John Piper writes in his well-known classic, Let the Nations Be Glad!:
The beauty of praise that will come to the Lord from the diversity of the nations is greater than the beauty that would come to him if the chorus of the redeemed were culturally uniform or limited. Moreover, there is something about God that is so universally praiseworthy and so profoundly beautiful and so comprehensively worthy and so deeply satisfying that God will find passionate admirers in every diverse people group in the world. His true greatness will be manifest in the breadth of the diversity of those who perceive and cherish his beauty (Piper, 2010, P. 258).
Well, much has transpired since my first blog; I apologize for missing last month! I’ll start with April and our daughter’s wedding. Kathy is the bride, and our other daughter Joni is on the far left in the second photo, and my niece Amy is also in the picture with us! God was truly present throughout the weekend. After watching Morgan’s knees buckle when he turned and saw our daughter walking down the isle, I’m a firm believer in taking pictures of the bride and groom after the wedding!
We got to spend quality time with our “adopted” daughter from Al Qatif, Saudi Arabia before she flew home for summer vacation. We also got to meet her brother Moosa! Both are studying for advanced degrees-Fatimah in Richmond and Moosa in Vancouver, Canada! Brad and I hope to be able to meet their parents and extended family in Saudi one day!
I would have never imagined a few years ago that Brad and I would have the privilege and blessing of getting to know such a wonderful family and having the opportunity to meet and get to know people and families from such diverse cultures around the world, all now living in Richmond! We are so thankful for the connections made through Perspectives on the World Christian Movement that brought us to this place in our lives!
Another family special to us is the Adhikari’s. They are originally from Nepal, and were forced to leave their country under great persecution. I had the opportunity to tutor Ganga (pictured below with her two grandmother’s, mother, and brother Dilly) during the past school year, helping her both with difficult writing assignments and with practicing for state graduation tests. These tests are difficult for the best of students, and they are even more difficult for students with English as a second language. I’m very proud to say that Ganga was featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch for her determination and effort put forth to graduate! You can read all about it at http://m.timesdispatch.com/news/local/education/nepalese-refugees-strive-for-literacy-education/article_40cd79ce-1d99-5d78-a346-b50ae719770e.html?mode=jqm
Please keep Ganga’s grandmother in your prayers; she’s been hospitalized twice over the last couple of weekends with breathing issues. Also, her brother, Govinda, has serious health issues that developed several years ago after arriving here in the states; his symptoms are similar to those of having a massive stroke. He has little use of his limbs and can no longer speak. Doctors still have no idea what caused his difficulties or how to alleviate them. Every time I visit, I’m fed the most wonderful Nepali food; they even send me home with food for Brad! Dilly is hoping to come to the house one day soon and cook for us; with Brad’s legs, it’s hard for him to get into their home, so they are going to come to us!
We also have another graduation to report! Another of our Saudi friends, also named Fatima but pronounced differently, graduated from Boston University with her Master’s degree in May! She hopes to enter into an internship for a year or so before beginning medical school. I got to spend time with her after graduation while she was hear visiting Fatimah’s aunt Amal. Please pray for her as she is putting the finishing touches on her thesis paper this summer! She’s with her advisor in the first picture.
Office-wise, we took a trip to Philadelphia in May to a mission conference. It was hosted by Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ (WEC). They have a wonderful, old building where the conference was held. We attend these conferences in order to recruit and train people to join us in our endeavors. We also get to hear from others how God is accomplishing his purposes throughout the world! Times like these strengthen relationships among the office staff and interns! Getting to play a part in these young people’s lives is such a treat and honor!
We got to spend Memorial Day with our oldest son Bill and his family Ashley, Daylin, and Gage! They’ll be moving from Ohio to Virginia in a couple of weeks; we’re excited to get to see more of them, as they will be only about 1.5 hours away! Forgot to get the family picture, as I was busy playing with the grandkids. They also ran into car trouble, so we had to get them back on the road in a hurry. The car is fixed, but please pray for their safe travels here!
Tutoring wise, I’ve had the pleasure of tutoring Grant, a young man whose mom I met while getting air put in my tires back in September 2013. The Lord spoke to me and told me to share the devotion I had just finished reading with his mom Lisa. I thought, “Lord, are you crazy??!!” Turns out, Lisa’s sister was working in the Naval yard in Washington, DC when the man walked in with a gun and started shooting everywhere back in the fall. The devotion, Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotions, turned out to be something Lisa wanted to share with her sister Regina. Regina’s doing well now, but please keep this entire group in your prayers. Back to Grant. He’s a great student; math just happens to be his weakness, like so many others. He did great and passed his Geometry SOL-Praise God! I’ll be working with him throughout the summer as he takes the class during summer school to try and improve his grade from Fall Semester.
Please continue to keep Brad in your prayers. He has a new contraption called a “Tap-Pap” to help with his sleep apnea. It’s a mouth piece attached to nasal pillows. He’s still getting used to the device and not sleeping well. Pray also for us to find a new church closer to home. We love our church, but the distance to church and back coupled with Brad’s choir activities was really tough on him. Pray for good sleep so we can visit nearby churches on Sundays!
Thanks to all you who read and support our endeavors! We appreciate you more than words can say! See you next month!