I am so sorry we have not been able to get back to this blog sooner. We arrived home on Apr. 10th in the afternoon to a clean house thanks to my mother-in-law and a nifty housekeeper. We were able to attend the Good Friday service which I must say was the cup of cool water we needed. Our daughter Amy's in-laws also arrived which is always such a big blessing to us. They are strong, mature and wise believers that always give us rich fellowship. Paula is also a very talented artistic person and was a huge help with getting our display done for the following weekend.
I was asked to give a talk on missions to the Central District Women's retreat. It forced me to do some reflection and debriefing with the Lord as I struggled to know just what to say. I was very concerned that the message would not be diminished by the weakness of the messenger. I really felt the Lord answered prayers my prayers and the women were so receptive. Actually the retreat was perfect timing for me. I was running pretty much on empty and these serious, godly women in their 70's delivered a spiritual retreat that lifted all up to a higher plane of thinking concerning our bridegroom coming for us and what that means to us today.
Meanwhile, Alan came along to be introduced on Friday night along with our district superintendent and his wife. Then he had Saturday to just veg-out and do what he wanted. We were in Branson, MO, so not too bad though it was raining. Sunday afternoon we headed for a cabin we rented outside of Branson and slept! Then Monday had a wonderful time recapping what we have done the past 4 months, prayed for many things and headed off for the outlet malls. We even prayed about that. We were looking for shirts that are designed for humidity. We found that when we would wash our sweaty clothes while in places like India and Africa, the clothes would not be dry by morning so then you put on slightly damp shirts to begin another humid day. We were like kids finding the right toy, when we found these moisture-wicking shirts on clearance and on sale.
The rest of the week found us beginning to shape up what the next 3 months will look like. We must get busy at support raising and developing teaching with hand-outs to be ready for the first of June (in order to get it translated in time). Alan especially has a lot on his plate as he meets in Dallas with the Center of Church-Based training. They are bringing in people from all over the world to discuss important issues regarding the training of Pastors and leaders in places all over the globe. In August we will be going to Burundi and Kenya to be with pastors and their wives for a week in each place. Our teaching needs to be primarily of an oral approach as the education levels are limited for some and most of the women cannot read. It is an exciting thought to open an understanding of the scriptures to these called ones who are ministering to the body of Christ in their areas. Alan is especially on a time crunch to completely write his own "Basic Theology" course with hand-outs by the first of June. That way the materials can be translated in their own language. In Burundi we are on our own but in Kenya we are with a team. In both places I am the only American woman so I am praying for God to send me an assistant to go too. In the upcoming weeks I hope to enlist the help of our daughter Anne to post some pictures.
We also want to share about our trip to India as it impacted us in so many ways. It is truly a praise to our God that our health remained strong and our attitude positive despite many frustrations. We are learning more vividly that our God reigns and is not thwarted by anything despite the strongholds Satan has in many of the places we go. When you think of us please pray Ps. 18:28 "For it is you who light my lamp: the Lord my God lightens my darkness." In many ways we are in the dark as to what is the best way to reach these people, may the Lord bring to light what we should teach and how best to communicate the truth.
Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
Al and Edie