Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Way Ticket Life

For years my husband and I and our two children lived the round trip ticket life. Traveling for short stays either visiting family, vacations and a few over seas short trips. All that changed when we committed to become missionaries with New Tribes Mission in Bolivia, South America and take on the ministry of being dorm parents to high school boys. With excited hearts we bought our first one way ticket which brought about a ton of new experiences. Just the packing alone took on a whole new dimension as we had to plan for living not visiting for three to four years in this third world country. Facing the emotions of knowing we were not going to see our home country, family and friends for such a long time seems to overwhelm us at times. There was the concern of how our daughter Tara 14 and Jared 10 year old son would adjust to this drastic move. All too soon we were packed and saying our last good by's at the airport and started on our journey.

Within a few days of being in Bolivia it was clear how much we had taken for granted living in the good old USA. Things like electricity around the clock, Wal-marts on every corner, not having to cook anything by scratch and my list could go on and on. But you do learn to live according to what is available.

Our son jumped right into the culture of the school base but our daughter was depressed from being so homesick and that on top of caring for 16 high school guys was stretching us more then we had ever been stretched. That one way ticket commitment was weighing very heavy on us as we watched our daughter struggle in tears most nights. We had been warned that the move would be hardest on her. As we prayed God begin to slowly bring our daughter out of her homesickness and three years later when she graduated she didn't want to leave Bolivia. Another chance to trust Him as we bought those one way tickets again to the states not knowing how long it would take her to adjust. I remember so clearly as we packed up for the first furlough packing one tote full of things we would want sent to us if for some reason we oculd not return. Another one of those things one usually doesn't do when taking a short trip somewhere on a round trip ticket. Since we came to Bolivia with 19 bags I could see how our value of things had changed drastically.

All too soon furlough was over and once again we bought, you guessed it, one way tickets. These tickets were harder to buy because we were leaving our daughter in the states to continue her educations. I really thought I was going to faint from just pure heartbreak as we walked away from her and boarded that plane. Once again God brought comfort to our hearts that He would take care of her and meet her needs. I remember wishing He would just dry my tears so I could see clearly to at least eat the meal they served us on the plane a few hours later.

Three more years passed quickly as we minister and then it was time for our son Jared to graduate. Another step of faith as we began the process of taking him home on a one way ticket. I tried hard not to think ahead to when we would return to Bolivia leaving both our children behind. While home God changed the direction of our life as we felt impressed to step out of the mission and help our struggling home church. So I really thought that was the end of that one way tickey way of living. We could settle in and enjoy the fruits of stateside living and being close to our family. All that wisdom we had gained from flexing and trusting would help us minister to others.

Well I guess God thought we had more to learn for after a few years He called us to serve over seas again but this time in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Now I really questioned the Lord's wisdom on this one for we were 58 years old and this country was less developed then Bolivia and the weather was hot, humid and malaria infested, not good for us older people. I have to admit I have been a little mad at God as I've sweated and fought the heat rashes and taken care of my husband as he struggled with malaria. In my heart I felt like God asked too much this time at our age. That excitement I remember feeling as we started our missionary journey to Bolivia just was not here this time. How could I serve Him with such a heavy heart. But as I reflected back to Bolivia when we sit with our crying depressed daughter and told her that it was OK for her to be mad at God for up rooting her, He was big enough to handle her anger. And that homesickness was not a sin, that He was homesick for heaven those 33 years He walked this earth. Like her I have slowly came out of my anger and culture shock and became so thankful for the ministry we have now. I would still prefer living in a cooler climate with mountains surrounding us instead of right on the ocean and in a more developed country but this "one way ticket" way of living has deepen our trust in God.

Recently our son, now 25 signed off his email to us, "Jared your son, protected by the Son". I wrote him back and said, yeah Jared you got it dear son. That's the truth that gave us courage to buy that first one way ticket and the same truth has us looking forward to traveling on that paid for one way ticket to our heavenly home some day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Betty with her MP3

Never too old

yesterday I move up in the world of technology a little more. Ace and I both received MP3 players for gifts. Ace"s came with preching on it and mine came with the most blessed music. I found myself readng the instructions trying to figure it out but thank God for a husband who is so much better at following instructions. Soon I was lost in the songs coming from the little tiny piece of equipment with tiny earphone that shut out the world as those song of faith played one right after another. With every other sound shut out i felt like the words of the songs were being sung just to me, my own private concert. I don't think I realize how hungry I was for the sweet music of the gospl. I use to always have my music on but it seems I have been caught up in the worry over my health, worry over family issue, worry over finances, just plain worry. Oh I was hungry for music that lifts one soul to heaven, that brings tears of joy and repentance. I am a bluegrass gospl and southern gospel fan and the family that gave us the MP3 players knew that so they put some of my favorites on and introduced me to some new ones. Tears of joy and repentance ran down my face as i soak it into my soul. Thank you Todd, Jodi and Matt for the gifts, God's blessings on you.
This last couple of weeks have been momumental for me. I finally got my blog up and running, even learned how to post pictures. Also learned about "facebook" and doing some communicating on it. And now this little MP3 player, been an exciting time as I have learned new skills. Now i realized that in no time the MP3 player will be out of date and may be already. But those old truth from those old songs, oh they will never be out of date. In fact as I seek to be a wise hearted woman they will become sweeter and the truths in them will carry more power in my life.
Now my next step is to find out how to put one of the songs on my blog. Guess I'll have to call one of my younger wise hearted friends for help in this task. So i hope if you read this post you will take the time to listen to the song.

More of my wise hearted friends

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Profound thought

This is a quote from a Beth Moore study we ladies are doing from her book, Jesus One and Only. She say, "God is many things: a ruling God, a righteous God, a judging God, a holy God. He is also a feeling God. He feels for us--not only when we are innocent victims of a depraved world. He also feels for when we are drowning in misery as a consequence of our own sin. He who knows no sin feels for us who do.
As I meditate on the prayer of Zechariah in Luke 1:68-79,especially verse 77-78, on the "tender mercy" that God has for me a warmness invades my soul as I thought about His mercy being new every morning. (Lam. 3:21-23) I don't have to draw from the mercy He showed me yesterday, every day it's fresh. There is something about the word "fresh" that make us want to seek it out, it lifts our spirit when we find it, gives us hope.
It makes me think about our market here in PNG and how I seek out the fresh veggies and fruits and when I find them how excited I am and look forward to a great meal coming from the purchase. Being "wise hearted" means seeking out the fresh tender mercies of the Lord daily.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Betty's Fried Chicken Ministry Is Doing Well In PNG

Ladies this is especially for you just in case you are wondering what you could on the mission field or anywhere God has placed you. There are some women who are very gifted at languages and translation, praise the Lord if you are one of them. But i am not, i barely can talk the trade language Pidgin. Some of you may be computer smart, skilled in bookkeeping but that's not me which is why my husband Ace does not ask me to help in the finance office. teachers are greatly needed to teach missionary children at the boarding school but since i do not have a teaching degree no one is after me to teach. There is no call on my life to preach , but there is a call to teach women. God has called me to be a wise hearted woman just as He did those women in Exodus 35 who were helping to build the Tabernacle.
Those women were willing to use the gifts and abilities such as spinning goat hair to be use for the curtain surrounding the Tabernacle. again something else I cannot do, spin goat hair but my desire to be a "wise hearted woman" led me to ask the Lord to give me a ministry that would support those reaching people who have never heard the gospel. That's how the fried chicken ministry got started.....a good dinner of fried chicken with the works will fill the belly but will also provide a time of fellowship that can be used to encouraged and help our missionaries adjust to living in a third world country. Most of missionaries are tucked away in remote bush locations for months at a time and when they come out need somewhere to stay and refresh themselves. A fried chicken dinner is a little touch of home and puts a smile on everyone face and gives me great joy and brings God glory. I will never be famous like Colonel Sanders but here in the Madang region of Papua New Guinea just ask any New Tribe missionary and others we have hosted about Betty's fried chicken. Just this past week we had a family out for a break with their children and what a treat to see those children chow down on that chicken leg and drink sweet southern tea. Conversation flows freely around a table set with love and has the feel of home to those who have left their homes to minister in far away places.
Because of this part of my ministry I have rubbed shoulders with women whose lives and experiences have made them wise some beyond their years. so let me invite you to come visit us and we will sit down together over a plate of chicken, mashed potatoes and the ever full pitcher of ice tea and talk of the things God is teaching us. Then after our food has digested we can take a walk in a nearby village where what you will see will affect your heart forever.
You might be wondering what part does my husband play in my ministry beside helping to eat all left over chicken when there is some. Well he is the best dishwasher a wife could ask for. i am really praying he does not break down for I do not know where i would get another like him.
Let me challenge your heart first to be "wise hearted", willing to look for ways to use what ever skills, talents, abilities God has given you at what ever age. I have many friends who use the gift of encouragement in so many different ways. some send packages to missionaries, emails, cards, support financially and pray a lot. These women are my support team helping me support another team reaching people who have never heard the gospel. Be a 'wise hearted" women today and bring God glory.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

well i started this blog several months ago thinkng i would find the time to do this. i still would like to learn how to blog correctly and then begin to write some of the profound thoughts the Lord gives me. my desire to be a wise hearted woman has taken me on many roads that at times have test my faith to the limit. I love the women mention in Exodus who helped build the tablenacle. these are the women God called "wise hearted", women who were willing to be used by a Holy God.
Maybe there is some of you out there who have studied these women and have some insight about being "wise hearted" that you would like to share.
hopefully next time i can figure out how to put pictures on this crazy blog. actually maybe i can get one of the younger wise hearted women around me to help me set this up correctly and then i can really let the thoughts flow.
enough for now. let me invite you again to share your thoughts on being a wise hearted women. betty