A word of caution – I have nothing much to write about this month. It reminds me of my mother saying we kids always ate tons more when we weren’t hungry than when we were. I fear my writing may be the same. My “nothing to say” may equal a very long letter! But – to whet the appetite of those of you who still pray for the Stuart family – I’ll include a few tidbits on them this time!
First though – You may have caught the fact that I have not mentioned reading at the local school lately. That’s because we haven’t been doing it. At this point it really does not fit in very well with my duties in the finance office, though we may try again later in the year. You can pray with us concerning that possibility!
Another ministry not mentioned lately – visiting at the local hospital. That too just doesn’t happen these days – largely because we have had very few patients to visit! Samaritan Aviation brings out most sick people and visits them daily. The patients we have had come in from our various tribal locations have been from tribes where other support missionaries living here in Wewak once worked, and since they already know the person and their family, they do the visiting. Again, this is a tremendous blessing to me as finance duties can monopolize all too many days!
So what have I been doing?
- Finance, finance, finance
- Tribal printing
- Wednesday Ladies Bible study
- With an assortment of one time, more fun tasks!
Last weekend (a l-o-n-g 5 day “weekend”) was one of those “one time, more fun” ones being monopolized by a little gal nearly constantly at my side pecking my shoulder with her, “Gramma Hope, Gramma Hope” attention getting distraction.
Ella Jo spent the days with me while her father Jason Stuart and brother Jedidiah (accompanied by Jed’s friend Colton) were in a village location. Don’t get me wrong. Ella Jo is a very easy child to care for — once you learn a few tricks. Things all you mothers out there already know. I didn’t – but I quickly got educated!
- – NO soda before supper or she’ll be too full to eat – only to be starving by the time all the uneaten supper is put away.
- – Pogo stick jumping or bouncing a ball against the side of my house may drive ME crazy but will keep her entertained for HOURS !!
- – No matter how much she’s eaten, “lunch” isn’t complete without 2-3 fried eggs. (She’s learned that 5 is too many – graciously letting me eat the last 2!)
- – Making bread ends when the kneading part of the process begins.
- – Apple Dumpling Gang Theodore and Andy Griffith Barney are NOT the same
- – No matter how engrossed she is in anything, when a friend comes to play, she’s out the door faster than super-girl!
- – All day rainy Saturdays are very, incredibly exceedingly l-o-n-g days and don’t lend themselves togetting weekend chores and house cleaning done
- – Conditioner. Beg or borrow it but do NOT attempt to comb her hair without it!
- – A list of potential activities will all want to be all be done the first day
- – Any crafts not done the 1st day will be deemed too boring to bother with – until bedtime — when interest in doing crafts awakens
- – 8:30 bedtime for Ella Jo finds ME more in need of slumber than she is!
- – No matter how late she stays up, she will still be awake – and talking — by 6 a.m.
Yes, it was an experience. I certainly developed an entirely new level of respect for all you Mothers and Grandmothers out there. And for Jason raising his two kiddos without Toni. Also an ever growing admiration and appreciation for my local co-worker neighbors who included Ella Jo in things they were doing with their children all those days. Need I add – it also deepened my love of getting to be an adopted “Gramma” to some of the MKs here!
Best though was one highly memorable moment at the office, with Ella Jo pecking at my shoulder to hurry me along as I attempted to finish some finance work. I had just signed an e-mail with my usual closing “Because Christ came and is coming again – perhaps even today! — we therefore have …HOPE !!!!” when Ella Jo wanted to know, “Why do you (take the time to) say all that?” That led to a great little chat about the real (biblical) meaning of “Hope,” and about the certainty of Christ’s return. From there we talked about how imminent that perchance might possibly perhaps maybe be! (Or not.) And how quickly we could suddenly be transported from here into the very presence of Jesus!
Exciting stuff for any of us to ponder – and vibrantly precious to see it become a bit more real for an already very tuned in and enlightened child! I asked Ella Jo who she is anxious to see when she gets to heaven. Often she replies with silence when “My Mom” is the answer, but this time she became excited and actually jubilant at that happy prospect! We talked a bit about Toni, what she is maybe doing right now in heaven. Here again – Ella Jo usually expresses her thoughts of her mother in one sentence or
less, then quickly changes the subject. This time she cut it not quite so short – a few sentences before she began talking about coming back with Jesus, riding on white horses! (Rev 19:14)
It’s harder to get the ladies in our weekly Bible study so super excited about the prospect of Christ’s return. At present the group has shrunk to only 3 – 4 ladies each week. Though most of these gals are indeed sisters in Christ, they all have unsaved family members who have little to no interest in things of the Lord. Their unsaved family also will not listen if they try to speak of Christ. That being the case — much of the content in our Bible times together is focused on us letting Christ change us to become more and more like Himself – and let our lives reflect Him to all He brings across our paths. Often that is the only means of communicating Jesus that these ladies have with their families. Please do continue praying for them – Lisa, Rosie, Paula and Susan – and their unsaved family members whom they do not want to see left behind should Christ indeed soon come.
Okay, lest I really do run on and on off the page with my wordiness in writing, I will close with my ever “broken record” style THANK YOU. Please know YOU are greatly appreciated as you stand together with me in the work God has committed to us here. Some months it’s not the exciting “front lines” reports that are interesting and challenging to read. More often anymore it’s the “same-old same-old” routine – yet duties still so necessary for keeping our missionaries in the remote locations able to
function. Thank you for being a willing part of the team as we press on together on their behalf.
Co-laboring together to bring back Christ as King!