Friday, September 26, 2008

A Baby is Crying

A baby is crying. No, you can't hear her because she does not yet have a voice. Her mother said she can not go though another pregnancy nor can she feed another child. All I can hear is the baby crying. My face is wet with her tears. I understand that this happens everyday in every country. I just did not want to see it happen to my friend, the mother of my little English students.
I was just starting our first ladies Bible study and in she walked. I was so thrilled that she would attend for the very first time. We kissed cheek to cheek in the traditional way, and her face was clouded with pain. 'I'm pregnant', she uttered. I'm going to have it 'removed', I can't take another pregnancy, another child!' I begged and pleaded offering to take the child myself. In the end the choice is up to her.

A mother is crying. I watched from a distance today as two of my dear friends were in deep conversation. It was obvious that they were discussing a burden the size of a semi-truck. Later, I heard the story. “Please, please could you help me find work. I will do anything. Just enough to buy bread for the kids and I.” I looked at this lady on Sunday and I was surprised at how thin she had gotten over the summer. I understand a little more now. Her husband is gone. He may come back he may not. She is alone. The washer is broke. The kids need food, clothes...

A missionary is crying. Today was suppose to be a celebration. We had our first ladies Bible study! 10 ladies attend, 2 of which are yet unsaved. We ate peanut butter cookies and drank American coffee. The lesson went great, I was able to express my heart in Albanian. The ladies listened and made many comments, good comments. Still, my heart is so heavy. So many broke pieces, so many broken dreams, broken people.
Please pray with me that the Great Physician will hold this dear little baby who does not have a change for life, please pray that He will help this mother crying for help and food, and that He will comfort a heartbroken missionary who can not carry it all alone.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Being in two places at one time

Being in two places at one time

When my husband and I first surrendered to missions I did not understand that we have responsibilities both in the foreign field and also stateside. On our first furlough, I came back to the states disorientated and confused at to what was required of me. I felt so torn being away from the new baby Christians in Albania, and I also had this feeling that I no longer 'fit' in the states. I had fears too: Would I forget the language? Will the people continue to attend church while we are away? Will the stateside churches want to see us again?

As we started that first furlough and we began sharing what the Lord had been doing in our lives and in the lives of the Albanians. We began meeting people who truly had a heart for missions. I meet ladies who have become precious friends to me. People started asking questions, getting interested in missions, new churches began supporting us, some even wanting to visit. Upon our return to the field, we began receiving encouraging emails, birthday cards, and packages for ministry and even personal packages! We have had a few visitors and a young lady recently did her summer internship with us.

What have I learned? I've been given a privilege from the Lord and our supporting churches to live and work as a missionary in Albania. I also have a privilege to share the blessings along with the trials that we experience with our churches. I personally have been blessed by the friendships I have made on furlough. Just yesterday I received an e-mail from one of our supporting pastor's wife. She did not know that I was having an extremely difficult day. She just wrote. My heart was so encouraged!

So, you see, I am in two places at one time. My heart is here in Albania being a support to Norm, homeschooling Nathan and Bethany, and teaching the women and children. My virtual heart is in the emails, thank you cards to supporters, blogs, pictures, updates, and prayer letters. We continue to cry out “Come over into Macedonia (olden day Albania!) and help us!”

You too were in two places at once! When you wrote that missionary! Or sent that email – (not a forward!) Prayed for a missionary kid who might be struggling. Your love was felt in the life of the person you reach out to touch. You just don't know what a short two-line email could do for a missionary. THANK YOU!