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Mix It With Faith

Heb 4:2 For indeed the good news was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Think of the amazing things God has done for you, there are so many, and yet often when I cry out to Him my need I fret and worry and wring my hands for fear that He won’t answer. And a long trial, is the most challenging! But lately I’ve been remembering Heb4:2, mix it w faith. The promises of God are yea and amen to those who mix them with faith. In the wilderness, when the spies returned with their report and Joshua and Caleb rejoiced that though there are giants we need not be afraid, everyone, nevertheless chose to walk in unbelief …that cost them the Promised Land. Heb4:2 “… the word they heard did not profit them, not being mixed w faith by those who heard it.” Unbelief kept them out of the Promised Land, away from the rest of God He has promised. In our lives, has He made great and precious promises? Don’t let unbelief rob you, don’t let the enemy of our souls rob us. Mix it with faith!! Mix the promises of God you are claiming with faith! Without faith it is impossible to believe God!

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Furlough

So here’s the thing, when you return to your home country there are a few things that generally happen.

You pack for several days, several days! After which, of course, your home in Africa is pretty much turned upside down, so you clean for a couple of hours. You’ve stocked the freezer with dog bones to last Sam and Frodoe, our German shepards, for a while. In Awassa, they don’t sell dog food, you make your own… yeah I know. So you go to the butcher and ask for bones and offal (disgusting) and because you’re from the good old USA and didn’t see an FDA certificate on the steaming hunk of meat you cook the bones. The smell is so bad that it has to be done outside (lol)! But I digress.

You wrangle your 8 pieces of luggage, including 5 massive trunks into the van and drive 5 perilous hrs to the airport. Why perilous, well it’s torn up in some spots and there are deep potholes that entire families could live in. And dare I forget the donkey carts, crazy Isuzu drivers, (I’d tell u what we call them but I might get kicked off social media), cows, motorists, trucks with trailers and children… Let’s just say perilous is a fitting description!

It turns out that the airport in Addis Ababa is a major hub for all of Africa, and believe me when I say, there are people there from all over the world! There are Indian’s going to India, Germans “on holiday”, Ethiopians headed to the Middle East and on and on and on. People are everywhere!! This airport is not for the faint of heart!

And we’re off, 8 hrs to Frankfurt with a 7 hour layover, and then 11 hrs more to SF. After traveling for about 30 hrs, you can understand, we were more than a little tired. We get on the wrong shuttle with our 8 pieces of luggage, drive to the hotel we thought was ours only to find it wasn’t that location, climb back into the shuttle and circle back to the airport, onto the right shuttle and to the right hotel, and reception asks “How was your day”, Gary’s tight lipped response “Fine.”

We arrive at my daughter’s house only to be greeted by these 2 lovely Angels, a.k.a. Grandchildren! And they have so much to tell me, so much they want me to see, and then there is the mention of ice cream, wow, is this real or am I dreaming?

We run to give a quick kiss and hug to Bobby (our most recent grandson) and we’re back at our home away from home. My granddaughter and I are listening to Corey read her a story, when I here him say, “leave her alone, she’s sleeping”, and I realize I’ve literally “nodded off” to the gentle press of my granddaughter’s nearness and her Dad reading us a story about, oh I can’t remember.

Furlough, Day 1.
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Unto the least of these

I bought my granddaughter a sparkly pair of Hello Kitty shoes, they were so cute! Sadly, they did not fit, so I just tossed them into my suitcase to take to ET, they were very cute and needed to be given to someone special. My friend Rachel, who operates an orphanage in the town where I live had a special someone in mind, Lantu. So I tuck them away and plan on giving them to her for her Bday! This same Lantu who, when playing make-believe-family, and everyone has called “dad” of “mom” or “sister” or brother” yells “I’m going to be Felecia, ‘come on guys'” in a perfect American accent, is the special someone Rachel has in mind. But God in His infinite wisdom took sweet Lantu home with Him that summer. She was born in an ET village with congenital heart disease, and was too old (she was 9 when she went to her Heavenly Father) by the time she was placed in Ebenezer Grace Children’s Home to be sent to the US for surgery. Surgery that, had she been born in the west, would have been easy to secure! She was an absolute blessing to everyone she met.

Months later a friend shows up at my door soaking wet, and she has two precious children w her. The boy has a hoodie, which is soaking wet but the little girl has on a t shirt and summer skirt… Oh Lord, they are going to catch “the pneumonia” as they would say in the country! It’s very early, around 8am, you have to know my friend, Sister Donna… Anyway! I make 2 heaping bowls of oatmeal, add raisins and my precious brown sugar. (It’s precious because it’s C&H and comes from America), and pray this will warm them up. They are soaked to the skin, and my friend asks if I have a change of clothes for them. The boy, a skinny teenager and the little girl aren’t the size of my kids so no, I don’t have anything. But this is ET and a little can go a long way. I find a hat for him and wrap a scarf around her and ask myself, is there anything else? And the Lord reminds me of the Hello Kitty shoes, Lord could I find them? Could they fit her?

Of course, they were a perfect fit!

Pictured above is a pair of shoes my 5 yr old granddaughter gave me “to give to the orphans”. I wonder what the Lord has in mind?

When you’ve ministered to the least of these, you’ve ministered to me. Jesus

I am so blessed to be here!

Hello 2015!

my camera 132This is a new year 2015, and I am believing for many better things. 2014 was a doozie, it started off very badly, with the loss of my husband’s father, and its end was terrible, pretty epic! Oh, 2015 could not have come fast enough.

So how do we deal with trauma? Of course for physical trauma you see a doctor, and for some emotional and psychological trauma you seek professional help. Then there is the everyday garden variety betrayal, or ambush, or backstabbing… These are very common occurrences! Oftentimes the betrayal is innocent or unintentional, then other times it is deliberate and strategic! Ouch!

Well, this what God says about it “in everything give thanks”! Yes, that’s what God calls us to do! And He calls us to forgive! “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us,” yes, something else the Lord requires of us!

I’ve written about forgiveness before, it is a common theme in human circles, a product of the human condition. And God requires it if we are to move forward and be healthy! It is also true that He will help us, and is long suffering when we must make the decision again and again to forgive when we are hurt. Forgiveness is a choice, choose to forgive, it will bring His peace like a river and His joy like an ocean!

#fireoverafrica

#fireoverafrica

The 5k in Buffalo was a wonderful success! The venue was spectacular, Chestnut Ridge Park is beautiful, and it was the perfect setting for the day. We had families, and grandma, grandpas young and old walking together… We even had a clown, Corn Dawg!

Our beach balls were of the world, and we even had clay pigeons… No, we weren’t shooting them (lol), it wasn’t that kind of 5K :). It was a great group of people gathered to support a great group of people and projects in Ethiopia!! Everyone was so happy to be there for such a great cause… David Besch, part of our 5k committee, shared very supportive words, that though most did not feel led to travel to Ethiopia they could still affect change in that great nation by supporting Fire Over Africa, a group he trusts and believes is truly called of God! Thank you David.

Loving Jesus compels us to bless others, especially those like the people of Ethiopia for whom the need is sooo great! If you would like to support Fire over Africa, please visit our website http://www.fireoverafrica.org.

See how happy our supporters are… This family made the 5K a family affair, the little pirate even walked the 5K, Argh!!