It’s only 70 degrees right now! That’s not my whole reason for testifying, but it sure is icing on the cake! Rainy season is here in full force now, so though it’s quite humid, we have been enjoying some ‘cooler’ days. But this really takes the cake. Almost need to get out the sweatshirts!
I have blogged so many things in my head since my last post. But for various reasons, I am just now getting around to putting it down on ‘paper’.
The month of May was a pretty crazy one for our family. Even before then, in the ministry, crazy things seemed to be happening much too frequently. And on top of that, financial responsibilities were piling up into a pretty good sized mountain. I have long since learned however, that mountains can be moved.
We have good medical insurance, so medical issues, including airfare for Tanika and I to Ghana, and for Trae and Neal to Paris were taken care of. We just had to buy my ticket to Paris. Our accommodation in Ghana was very inexpensive, so that even fell under our benefit limit. Paris, however, was another story. Neal was allowed $80 for accommodation per night. One might think that could fetch a decent room. However, when converted to Euro’s the the cheapest room he found was $158 – per night! He stayed there for one night. A meal for Neal in the hospital was E30 – $48! For hospital food! So Neal trekked around the streets of Paris looking for more ‘suitable’ food.
In the meantime a good friend of ours was sending our prayer updates to her friends. One of those friends belonged to a church where the pastor was getting ready to do a missions trip to Paris and knew of a kind of guest house there. That pastor contacted the people at Parole de Vie (Word of Life) on our behalf. Parole de Vie then contacted Neal in Paris and told him that he and Trae (and me, when I arrived) would be welcome to stay there. Wow! The guest house turned out to be an 18th Century 16-room house that was under renovation. All I can say is that it was a very cool place. Though there were people coming and going, Rob and Caira basically gave us the run of the place. I arrived several days later. We had our own rooms, a kitchen to use and a TV and DVD player. The charge per night? Nothing! And we gained some friends out of the deal as well.
While in Paris, Neal’s parents were holding things down in Niger. A ‘funny’ sound was heard by Dad in the engine of our car and he promptly took it to the mechanic. He emailed us with the news that the engine on our ‘new’ vehicle (now 4.5 years old – guess the honeymoon is over) needed to have the engine rebuilt. To the tune of $2500. Well then. Also due, tuition for our kids school. Huh. In addition two of our pastors needed motorcycles, among quite a few other ministry needs.
We know that God provides and frankly, in these situations, I know there isn’t a whole lot we can do but trust in Him. That’s really nothing new. That’s one of the benefits of missionary life. Trusting God every month for our ‘salary’. When Tanika first got sick, Neal preached a message on joy – that it’s not based on circumstances. Ours was being tested. And we were determined to pass the test. Some days I had to actively choose not to worry.
We were amazed at how people supported us with prayer, and also with extra giving. It’s quite humbling. We knew God would provide, but when we got our monthly giving ledger, we were astounded – jaw dropping astounded. There was enough over our regular personal and ministry budget to pay all of our bills– car repair, school, expenses in Paris, as well as enough extra to buy at least one of the motorcycles! It’s funny how we expect God to do it, but are then amazed when He does.
That’s enough to build our faith for all the other things that we believe God has put on our plate to do!
So, as you can see, I just had to testify!