Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ethiopia here we come!

Ethiopia in 2010 with dear sisters, Aelaf and Ruth by St. George's Church in Lalebala
Ethiopia 2008(?) With dear sisters Tigist and Nebret

We love to travel to the mountains for special family times together.

Yes, here I am again at the airport....always seem to be on the move... loving the kingdom work!

We love traveling together for Paul's conferences and family times.

'Oh, oh, what am I getting myself into going to Ethiopia?'
Some of you have been asking Paul and me for you travel together? Of course Paul and I travel together but not for CURE International until now.  God's call has been for me to go and Paul to stay (supporting my calling). However, in less than two weeks we will be traveling together for the first time to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a very special place in our hearts. When we returned to Canada after a couple of years in Australia, we met some very special Ethiopian families. They had been living in Canada, studying and struggling due to some difficulties in that part of the world. Through many amazing circumstances the Lord brought several dear Ethiopian brothers to our home. We laugh now as we look back....each of us trying to understand each other's culture. For example we asked our Ethiopian friends to come over...when we offered them food they turned out that they were afraid that if they ate our food, then our three children wouldn't get anything or enough to eat. I could go on and on with tales of funny the time Aelaf was getting married and her fiance came to the door to bring her to the church...I refused to let him see his bride before the ceremony...until he explained that this was their custom that he would bring his bride from her home to the church! Oh, what humorous stories we can tell on each other...we all made some mistakes regarding time etc. So glad that we loved each other so much. What a blessing! As we mixed our cultures and our love for the Lord Jesus Christ, a bond was developed that cannot be broken. We keep in touch to this day!
It is no coincidence that the Lord has called Paul and me to teach at a CURE Hospital in Addis Ababa. Our travel dates are February 3-13th, 2012. Please keep us in your prayers. This trip will be an experience of a lifetime for see for the first time see the land of his brothers and sisters, Enawgaw, Aelaf, Tigist, Moges, Mismac, Nebret and others. We love to joke that are in the same family...born of different mothers...but the same Father...our Heavenly One!
While we are in Ethiopia, we will be with some precious people...Ethiopians and people from other countries. Paul and I will be teaching at a CURE conference. Paul will be lecturing at the University. He will be available as a consultant for the hospital in the areas of pediatric anesthesia, regional anesthesia and pain management. I have been asked to teach a couple of sessions too. In these experiences, it is about who you are with, rather than the activities. We will be with nurses, managers, medical staff, pastoral staff and CURE Leadership. Please pray for a spirit of cooperation and unity as we come from so many countries and backgrounds.

How can you be praying for Paul and me? I'll keep it simple using the letters to the country Ethiopia.

E-Energy, Excitement, Eagerness to serve, Eternal perspective
T-Timing to complete responsibilities
H-Health and safety as we drive to Washington, DC for our flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (and back again!)
 I-Insights into the needs of the CURE Hospital and healthcare of the country
O-Opportunities to be a blessings, Obedient hearts and hands in serving
P-Prayerful preparations, Pleasure in serving the Lord, Purposeful activities
I-Individual encounters resulting in fruitfulness for God's kingdom
A-Afterwards may our lives be changed forever,  Attentiveness to God's call to serve near and afar, Appreciation for all that God has accomplished!

In our devotional times, I will be sharing with the nurses from Paul's letter to the Colossian church. The overriding theme is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' Colossians 1:27b. I love the contrasts in this lovely letter written so warmly to a group of people Paul never met. What a joy to be reminded that we have come from darkness and that as believers we have been brought into the kingdom of light in Jesus Christ. I could go on and on about the many contrasts of sin & forgiveness, debt & redemption, putting off & putting on...! Can you tell that I am excited? What a privilege to open up God's Word and see all that He has for His own to bring fullness, completeness and wholeness to our lives....ultimately, the blessing of eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to hear will have to come along!

Anyway, dear blog followers and readers, now you know how to pray for us. The real work of any service with the Lord is prayer. May we be faithful, joyful, trusting, peaceful and loving servants in this rich opportunity in Ethiopia. To God be the Glory!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Wedding--A beautiful picture of Christ's love

Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Guyse--Congratulations!!!
The family photo....pure joy!
Thank you to all the sweet family and friends who supported the happy couple!
December 30th was a wonderful wedding day for Marie and Zachary! It was a fairytale wedding scene....the church; Tates Creek Presbyterian and the reception venue; Lexington Country Club were still decorated beautifully for the Christmas season. I have decided that a Christmas wedding is so appropriate for Christians. Christmas is the celebration of the glory of God coming to earth as the baby Lord Jesus....a love gift to the world. For it is He, who is called Jesus who would show the ultimate love by laying down His life for sinners like me. Jesus' love for His own people called 'the church' is magnificent, extravagant and eternal.  The marriage of our dear Marie and Zachary is a picture for all who attended of these truths. Weddings are magnificent and extravagant events. As believers, we can joyfully and abundantly proclaim that marriage is a picture of Christ's love for His people.
The Lord was viewed large in the lives of Marie and Zachary as Tom Franklin reminded them of the Effort, Economy and Excitement in marriage. A good relationship takes much make it work...from both parties. The marriage relationship is not a 50%-50% partnership...the 100% sometimes is 10%-90% or 60%-40%...each marriage partner must love and be willing to make up the difference when there is a deficit. God is excited about marriage, just as newlyweds are excited about their new lives together. Excitement should not wear off but increase as the relationship develops and deepens over life experiences and time.  What a great message! Of course I have not included all that Tom said...but these were my 'take home' points! After more than 33 years of marriage...these truths still hold. Marie was a beautiful bride...exquisite in every way. She chose beautiful friends to support her on her special day. Zachary was a most handsome groom. He too chose wonderful young men to support him on his special day.  The whole experience as mother of the bride was amazing as I saw the body of Christ come together to encourage and assist this dear couple as they embark on their marriage.  There was a holy solemnity to the day and at the same time a joyfulness as dear ones joined together in celebration. Won't Heaven be grand?!