- July 19, 2016
West Africa Gallery
Botswana & Victoria Falls Gallery
Books by Judy
About Tell of His Wonders
Last night’s rain made for some great macro & water drop images, one of which is seen here as a detail of a Flambouyant blossom.
Here in West Africa, these trees are currently the outstanding landscape feature. Even the most hardened “non- flower-noticer” stops in his tracks when he sees these explosive red-covered trees. The FTD Florists use the slogan “Say it with Flowers.” I believe our Creator is “saying it” loud and clear with these trees . . . He gave us color and beauty, even after The Fall in the Garden of Eden . . . because He loves us. One of these lovely trees graces the yard where I live, pictured here. I’m thankful to be able to enjoy such beauty so close by!
Pictured below is our CRC and Print Shop staff, amidst the many boxes of hymnals, French New Testaments, and French Gospel tracts that arrived a few days ago by sea container! We are all so thankful to you who provided $8,600 to pay for the 10,000 New Testaments and 450,000 tracts!! May the Lord bless you always for your prayers for our print/distribution ministry, and for your giving to help us keep going! Many thanks to the folks in Michigan who helped prepare all of these cartons (688) for shipping.
New Year’s Eve in Togo . . . For those of you following Magguie’s story, here’s a bit more.
I cannot begin to describe the joy of being in the Lord’s House last night, celebrating with Togolese brothers and sisters the end of the old year with its blessings and challenges, and the beginning of the New Year! The highlight was Magguie’s testimony in the front of the church. She and her daughter sang a song together, and Magguie requested the congregation sing Xle Wo Yayra (Count your Blessings), which they belted out with great gusto! Magguie stood up at the front of the church, leaning on her crutches and waving her arm in praise to the Lord as she sang for Him. I have some video clips . . . I’d love to include one here but our internet is a bit slow for that (understatement of 2016). But I’ll include a picture.
How can I help but be super-challenged, watching and listening to Magguie praise the Lord, counting her blessings, reading Lamentations 2:22-25 to us at church, when her foot is gone?? My heart still does a funny flip thing every time I see her and it registers in my mind that there is this blank space where her foot used to be. The Lord is awesome. He’s the only One who is truly awesome. Magguie has her ups and downs. This path is extremely difficult, to put it mildly. But she continues to refocus, bringing her thoughts back to God’s goodness in sparing her life. She knows there are multiple purposes for suffering and the Lord is already using her to encourage others around her.
Thank you so much—those who have asked about how to help us get Magguie’s house built so she can move out of her rental situation. I don’t yet know how much the Lord has provided through you, but I’ll keep you posted. Please keep praying for the Lord’s provision in a timely manner. (read: Please hurry, Heavenly Father, if it is Your will to do so!) Please pray for His will and timing regarding a prosthesis, and also for healing of an infection in her upper arm (insulin injection related).
On another subject, I’ll be in touch soon about the literature that just arrived on the container, as some of you were involved in giving and praying for this. For the moment, though, I’m thanking the Lord for this New Year, and am praying for Him to be consistently lifted up as you and I navigate our lives for His glory where we are.
My dear friend and co-worker, Magguie, has worked as a translator in our literature center here in Togo for 18 years. In 2002, she discovered she was diabetic. The disease is taking a toll on her, and 12 days ago, she had to have her right foot amputated. We are all saddened by this but adjusting to the new situation. Magguie herself is continuing, through roller-coaster emotions, to focus on the Lord and His blessings in her life. She is a single mom (her husband abandoned her and her two daughters and has taken a wife elsewhere) and faces the challenges connected with this situation. Currently she rents a house, but started a number of weeks ago to build on a piece of land she owns about 2.5 miles from her work place, which is our literature center here at the Bible Baptist Hospital in Tsiko, Togo. I’m thinking the house construction is now urgent, so I am trying to help her find the funds ($10,000 to $12,000) to complete what she has begun. If you are reading this blog post and want to help contribute towards this house, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you information on where to send a check. Please be in prayer for Magguie, as learning to live without a foot is a monumental challenge and not for the faint of heart!! She is a godly woman; prayer sustains her.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Magguie with her signature smile, which I took a couple of years ago as she was teaching teen girls at a local church.
A recent storm off the coast of West Africa yielded beautiful morning waves with the incoming tide. As I watched through my camera lens, the word “churning” came to mind. The waves were not long, rolling perfect curls, but were dramatically choppy. I’m thinking our hearts can get like that sometimes. For me today, it’s last evening’s revelation that I just spent $6,710 on Bibles and the wrong ones were delivered to us. How to fix that? And this morning, it’s our Togolese sister Magguie—over there in the hospital right now as I write this, getting her foot “worked on” by a surgeon, since it’s not yet healed properly from her toe amputation. Lots of thoughts and details and concerns. Yet committing these to the Lord, who can calm any storm, yields perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
This morning’s hummingbirds were constantly dogged by a pair of bees as they tried to drink from the feeder. Every time the little birds perched, the bees dive-bombed them, and they fled, flitting here and there with stunning agility, trying to stop to grab some nectar. I feel sort of like the hummer—eight days left until departure for Togo— and the bees are like constantly invading thoughts, keeping my mind hopping. One thing the hummer can’t do that I CAN do is what the Psalmist said in Psalm 46:1: “Be still, and know that I am God.” I can rest in Him, and trust him to order my thinking and quiet my spirit as I pack and do all that needs to be done before heading back to Togo. I love Psalm 27:14, where I am told to wait on the Lord and be of good courage, and when I do, He will strengthen my heart.
My good friend Sharon is also headed to Togo the same day I am. When you pray for me and my family, please pray for her as well. It’s incredibly hard to leave our loved ones behind; it’s equally hard for them to see us go. The Lord knows and understands. At the same time, we anticipate rejoining the work in Togo; there’s much to do out there!