Category Archives: prayers

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know that my one and only daughter, Katie, is spending 2 months is Swaziland, South Africa this summer.  I posted about it HERE, when I was still nervous, and she was still fund raising.  Then I posted HERE

 when the fund raising was over… She has just passed the half way mark, so I thought it might be fitting to post about it…

I thought we would not be able to communicate with her, at least not often, but to my pleasant surprise, we have been able to “chat” on facebook about once a week.  Her team is keeping a BLOG, although they don’t get to post much, and one of the girls in her group has the international phone plan, that works occasionally, so I also get a random text once in a while.  This morning, I was blessed to get some “face time” with her because she was able to use an ipad and was in a South African mall with wifi… So, needless to say, my worrying has been at a minimum.

Her updates have been wonderful, and I can hear her excitement even in the words she types.  They are staying in a homestead in Swaziland.  There is no running water or any modern conveniences.  She has mentioned a time or two her grievance over not having real toilets, or showers.  They use baby wipes, and buckets of well water to clean with.  I’ve been instructed to have the tub cleaned and ready for her when she gets home.

She loves the people and her team.  The scenery is breathtaking and the children are her joy.  They work at “care-points” each day, feeding and caring for the children in the surrounding communities.  They have found several places to just help where needed, and they are always thinking of how to make a lasting impact.

She has been trapped in the shower shack (see the picture) by a heard of cows.  They have had some things stolen, by the cow herder.  He got caught, and fired, so everything was returned, but they woke to a dead cow in the front yard the next day.  So, since there is no refrigerators, they had the pleasure of watching the cow get cut up, and passed around.  Her exact words were ‘EW Gross!”

They went into a mental hospital, which was more of a hospital for the demon possessed.  It was the most terrifying thing she has ever experienced.  They managed to pray, and then get out, but it has stuck with them.  Katie told me today that she has planned a “Joshua” attack… since they can’t go back in the hospital, they will walk around it and pray till the ‘strong hold” comes down.  Prayers from here would be welcomed too…

They have been on safari, and have visited the mall.  They have fallen in love with the sweet bread that is sold through the jail-like bars on the windows of the stores throughout the area.  For the 4th of July they went to a party in South Africa… she said she hadn’t seen that many white people in one place since she got over there, and it actually felt weird. The food hasn’t been as bad as she feared and she misses chocolate more than anything…

One of the things she has learned is how simple sharing Christ really is.  She was preparing to say and do all the right things… And when it came down to it, she didn’t have to really say much, if anything at all.   She has been ministered to as much, if not more, then the people she is serving.

I must say, before she went, she had been living in a big city, doing the city life college thing.  I was concerned that maybe her heart wasn’t ready for such a big adventure.  Wow. I love being wrong sometimes.  Really.

Please keep her and the team in your prayers! Thank you!

 

 

Answered Prayer…Yes, it happens.

Answered Prayer…Yes, it happens.

My last post was about fellowship, and how important I think it is… That got me thinking about an even deeper fellowship, which is the glue that holds me together… Which got me thinking about a time when I was desperate for fellowship with a friend, or family member, and God made it clear that it was only time for Him.  I then thought I should share that story with you…

My oldest son has had many challenges in his life.  Much more than the average person for sure, and that has made life just a little bit more difficult for him and for those that love him.  This week we celebrated his 28th birthday, so we have come a long way!  We have some scars, but we also have some faith and we have clearly seen God’s hand in many of the trials we have endured.  I am very proud of the man he has become…

When he was 17 he had gotten into some trouble with the law, and had gone to jail for a short period of time.  This development had come after a long line of struggles and I was really exhausted.  On the morning of his court date, I had to drop two of my kids off at school, and one off at a friend’s house.  I had been sick, and I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for that morning as well.  I dropped off all of the kids, and was heading to the courthouse when it all just overcame me.  I needed to talk to my husband.  I called him and he didn’t answer.  So, I tried my mom.  She didn’t answer.  I called 3 of my friends.  None of them answered.  At this point I was crying and asking God where the heck everyone was!!  I got on a roll and just started screaming at Him.  I threw my phone across the van and really let God have it.  Why? I kept asking Him.  What am I supposed to do?  I told Him that I needed peace and direction!

I got to the courthouse and my son and his lawyer were outside the courtroom.  I was informed that within the hour we could all go home.  I had my doctor’s appointment, and I was still pretty upset, so I told the lawyer to drop my son off at the house, and I left.  He obviously had it under control.

I arrived at the doctor’s office almost 30 minutes late.  The nurse told me that I would now have to wait to be “fit in”.  So, being emotionally exhausted, I agreed with the terms and found a seat.  About 30 minutes later, I was moved to room on the far left of the building.  I sat in there for about another 20 minutes.  Then they came and moved me to the far right of the building.  I sat in there for about 15 minutes.  Then the doctor walked in the room…

I didn’t know her, but it was a big practice, and I was a “fit in” so I wasn’t alarmed that I wasn’t getting my regular doctor.  She seemed sweet enough at the introductions, and I immediately felt at ease.  She kindly took my hand and asked me what was bothering me.  Well.  I burst into tears and started telling her my parenting woes!  She encouraged me, by asking questions and really looking like she cared!  I ended up spilling the whole story in about 5 minutes.  She then took my hand again, looked me right in the eye and told me that she had gone through the same thing with her son a few years ago.  She then shared her story, and offered lots of advice, books for me to read for comfort and peace, and she even told me about a place that my son could go if he really needed to.

The nurse kept popping in and smiling and looking like she wanted to say something too.  The doctor asked the nurse to bring lunch to her, because she didn’t want to end our conversation just yet.  When the nurse came back, she asked if she could share something too.  She then told both of us that she used to be just like my son.  She told us how she felt and why she did some of the things she did.  She even told us what she thought when her parents tried to help her.  She then told us her beautiful story of redemption and transformation.

Well, after all of that sharing and crying, it turned out I had a sinus infection too.  I got some antibiotics, a list of resources that would help me with my son; some hugs, and headed home.

I left there in complete awe of my God.  He answered every single question I screamed at Him, just a few hours before.  He used those stories to give me hope and peace, and even an action list – which is important to type A’s like me.

A few weeks later, I called the doctors office to thank her.  I was told that she was not there.  She was just a friend of one of the doctors, who just happened to be in town that week, and was filling in that day because they were short staffed.  She was gone.  Really.

She was there, in that office, for just that day.  God knew what I needed, and even the questions I had, before I had even thrown my phone…  If that’s not an answered prayer, I don’t know what is.  I also realized that I had waited an awful long time to see the doctor.  Kinda like waiting on the Lord.  What if I had gotten impatient and left?  God’s timing is not the same as ours, but sometimes it’s pretty close if we just wait…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

One of the resources she recommended is the book “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.  It has brought me much peace over the years.

The place she recommended was the Paul Anderson Youth Home for Boys.  We did end up having our son stay there for a while – and I can also recommend it!  It is a wonderful place, truly anointed by God.

Do you have a God story to share?  Are you still waiting on the Lord?