who seemed to have a tough background, and after a while I tol
d him what had happened and asked if he knew anything about it.

He laughed. "Yes," he said. And then he described it. The man was trying to convince me to go to a "party", but it was going to be only drugs and sex, and I would never be going home. I would either be forc
ed into sex and do the "job" they had for me, or I would be dead. No other options.

Every once in a while, I remember this event. I know that, just a couple years earlier, living in Seattle-Tacoma area before the Lord broke into my life,
I might easily have been tricked and sucked into that world. And death would have occurred... either from their hands or my own, since I had suicidal depression/mentality during those years.

If this happened to me all those years ago, in a public location, why would we think it
wouldn't happen today, here and there, and all over the world? And with all the digital connections people have, the ability to flee could be more difficult. It just ain't an easy world out there.

I guess the only way to close this is
to say that I love my Savior for many reasons... and His kindness and protection for that short stretch of time in that bus station should be near the top of the Love-List.

And I worship Him, day and night, and will forever and ever.

============
This is what caught my attention today and hit my heart.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/25/us/child-prostitution/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WHISPER


God of all power
   Lighting the sky
Chariots of thunder
   Swords flashing by
Inside the circle of Your arms
  Under the shadow of Your wings
    Cupped in the hollow of Your hands –-

You whisper to me,
“Peace, peace, peace."
     "Peace, peace, peace."


God of all power
@@Waves pound the sands
Cascades and canyons
@@Formed by Your hands
Deep in the quiet of Your love
@@@Poured by the ocean of Your joy
@@@@@@Wrapped in the shelter of Your heart --

Whisper again,
“Peace, peace, peace."
@@@@@"Peace, peace, peace."

 
God of all power
@@Sought me with grace
Kindness and mercy
@@Shown from His face
Wooed me with tender words of love
@@@Held me with cords of gentle strength
@@@@@@Bound to His heart with wondrous joy --


Whispered to me.“Peace, peace, peace."
@@@@@ "Peace, peace, peace."

He whispers to me,
“Peace, peace, peace."@@@@@ 
            "Peace, peace, peace."

============================
About twelve years ago, my "musician" husband had a musical phrase popping through his head, just a measure or so. He didn't know what to do with it or where to go. When he had hummed it to me, played it on his keyboard, it stuck in my head and I really felt an anointing for the melody. It just poured through my heart. Neither of us had any words, just a small piece of melody.

When home after a Wednesday evening service, I rushed to my office with some words in my head, and within about 10 minutes, I had written the "poem" using his melody. Then he expanded the melody since he had to adjust it to fit the words a bit, and he added the "tag" ending. Overall, really easy.

He was worship leader for the singles ministry at the church we attended, and started to use the song, and some people fell in love with it. We "CD'd" it along with some of our -- mostly his -- other songs. It's not professional enough to make it to the radio, etc., but there still are folks that like this song very much.
 
Dave does tell this funny part now, chuckling. My quiet, gentle, sweetheart was highly irritated with me when I rushed from my office, waving the paper in my hand, jumping for joy, hollering, "Here's the words for your song!" He always says, "I was really upset. It was MY song, for days I'd been trying to figure out where to go with it, and in just that short time SHE had the words." We always laugh now. Creativity ... on both our parts ... can "create" the occasional annoyance.

Felt it would be nice to share the poem. Wanted to fill this with lots and lots of photos to emphasize the glory of the hand of God in His marvelous creativity, while still revealing His kindness and willingness to drop a million levels of His power to whisper encouraging, life-building, gentle words to me, to us, to all.  Hope these will touch your hearts along with the words.



Monday, June 18, 2012

MOM

At the age of 80, after fifty years of alcoholism and a lifelong variety of abuses – both given and received – Mom, watching Joyce Meyers, turned to the Lord. She said, one evening when being invited to a bar by one of my sisters, "Beer ... Bible; Beer ... Bible;   Guess I’ll go with the Bible."

Until the life change, Mom and I had a rough relationship. As the oldest of 6 girls, and a corporate lifestyle of intensity, to say the very least, it seemed there was nothing we could talk about that wouldn’t begin a fuss of some kind. Mom was one tough cookie! [And I sure wasn't sweetness and light.]  As has been said by a number of folks over the years, Mom was much like the "Maxine" cartoons. I agree. Often that can be very funny, but the person who happens to be the target can feel slammed.

During my visits, prior to her turning to the Lord, if wanting to talk to Mom and visit her person-to-person, the only place I could go was to the tavern.  She would order a pitcher of beer and fill a glass for me.  I would s-l-o-w-l-y drink the beer, sip by sip, so the alcohol wouldn't hit me, BUT the blessing was that Mom would talk below the surface and share about her life in a way she never did otherwise and definitely wouldn't if I hadn't joined her.  [She knew drinking in a bar was not something that was part of my life, and I think she felt accepted or received in some fashion by me.]

After she came to the Lord, even though I lived almost 1800 miles away and saw her only about once a year, we began doing much better.


Here’s another example of how the challenges changed:
In 1990, Dave and I were planning a trip to Uganda to determine if the Lord was calling us there as missionaries.  I phoned Mom to tell her we were going over there. She said, sharply, "Why in the hell would anyone want to go to Africa?"  I was a bit overwhelmed, since she’d always been a travel fan and watched African nature stories nearly incessantly.

In May, 2000, a few years later, I was visiting missionaries in Costa Rica and the Lord dropped Proverbs 13:12 into my heart and I saw it as the answer to my confusion about Mom’s retort. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life." Mom always wanted to travel, to go, to see, to simply enjoy nature around her. But Life had rarely allowed any travel.  Too much basic financial survival to accomplish, period.  No "play time".
 
How could I tell things changed? 
In April, 2001, when I was preparing to travel to Morocco for a prayer walk, I called her to tell her I was leaving. I was nervous re: the anticipated angry and sarcastic response. Instead, she laughed and said, "It would be fun to see you on a camel." It was obvious the Lord had touched her heart.

 [I never rode a camel – but rode a donkey through a Berber village as our group prepared to go to Marrakesh for Palm Sunday – gave this photo to her shortly after our return. She loved it!] 

At 90, she was having a lot of struggles – on all sides. Her fear and frustration rose as her hearing and sight, ability to swallow, walking, all slipped away; the anger was becoming recharged... similar to the years past. I was told she had some slight strokes, but nothing serious. However, her behavior certainly was not a surprise to her family -- especially the ones who lived there and saw the changes day to day; for me, and other infrequent visitors, it seemed hard and harsh. I learned a lot during my last visit, sleeping on the floor outside her bedroom, hearing the various noises that indicated trouble breathing, difficulty in getting out of bed; I had never had to handle that challenge on a daily basis. The Lord was pouring kindness upon me ... and patience... and wisdom in a whole new realm of life. 

When she was 82, I wrote a poem for her and framed it and sent it for M-Day. She really liked it. After her death, January 30, 2011, my sisters set it aside for me.  I have it, happily,

and I will keep it forever.

  =====================

Mom --
lately, thinking of you
makes me smile.

Jesus said we must be
childlike to inherit
the Kingdom of God.
[Childlikeness has not come easily
to you or to me.]

And ...
I see the "child"
emerging...

A gray-haired,
wrinkled,
a-bit-stiff-in-the-joints
child.

But,
a quicker-to-laugh,
sparkle-in-the-eye
grateful and grace-giving child
of a grace-giving God.

A child --
listening for train whistles
watching lions roar and eagles fly,
waiting in wonder for the sight
over the next hill, around the next bend.

And --
Not fearing
the Last Bend.

Knowing
Like a child returning Home 
A Father's arms
will greet you. 



[90th b-day surprise event; a number of kids, g-kids, g-g-kids and other connections.  She was one very happy lady!] 




Tell Me a Story




Saturday, June 16, 2012

PSALM 87:7


As well the singers as the
players on the instruments
shall say,


 All my springs --
my sources of life and joy --
are in You...

[May 12, 2006.  Dave's CD.  Our songs --  lyrics, melodies, and arrangements -- by Dave and I -- mostly Dave -- and composed over a period of time.  The rehearsal and programming was an absolute blast.  Dave is a well-skilled worship leader and wonderful pianist, believe me.  Truly loving and caring and pastoring for his "music family".  (I happen to be one blessed lady!)]




 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

PERSECUTION -- PAST AND PRESENT

As I often say now, "Life Gets Complicated!"  I'm showing it to you now, after the 3 years since I officially put it on.  Wanted to share it again.  Lots of the info is on my heart.  One of my main heart places for about a dozen years.  Here it goes.  Bless you.
===============================================

Something came up today, talking to someone on the phone, yammering on a parking lot.  Have not shared this for a long time.

To begin with, this photo of Benjamin in Soroti, Uganda, is an indicator of the word "persecution".  He was grabbed by rebels and forced to do sinful and dangerous actions.  He was beaten horribly and was made to carry small, injured children who were dying.  He was not the only one Jill and I interviewed or visited in December, 2003.  Damaged bodies, broken hearts... as young as 10 years old.  Many of them Christian kids.  [Listening to them, touching them, broke our hearts, too.]

What I remembered today, while reading many news bits on-line and hearing so much recently from young people... and not-so-young ... gave me the strong impression that we are headed for trouble.  Some will agree with me; some will not.

This is my story:

During the summer of 1969, while living in San Mateo, California, expecting my first child, home alone most of the time, the Lord laid an assignment on me.  He said, "Read the book....".   I don't even remember why or how I had them in the apartment, or how I had access to more of them, but somehow it came to pass.  I read, and read, and read-- again and again.

The books were stories of persecution.  At that time, of course, most were connected to World War II, Christians who had preached and taught and protected many, many others.  And many pastors were imprisoned and tortured and executed.  One of the most famous was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He still is, even though he was executed April 9, 1945, right before the war ended.

The reason this hit me today was the Lord laid the first book back on me a couple days ago.  I have read it many times.  It is God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew -- the founder of Open Doors.  

Another book I read in 1969 was Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs.  

Although I read others, these were the main ones for a couple more years.

The next book the Lord dropped into my life was written in 1971 by Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place.  The book was very good, but filled with heartbroken aspects that her family went through while protecting the Jews in the Netherlands.  And then she and her family forced into concentration camps, many dying. The huge blessing for me was that in 1972 Corrie arrived at our church to speak on a Sunday evening, and then the next day was sharing to at a small women's group at a home. I was amazed to see this woman and hear her teaching, preaching, and sharing stories from her own mouth.

I have read many books based on persecution over this past 43 years. Today, while warning and discussing this very issue with a couple of younger generation godly-oriented folks, He tapped me again and whispered, "Read the books." 

With His reading assignment, it was a reminder again today that I need to be prepared to deal with whatever comes down our path and help others who are suffering or are simply not prepared.

That's where I am.

Yes, I will post; yes, I will keep in touch; yes, I will work on other books I'm writing and editing.  Yes, I will be a First Responder at murder sites and a Bhutanese refugee helper. Can't not do my other God-jobs.  [AND I'll clean my house and take care of my yard and do all the normal life-oriented necessities.]

But here are the first insights pouring forth from me to you:

Keep your heart; open your soul.  Seek the Lord.  Follow His instructions as they flood into you.  Be alert and prepared.

Nothing else matters. 

Tell Me a Story

Monday, June 11, 2012

JUSTICE FOR MELANIE--First Responders


Sorry, Friends.  This is long.  Can't shorten it; wish I could.  Hope hearts will be touched.
==================
Life changes... sometimes is lost.  And hearts are broken.

On May 14, the news said a woman had been found under a creek bridge by one of our main roads.  The next day she was identified publicly as Melanie.  Melanie, not a "woman", was 16 years old.  She had attended the high school two blocks from me.

A few days later I heard that my twin granddaughters were going to a funeral.  I had no idea what it was about and then was told it was Melanie's funeral; they had gone to grade school together.

That evening there was a large bunch of teens a couple houses away from me having a party in their front yard.  Not uncommon, believe me.  What was?  They went inside by 10:30.  I was pretty surprised.

The next morning God "pushed me" to get to my yard and do some work.  I was in the front yard hanging out with my flowers and a few of the kids went to a car parked by my house.  I told them how much I appreciated them keeping it quiet enough for workers to sleep.

One of my neighbor girls thanked me.  The kids all said they were there to celebrate a party for their friend, Melanie, whose funeral that had been that afternoon.

With more details, I suddenly realized I knew the girl.  She had come by my house many times, had smiled, we had talked briefly.  I knew she knew my g-girls.  I was suddenly horrified.

I went to the neighbor's home to talk to Mom.  For the 3 years since Rhonda and her teens had moved into the house, we had rarely talked much, but now I needed to intrude into her life.  Then it became even more serious.  Rhonda and her daughter I had just spoken to, Mariah, had found Melanie's body.  Rhonda said the kids hung out at the creek often [Melanie lived not far from there], so, as she had been missing since the previous day, they went to that area to search and found her face-down under the bridge.

Nothing was said by the police after that.  They were checking everything, but that was it.  Rhonda felt there was a real possibility of her being murdered, but no proof.

Life changed.  Last Thursday Melanie's ex-boyfriend was arrested for murder.  According to the record, he strangled her.  He is 16, also, and will be on trial as an adult.  He had been at the funeral and had been at Rhonda's house a couple nights before the arrest.

Can you even imagine how the parents of both those kids are facing life today?

NOW... in spite of everything else, yesterday we were flooded with blessings.

When our First Responders leader decided the prayer time at the murder site would be at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon, I went to the neighbor's house on Saturday and  said I would be happy to take Mariah with me.  Rhonda said that she would drive her daughter and bring some other kids.  To be honest, I wasn't certain sure it would come to pass, but said I'd check in at 2:00 on Sunday and make sure things were OK before I headed to the creek.

I picked up my granddaughters who wanted to go there and came back to my house...  went to Rhonda's and a couple girls who were in the yard said that they had two cars that would be filled and there were already some kids over at the creek.  Mariah had FB'd it the day before.  I could never have imagined this.

I headed out with my g-girls, Kayla and Randa, and when I 
pulled into the apartment complex parking lot next to the bridge, I didn't see any other F.R., yet.  I was a few minutes early.  But a dad and his daughter, and a several kids were already there.

When our leader and about 10 Responders arrived we began to draw the kids together. 

Then life changed again.  They shared about what she meant to them, how wonderful, how much they loved her.

My heart was buried in a young man.  His tears were flowing.  He was quiet, his body was trembling.  I sat on the parking lot next to him and put my arm on his shoulder.  When I touched his hands I was shocked... they were very cold.  Our weather was in the 90s outside, but he was frozen inside.


A while later, I walked to a few of the girls and we stood together by the cross, sharing a bit, holding and hugging.  [My granddaughter took a picture.  I'm in purple -- no surprise to anyone who knows me.]

Later, after the prayer time and the holding and hugging time, they decided to have a picture taken.  They were so touched.  I believe the Lord's seed has been planted in their hearts; something we could never have anticipated.

After I came home, I walked to their yard where some of the kids were hanging out.  I said, "Thanks for coming."  And one of the rough-looking guys said, "Thank YOU for having this."

I have told the kids they are free to come and talk to me any time. Maybe that door will open, because there might be an opportunity to tell the reality of how the Love of Jesus can change our lives.  Hope, hope, hope...

=================
Peter Pollock Word Carnival:  Justice.  God put this story in my heart as this event occurred.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

MIRACLE # 7 --- "HE TOUCHED ME"

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and grace of our dear Father. Every once in a while, when I am cleaning house and running up and down the stairs, I remember how easy it is now... and how tough it could have been for a "time, and times, and half a time" before.
==========
In November, 2005, I was visiting Susie

 
On Saturday evening, the night before I was leaving, I was leaning across a chair and reaching towards Susie to hand her something. I suddenly had a tear in my lower left leg. It hurt big time. As I tried to walk through the house down the halls or stairs, I could tiptoe or I could flat-foot, but I couldn't do anything in between without the pain and weakness hitting me significantly. I made it through the night, but the leg wasn't in great condition. And, in the morning, I was heading home.

My biggest concern? I would be driving about 550 miles and with one leg that was truly useful. Not that the left leg would keep me from driving -- since I didn't need to use it for the gas or brake pedals-- but climbing in and out of the car at rest areas and gas stations would be tough.

I decided to stop at a church in a very small town about 80 miles west of Susie's right before I hit the Interstate. 

 I had met the married pastor couple, Craig and Sonja, at a spiritual warfare meeting in another town on Wednesday evening when I was teaching about one of my main ministries. I knew they would be open to praying for my leg.

When I went into their church I was taken to a room where they and other leaders were meeting before the service was beginning. When Craig and Sonja saw me hobbling, they immediately said they would pray. They had me sit in the center of their group and laid hands on me, a couple ladies putting their hands on my leg. One especially kept rubbing the back of it from the calf to the heel. After about 10 minutes, sensing that my body had truly been touched, we "hallelujah"ed for a short while.  Then I needed to hit the road.  As I climbed in the car in the parking lot a small, very small, change had occurred. Even confident that the Lord had touched me, the pain wasn't gone, though, and I still struggled while walking.

However, it was amazing how things changed. Every time I stopped at a rest area, my leg improved. When I filled my gas tank, walking from the pump area to pay inside, the pain reduced; the twinging was still there, but less and less as the day's travel continued.

I reached home in the late afternoon. My husband, after talking with him and describing the pain the night before, assumed it was an Achilles tendon that had been torn. [I was told the same by a number of people, even nurses, both before and after the drive.] At that time we lived on the 3rd floor at an apartment building. Dave had already assumed I'd have to be held as I hopped up the stairs and then we'd be calling my doctor. 


He was as amazed as anyone could have been, because when I reached home, I could walk up the stairs without help. I could still feel some "twinginess", and, to be honest, sometimes felt a little nervous, wondering if the "healing" would somehow collapse. [My "faith" ain't perfect, even though He is.]

I was so blessed. During every one of the next few days the tightness and the "twinginess" reduced. Then it went away, entirely.

So, these years later, after that glorious healing, I am walking, and leaping, and praising God.
==============
Doesn't mean I haven't had other issues, some pretty consistent, as occurs to nearly everyone living in these "tents". I've even been told by Craig and Sonja that one reason I was healed was to encourage a couple of the new leaders who needed to understand that side of God's kindness to His kids. It was hoped that they would be continually willing to pray for those in need. I was just a "training tool".  Sure came out good for me!






Tell Me a Story

Thursday, June 7, 2012

THE KATALEMWA HOUSE

 Dave and I had no idea the Lord was going to drop this house into our lap when we moved to Uganda. Dave and I were alone, so would we want something this large and pay this high rent? Not at all. But, through a series of events, this house, about 7 miles east of Kampala at Katalemwa on Gayaza Road, was laid on us. Very firmly.

The house was very large. We were very financially limited, to say the least.  Over a couple of months, Dave built our bed and one for a guest room. Bookshelves. A simplified desk. A picnic table for the HUGE dining/living room. That was it. The former people were wealthy. We weren't.

Even though we had very few household items, 2 days after we moved in, "Thanksgiving" weekend in November, we were given 4 teens for 3 months while they were on their December-to-February school break. We were asked by their uncle, Fr. Albert, to teach the kids side topics. Dave taught computer, piano and music theory, physics, chemistry. I talked to them about lit and writing and a little French language and world history.  And we both taught Bible lessons.

The main blessing that occurred in December was that Sam -- the house, garden, and security worker -- became our son. He still is.  And, through his future wedding we have a much larger "Sam family" -- including grandkids.  Who'd a thunk it back then? Not me.  And Sam-- and his family --  have become one of the hugest blessings of our lives.

Immediately, I fell in love with something I would never have expected.

Our property was a couple acres down a valley stretch and egrets flew to Kampala every afternoon about 5:30.  Between 50 and 300 of them flew over our house, many within 5 feet of the roof, the wings fluffing.  No matter where I was in the house or what I was doing, I'd run out onto the front porch, totally enchanted, thoroughly in awe.

One of the young men from Kampala that we became involved with was an artist. We had helped him in a variety of ways, and, in thanks, he gave us several of his batiks and his watercolor paintings.  And, to bless me,
he made a batik that had my favorite yard bits and pieces. The egrets, a large rock that had a tree growing through it's crack, the flowers, trees, sun setting.

When having the batik framed after returning to Omaha in Spring, '96, it was stolen from the shop.  When the owner finally called and gave me that horrible news, I was buried in sorrow. 

I've thought of it often, and recently the Lord reminded me that we had taken a photo of it all those years ago.  I started looking for it, digging through hundreds of pictures, and suddenly I found it.  I am "in love" all over again.  Can't frame it as a batik, but can have the photo enlarged and will have it on our living room wall soon.

I have so many stories I could tell about what happened at the house and yard... bird invasion;


the monkeys,

and... in-house bats, pressure cooker explosion, mamba snake in the hallway, malaria, hundreds of chicks being raised under our bedroom [not a good thing!], guests, guests and more guests.  I wasn't bored, believe me.

Hope you aren't either.