Ps. 30: 5The Message Bible
So there we are standing in the living room, 4 tired people tapping the face of the Smartphone…(the phone is smarter than we are, obviously.) We’re trying to take a picture with the camera lens facing us—you know, switch it in reverse like the all the cool young kids do when they snap those ‘here we are!’ photos.
We are successful.
The night comes to a close and we stand and hold hands as we always do when our visit with these friends is ended. We see them maybe twice a year when they come to the States from Mexico to visit their son and his family. It is never, ever long enough.
As we go around the circle and each pray for the other, I’m moved to tears…as is my dear sister.
We’ve been through a lot.
(1000 Gifts, p. 156).
(I want to share some of the glorious grace that God has shown across our lifetime, not to focus on us, but to give Him the credit and the praise. I hope you’ll stay for the story.)
When the Bible School closed in 1979, our friends Glenn and Karen obeyed a call to go to Mexico as missionaries.
During that time, they have helped plant 3 churches—Palabra de Vida—Fountain of Life—in 3 cities in Jalisco, Mexico. Glenn was asked by the parents at one of the churches many years ago if he would serve as Principal at the small Christian school in Guadalajara. He said yes and it has grown and grown over the years, serving students from all over the world. We have had the privilege of visiting them and seeing firsthand the fruits of all their labor.
Although Lincoln is a Christian school, the draw for many of the families whose children attend there is the fact that classes are taught in English. In the process, students are learning about Christ.
The little church we helped start in New Orleans in our big two story house–with young people sitting on the steps going up the stairs we were so crowded–has now grown into Victory Fellowship. Victory is an active, outreaching church with ministries to women coming out of prison, to the homeless, to neighboring families through their Christian school. There are countless other events and activities– most recently the annual Feed The Multitudes on the Fourth of July.
When I look back to that time of shepherding the house church in New Orleans, I see all the young people Bill and Glenn baptized in the landlord’s swimming pool in back of our house. Young people who were rescued from Bourbon Street downtown, drinking in the message of salvation.
I think about Mae across the street, the old lady that Karen cared for and remember how she loved Jesus. I remember my husband and Glenn going out on Saturdays, down to the waterfront of Lake Pontchartrain or in City Park, evangelising and sharing God’s love with all who would listen, planting seeds.
Here’s the even more amazing part–all our grown children are following God, raising their children in homes where Christ is the center. Our grandchildren get to hear not only about their parents’ God but their grandparents’ faith as well. There is no greater joy, I can assure you, than that.
And in God’s scheme of things, because He loves us so, he’s made sure we stay in touch with our dear friends. When Glenn and Karen’s oldest son Wesley finished school and went into the ministry, he ended up marrying a girl in Guadalajara, leaving Mexico and moving back to the States. Now he helps pastor a church and lives 30 minutes away from our home, just so our friends could come visit us each year. And of course see their grandchildren. Smile.
There is so much more to tell. Forty years is a long time for doing life and making memories. We have shared the births of our first grandchildren; we have each buried a parent along the way. We have labored long in our marriages, in our churches and in our ministry. A lifetime of space would be needed to get it all down, so this will have to do.
When I started this blog and named it ‘Three Way Light’–I wanted the words to ‘reflect, reveal and shine for God’s glory.’ When I sat down to write this post I had to smile and shake my head again at God’s touch in even the small things, still.
The other night when Glenn was talking about Lincoln School, he mentioned their new website. I just had a chance to check it out the other day.