It is 9:40 a.m. and her plane is getting ready to take off. We are filled with excitement, anticipation, and a knowledge that God will use her, and the group she travels with, in tremendous ways.
Before she left, her father and I put together packets of notes and letters for her to open each day. I have her permission to share them here with you this week as we count on your prayers and God’s grace to bring her safely home.
God has been so good to us through all of you – from family and dear friends who have called repeatedly and prayed over her – to her Lifegroup that prayed over her, cried with her, hugged her and then asked to come and do it again the next day!
In His everlasting concern for us, while we were in Montana, He introduced us to new friends who, themselves, began a school in Eastern Africa, and were able to reassure and help calm our hearts. Thank you Steve and Toni!
Thank you, all of you – we love you. As always – PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS – the more praying, the better.
LETTERS TO THE MISSIONARY
(He Sends You)
“And the Lord said, ‘Rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me…I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light…that they may receive… faith in me.’”
And so you go. As well you should.
And we are proud…and scared…mostly proud…well, sometimes mostly scared. (I can neither confirm, nor deny, a midnight kidnapping last ditch effort in the works to plead with you to stay home by Dad a man who shall remain nameless.)
Fear, has, indeed, tried to distract with his visions of what could happen to a young, American woman in a strange land. He is a force to be reckoned with – thankfully, we trust in a much stronger Force, who calls you to rise and stand upon your feet, as a servant and witness, in the land to which He sends you.
I remember being concerned when you and Jess took mission trips to Mexico with the church youth group. But not scared. Perhaps it was because I was younger and more naïve to the world. Perhaps because it wasn’t a third world country, and we felt safer knowing that you were at least on this continent – we could get to you if we needed to (there might be a control issue here – I’m sure that comes as no surprise!)
As you have been preparing to leave these past weeks, He began a work in you, and through you, in which the possibilities of change are endless. He has assured me that, as He walks with you down dirt and gravel paths to needy hearts, He will have us, at home, walking paths of dependence on Him.
As He has you holding the hands of children who are ill, or scared, He will be holding ours as well. As you gather hungry orphans onto your lap to feed them not just food, but the Bread of Life, He will be faithful to nourish our souls.
I was so blessed by Jess and Sara last Sunday, as they championed for you, tried to calm our hearts, and reassured us that they felt it would be an amazing time. This was your brother saying this – the guy who, along with his father, turned three shades of green when you first mentioned it! It warmed my heart to see their support of you. God has been speaking to all of our hearts.
This trip – it’s a faith trip – for the whole family.
And faith cannot be safe – it must be fierce and powerful, expectant and sturdy. By its very definition, it must push the outer limits of comfort, must take us to a place unseen and unfamiliar, if we are to live out, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
So throughout this trip, who knows what miracles He will accomplish? For sure hearts will be changed by your presence this week. Perhaps generations will be forever altered for those who will see Christ for the first time, as He shines through you. Most definitely, seeds will be planted and a growing season begun in the hearts of people there. No doubt you will leave a very different person than the woman who left Oklahoma Sept. 12.
We, ourselves, will be changed as well – for the better I hope; for the stronger, for the more faithful, more trusting, but especially for the more sensitive to the voice of Him who calls us, and our children, to tend to His lambs.
And so we pray His blessing over you (with a little Hebrew thrown in because I just love the voices of Jewish Rabbis, in their long beards and flowing robes, singing these words throughout the temple before every blessing. Jesus would have heard these same words when He went to temple):
“Barukh atah Adonai Elohim… ” “Blessed are You, LORD, our God…” The Almighty God, who formed and anointed a woman in Oklahoma, and orphans in Ethiopia who needed her. You are our Strength and Shield and Saving Defense, and through Your power, we pray safety and protection over Jennah. May each child You bring to her, feel Your love through her. May Your hope shine from her soul and smile, and bring comfort to the lonely and broken. We pray huge walls of protection around Jennah, Kelly, Carrie – the whole group – not hedges, God – walls – big, thick, high fortresses – constructed by armies of angels surrounding and guarding them.
We praise You because we know that our minds cannot begin to comprehend how profound and complete is Your plan in Jennah’s life. Grow us, Lord – all of us – transform our meager faith into a mighty and fierce faith, able to stand tall in battle while we’re bowed low at Your feet. Guard her. Bless her. Shelter her. Change her. And bring her home, Lord, bring her home. And Lord, if that last sentence sounds more like begging than a blessing – it is – it is.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults and with my song I shall thank Him…He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their Shepherd also, and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28:7-9)
With much love and blessings, for His greater good,