See this man?

Jaaf with Jett, Jaxson and Jantzen (from left)
Jaaf with Jett, Jaxson and Jantzen (from left)

If it weren’t for him – none of the work Jennah did in Ethiopia would have been done.  

She could not have gone without his willingness to surrender his wife to God’s will, and step in to be both mom and dad this week!  

Let me just say he is amazing!   He took three boys, on his own, on a trip to Dallas to watch the Texas Rangers when Jennah first left.  Then back home, while he was here seeing to breakfast, lunches, dinners, homework, school, bath-time, tucking in…he was nonetheless responsible for children being loved on and changed in Ethiopia.  

Thank you, Jaafar – we are continuously blessed by your humble countenance, your fathering skills, your immense love for your wife – but mostly your devotion to the Lord.  

Just another reason we choose to call you son, instead of son-in-law.  Thank you, son.

And thank you, Pal, for making sure the boys all had special evenings with just you – restaurant of their choice, followed by an evening of their planning – we should all be so lucky to have a Pal!

P.S. – My niece and her husband, Jenee and Joe Kelly, have been so inspired by this trip that they have decided to sponsor a child.  They lost a nephew in November of last year, and have been praying about how to honor him.  After this week, they have decided the best way would be to sponsor a child, in Jake’s name.  In doing this, they will literally be saving a child from the streets, putting food in his mouth, clothes on his back.  Thank you, Joe and Jenee, I can’t think of a sweeter way to honor a life, than to give one.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying with us this week – miracles are worked when believers are in prayer for each other.  We are humbly grateful.  Here is the last letter – she will be home tomorrow!! After she has a chance to rest, I’ll post some pictures from her trip as an update.  Thank you Thank you – all of you!



“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matt. 11:28


Dear Jennah (I thought I’d give you a rest from the salutations!),

Good-byes are done and today is your day of rest, your respite from a week of pouring out everything that is within you onto little children so thirsty for a drink from your heart.

Rest In Him
Rest In Him

I can’t even imagine how it must feel to be so worn, yet so exhilarated.  You might even feel a little anxiety at the thought of how much still needs to be done.  Or worried about the children on the streets who have not yet been found. 

The only way for a mind and body to close her eyes, and NOT see the eyes of lonely children, is to release them into His care. 

It will be hard – releasing is not easy.   

 “I would have despaired had I not believed  I would see

the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…” Ps. 27:13

Similar to the way your family had to learn to release you to your calling this week, you will have to learn to release that which only God controls.  He knows – He watches – He provides. 

All He asks of us is obedience, and you have obeyed Him well, I know.   Choose to rest in what He accomplished this week, and don’t be anxious about what more you wish you could have done.  You trusted Him for this trip – trust also the results of this trip to Him.

Accept your rest and enjoy the markets and all of the hustle and bustle unique to this country.  Bring part of it back with you – we want to experience it too. 


African Beads
African Beads

Take a deep breath – or two – or three.  Breathe in the sights and sounds of it all, and know it will be a part of you always.  When you hear the mention of this country – your mind and heart will be crowded with your experiences from this trip. 

African pots
African pots


Know that you have made an indelible mark on impressionable souls – and drink in the rest that comes from knowing the Lord has had His way in your life, through your hands.  You will be full of stories about the miracles worked this week – but they are just the beginning – because the effects of this week will be felt throughout eternity. 


“The years tell us much what the days never knew.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson


We pray this final blessing over you: 

“Barukh atah Adonai Elohim… ”   “Blessed are You, LORD, our God…”  The God in Whom complete rest can be found.  The God who can so fill us with Your strength and compassion, that even in our exhaustion, You have filled us.  Grant rest, Lord, for Jennah and the entire team.  Peace, to know that they completed what You planned for this trip and the power to continue with what You call them to do.  Ease them slowly back into the reality of their worlds, and protect them in their travels home.”

We Praise You
We Praise You


And Lord, since You have so graciously put up with my begging this week – I just want to thank You in advance – for bringing her home.  Thank You, Thank You,  A thousand times, Thank You!


With Much Love and Blessing, For His Greater Good,

From your Mom, who, although her feet never left Oklahoma, her heart has been changed by a daughter who chose to say, “Yes!” to a God who called her on a journey.   And through broadening your borders – He broadened all of our borders.  He broke right through those lines we had drawn, dragged us over them — and showed us Himself in a way that will leave us uncomfortable with limiting Him ever again.   

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Debbie Maulsby

Wife, mother, grandmother...Writer, teacher, Lover of the Word. In a constant state of being amazed by His forgiveness and kindness. Even after knowing Him for almost 50 years - His Grace surprises and refreshes. His Mercies are new every morning.


  1. September 20

    Life changing trip for your whole family! I wish every Christian would experience a journey like this, it would revolutionize our American church.

  2. September 20

    Thank you Debbie for keeping all of us posted on “The James Initiative Mission” to Ethiopia. Your dynamics in writing simply brought all of us into the active parts of each Missionary. Each of us being there in Ethiopia,(in Spirit), washing, feeding, holding, loving and playing, with those precious little children…we too, feeling the heart of Jennah as she followed God’s leading. I have been truly blessed…Love to all, Ethel… Blessings…

    • Thank you My Friend–it’s been an inspiring week with the team from The James Initiative! Love you and thankful for you!

  3. Loretta Gassid
    September 21

    We both have walked this special journey with Jennah because of your love for her & our Almighty God. And thank you for those kind words of love regarding Jaaf. Your gift of time has been a gift to all. Sadik & Loretta ;D

    • Thank you for your kind words and for being such great parents and grandparents. Thankful we are family and thankful our girl is almost home!!! Love you guys.

Leave a Reply