Friday, August 21, 2015
Life on the road...what is that like? We are still living out of luggage, and I do not foresee any change for a long while. It is somewhat simple and sometimes tiresome. Just remember what your bag looks like and where you put stuff, or you might never see it again. Fourteen people in a fifteen-passenger van are a lot of sandpaper rubbing off all the sharp edges. I pray that our motto would be "They shall know we are Christians by our love." Even though we don't always all get along, we are in the process of growing towards it.
What's in a name? In this case for clarification, my real name is "JoAnn." It is written Joan, but is pronounced JoAnn. Just thought I'd let you know. My parents named me after the nurse who delivered me in Liberia, West Africa.
Stories, stories left untold. We have been at a mountain retreat enjoying time as a family before our kids go back to college. It has been fun to be out hiking in nature, singing together, and having great fellowship with the people I most want to be with. I surely do love our kids and praise God for each of them. You can be in the most beautiful spot, but if you don't get along with the people you are with; life will still be miserable. You have to forgive and let go of annoyances and bitterness. Christianity and forgiveness go hand in hand—same as loving God and obedience. We are all "in the process."
It seems like I have been writing too many letters of needs in the ministry: out-of-use jewelry; musical instruments — guitars, accordions or keyboards; and money for evangelism in Ivory Coast. Any help is appreciated. A huge help is prayer. Just pray and pray. I am such a shirker; I don't pray enough. God is so powerful and so good and can do anything at all. How dumb is it if we don't pray? So please, pray for us! Thanks.
Thanks for prayers for health and safety. We have traveled miles in safety and comfort. It is fun making new friends. Walking by faith is not easy, seeing one step at a time. August 16th, Dan and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. We praise God for that and the many blessings He has bestowed upon us.
Ruth, Hannah, Seth, Lydia and Susanna will be starting back to Ambassador Baptist College this month. Ruth is planning to take further classes. We are hoping, Lord willing, to buy a house near the college, so they can live off campus. For all of our missionary life, it has been getting more and more difficult to not have a house, a place where we can leave our stuff. It is hard not having an address and using relatives' addresses. (The reality is that our permanent address and our citizenship are in heaven.) The rest of the family will continue with meetings in North Carolina and on down to Florida. It will be strange having extra space in the van.
We have now landed in a beautiful five-bedroom missionary home in Shelby, North Carolina for the next six weeks. God is so good to give us this place to rest while we look for a house. Thanks for all your prayers for us. May God bless you more than we could ask or think.
Love in Christ,
Dan and Joan, Ruth, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon