But I have the comfort of knowing that once again I am off to fulfill the passion of my life. It is the giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to whomever God has prepared to hear. All Ambassadors of Him such as I, understand and are learning that the assignment has no limitation of place or time, but is a full time – as we say in the States – ’24/7 job’.
But praise God, we have the blessed hope that someday there will be no more separations, and everyone who has been born again and is walking in righteousness at the time of earthly departure will be reunited in Heaven.
Revelation 7: 9. After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands;
Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes: and whence came they?
Revelation 7:14…..These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:16,17 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
My title for this blog, in part, being. ………Happy Hellos’, I can only close by saying,
Today I have chosen to use my weekly blog to introduce the beginning of a book which I am contracted to write. Therefore, sharing one of my possible introductions under consideration seems logical to me.
It begins by saying that I am an ordinary person passionately in love with Jesus Christ, who is daily led and strengthened to be faithful in the ministry He has given to me. You may ask, ‘What ministry?’
Second Corinthians 5:17,18. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Continuing on with……verse 20….Now then we are ambassadors for Christ……
And that is the theme of this entire blogging endeavor.
My actual born-again life with Jesus Christ began some 40+ years ago. On this journey over the years I have had – as all Ambassadors of Him have also had – so many experiences. Some have been frightening – almost terrorizing – some heart wrenching and others have brought tears of almost overwhelming joy into my life.
In my ‘straight from the heart’ book, I am hopeful and prayerful that I will be given His grace to relate just some of these experiences to others for perhaps an encouragement or even just as a reminder of God’s grace in their own their lives.
For example, in March of 2018 we suddenly at 1:30 a.m. were awakened by the painful scream of either a wounded animal or terrorized woman. Not knowing that our night watchmen had been tied up outside, I opened my curtain to the face of an unmasked young man whom, along with others, began knocking out our windows and breaking our doors.
I jerked the curtain closed and said, ‘This is real – we are being robbed!’
Seven men forcefully gained access shouting, ‘We won’t kill you if you give us money!’
They left these weapons behind.
And how could I possibly ever forget the hot tears rolling down my cheeks as I, once more, recognized His voice. I was lying in a hospital bed, the first of many hospitalization here in Malawi. My Saviour was asking me to take into my care a barely five-year-old orphan girl whose parents had both just died, only two months apart. I could not refuse Him, and one year later I legally adopted my Esther. She has been one of my sources of ‘almost overwhelming joy’.
Esther ready for her first school year.
I will finish by saying that even though, here in Malawi, I have suffered a broken leg, broken hip which required a hip replacement, and spinal surgery – to say nothing of several hospitalizations for treatment of pneumonia as a complication of malaria, lack of water, and electricity, infestations of cockroaches, rats and mice – to mention a few other ‘circumstances and experiences’ – I am still that ordinary person who is still passionately in love with Jesus Christ.
My greatest desire still is to be faithful in the simple ministry He has given to me – to daily represent Him well, as just one of His faithful Ambassadors.
Fellow Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, I am eager to hear about your ‘circumstances and experiences’ as you have traveled with Him.
During my travels in various countries of Africa, I one day shot this photo of a too frequent commonplace happening in many undeveloped areas of the world.
We have been very blessed for several years with our own 200 feet (45 meters) bore hole (well) of sparkling clean water. It recently became necessary to engage a well technician to again repair the water pipes. When I asked why it is necessary so often, the reply was because the water supply is so abundant, and the water pressure is so great.
So, the abundance of water surging from our well sometimes causes our pipes to overload. Here in Malawi, and in other developing countries as well, people are dying because of their lack of clean water and we have too much for our pipes to handle!
This immediately reminded me of the words of Ephesians 3:20 and 21 which read:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (KJV)
To give some context to all of this, I must now go back to my personal journal from the year 2016, during the month of September, when I wrote the following:
One day this week our deacons of the church, who are also board members of Noah’s Ark Orphan Care, and I were discussing our wonderful new Noah’s Ark Orphan Care well which had just recently been completed. We were rejoicing about the fact that the 200 foot (47 meter) well was giving an abundance of fresh, clean water.
(In explanation, Noah’s Ark Orphan Care is both a community and faith-based organization. It is the main outreach ministry of Christian Church International here in Blantyre, Malawi. Both organizations are fully registered in the United States and Malawi.)
In the conversation Fostino, our Office Manager of both organizations, said the lack of water situation would become much worse in the next couple of months, which would be the dry season just before the annual rains begin. He said that people would be really suffering because of the severe shortage.
So, I began to ask questions and make suggestions. ‘Why? We now have so much clean, fresh water! Can’t we just let people come and get it?’
In the continuing discussion the men wholeheartedly agreed and asked if we would charge for it – so much per pail as is common here. When I said that we would not, Fostino replied, ‘That would be a brand-new thing. That isn’t done here – people have to pay for water’.
Yes, a brand-new thing! Doesn’t God specialize in that?
I then asked them to read 2 Corinthians Chapter 5, verses 17,18, and also verse 20 with along with me, where we read:
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Verse 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ………..
We often hear the words said, and read about sincere heart cries of, ‘I WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS.’
Isn’t that what a worthy Ambassador for Jesus is – one like Him?
Now, we know that of ourselves, in the flesh, we cannot be like Jesus. But we can and must, as His Ambassadors, daily die to sin and our selfishness – allowing Him to live out His life through us. As we do this, we have our individual ministries– in holiness and serving others – showing Him and His lifestyle. Yes, we do all have a ministry.
The decision was then made to keep the well open during all daylight hours to everyone and to add a nice cement slab with the typical iron sheet ceiling, for convenience in filling their containers.
Everyone drawing water does have one requirement. Before taking their own water for the day, they must fill one pail for the children of Noah’s Ark and take it there (just next door). They are doing that. The filling of the covered drums meets the daily water needs of our children, and those who are serving them. After that, they each are free to take as many containers of clean, fresh water as they need. At no charge.
As we have been giving clean fresh water to people for over three years now Jesus has been glorified. There has been amazement in the community because there is no charge for the water. This ‘ministry’ of giving water also opens doors to tell that He is the Water of Life and that He died so man can live through it. The Gospel of John, Chapter 4, verses 1 through 43 give a beautiful example of this.
As you can see from the enclosed photos, the ‘bore hole’ is a busy place and we are so very thankful to be able to represent Jesus Christ in this, another avenue of service.
Let’s joyfully be busy as Ambassadors for Christ in being led by Him to perhaps find ‘Brand New Things’ and ways to represent Him.
I now consider my life to be quite interesting, at the age of 86, even though it was seemingly quite commonplace for the first half.
I began life as one of two greatly desired twins. Twins were quite commonplace in the family of our mother and she, along with our father, were very, very happy to have the first born children of a family of four to be a set of twins. My brother and I were always very close and would even defend one another against our little seven year younger sister when challenged.
I see it as now ‘quite interesting’ because, even at my age, I am involved in frequent travels back and forth between my home in Flint, Michigan, in the States, and Blantyre, Malawi, Africa, to give the Gospel to both young and old alike. This includes holding the responsibilities of a pastor in both locations and directing an orphan care ministry in Malawi.
So, in this blogging adventure I hope that you will find what I consider to be as ‘quite’ interesting to perhaps be even a little more than that.
We were on our way to Durbin for a holiday………and with hopes and prayers for opportunities along the way to give the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to others – as all of His Ambassadors do.
I was traveling with a young South African pastor and his mother and father-in-law and we stopped along the way to visit with their relatives. For several days we had the opportunties we had been praying for and shared the Word with small groups of people in a little mud house, both by daylight and candelight. Chickens freely roamed in and out of the house – even at times being shooed off the table.
As the night deepened and sleeping time came I was given the honor of sleeping in a bedroom. On the table was a gift for me – a roll of toilet paper for use in the outdoor toilet. After taking care of matters I slept well, and awoke with a deep, almost overwhelming joy surging out of my heart which lasted the entire trip. I had found a new joy!
Further along the way we visited other family members, arriving in the early evening. The man of the house, a policeman, was not at home but we were welcomed warmly by others and proudly shown the big bedroom and big bed – just adjacent to the sitting room. Everyone was very thrilled they could afford such a thing.
As often is the custom in Africa, we were left alone to chat by ourselves and soon someone came in with a large ram on a rope. I didn’t understand what was being said as they were of course speaking in the local language. But I did understand that everyone was commenting that it was a fine sheep and I agreed by saying it was beautiful, plunging my fingers down through the thick wool – all the way to the skin. The pleased young man departed with it.
We continued to chat for what seemed a long time and then people began to bring in table settings, obviously in preparation for the evening meal.
A very large platter of roasted meat was then graciously presented. The young pastor with us then explained to me that it was part of the ram that we had just seen earlier! It had been brought in for our approval before being slaughtered in honor of our visit! I was very sad.
He then expounded on that topic – that we had heard nothing – no cries from the beautiful animal. He said that if it had been a goat it would have been very noisy, but not the sheep – and related it to the stance of Jesus Christ, at the time of His crucification.
One morning not long after, when in prayer, I was reminded again of the experience and went quickly to my Bible where I read:
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Acts 8:32……..He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.
Oh, how we danced, sang, and rejoiced by candlelight in the kitchen and out on the star-lighted veranda that night, after a wonderful supper of fried chicken – a favorite. Because, you see, it had been a very special day.
We had eaten delicious finger dripping watermelon with a queen and had shared the Gospel with her!
I was visiting another lady pastor in a distant African village at the time, and she had asked if I would like to visit the king, thinking the reign had been taken over by the son in recent days although we soon learned that had not yet happened. Evidently audience with the royalty was not unusual, after paying a small fee. I agreed to make the trip up the mountain and the other pastor, and a lady friend and I started out one soon mid-morning and proceeded up the mountain for some distance. Midway, we approached an old house where several aged men were sitting outside – to collect the money. My pastor friend approached the leader and very quietly and respectfully asked for an audience, paid for it, and one of the men escorted us further up the mountain. Before long we went through a gate into what was the compound of the royalty, winding through many groupings of very clean, lovely small pastel painted houses.
Soon, the lady pastor whispered, ‘We are here.’ Looking up, I saw a very fat woman sitting at the side of a building, on a small hill, accompanied by several men. (In explanation, I will say that obesity in poverty stricken countries is considered prosperity and therefore is greatly desired.) I whispered back, ‘This is the Queen?’ to which she whispered back a surprised, ‘ Yes!’ having expected to see the new young king.
The man leading motioned us to sit on the chairs positioned just a few feet away in front of this privileged group – the Queen and her attendants. We chatted for a few minutes and soon one of the attendants returned from the garden with a big, ripe watermelon. He sliced it and gave us each a very large piece, which we ate with dripping fingers – every delicious morsel.
The Queen asked many questions about me, our ministry, etc., and etc., and then asked if she could ask me a question about the Bible. When I, of course, agreed she said – and I quote – ‘We know that the world was destroyed once by a flood. I have heard that it is going to be destroyed again. Can you tell me about that?’
We had just been studying II Peter, Chapter 3, which describes the coming destruction of the world by fire, and I opened my Bible and began to teach her, of course ending with the way to escape – by salvation through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. I invited her to consider what I had taught her, and said that I hoped to see her in Heaven someday. She promised to consider it and thanked us for coming.
pastor friend almost ran down the mountain with excitement. She said that she and her group of Bible
study ladies had, some months ago, fasted and prayed for the Queen to hear the
Gospel. They did this for a period of
time and then felt freedom from the fast, and were confident that somehow, some
way, she would hear – but wondering how,
oh how, could they possibly do that????
This day their prayer had been answered!
What a blessed privilege it is to be an Ambassador of Jesus Christ! We can never know just what exciting events God has in store for us! (Second Corinthians 5:17-18)
So that evening we had the special food of fried chicken and sang into the dark night. One of those rejoicing with us that was a young man who I will tell about in another blog…………
It is time once again to rest and recover from another extended time in, and another lengthy flight from, my beloved Malawi.
Now I am blessed to be able to spend a little season in my home apartment in Flint, Michigan. I am thrilled once again to be able to use my dishes collected from various locations over the years. They are inexpensive, but beautiful to me.
Few can really understand the peaceful, quiet joy experienced by turning on a faucet that willingly expels hot water, and to get a nice pretty CLEAN plate from the cupboard, when at breakfast just a few days ago there was an awareness that EVERYTHING in my cupboard had, without a doubt, been paraded with cockroaches during the night.
The trip was long. The time from Chileka, Malawi, to my arrival in Flint, Michigan being a total of 28 1/2 hours, but there were many beautiful scenes along the way. I do love flying!
Two hours later we landed at Johannesburg, in a rainstorm. Esther would have loved it! (You will hear more about her as you continue on with me through these blogs.) After a few hours we again boarded, this time for an all-night, 15 hour flight.
Morning….Atlanta……then on to Flint!
As always, I prayed during each segment of the flights for opportunities to speak to someone about the Love of My Soul, Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what ambassadors do? As I boarded the last flight, I was very much aware that my prayer had not yet been answered.
But……I arrived home with my heart almost bursting with joy, because on the last section of the long flight home God met my request. The flight was 2 hours in length and for 1 1/2 hours Ann, from Cass City, and I spoke of and rejoiced in Him! How wonderful it is to have those special times with fellow Ambassadors of Jesus Christ.
So now, I am resting in Him, enjoying hot showers, my beautiful dishes and just being home again. Ladies, it is a simple joy to just wash my dishes, in my beautiful Malawian dishpan, in HOT WATER, from my generous faucet.
As the South African Airways Flight 172 plane turned and
prepared for take-off, I caught a glimpse of the long runway on which we would
very soon speed for take-off. It
reminded me of the painting, now in the living room of my home in the States,
in which Jesus is standing on the crossbar of a cross lying suspended over a
gulf. His left hand is pointing to the
end of the cross which projects into a road leading to Heaven. His right hand is beckoning us to come.
After two days and nights of traveling from the States, I am now on my final flight of the trip back home to my home in Malawi, Africa – back to work – to beckon people to Jesus – the only Way to Heaven.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
As we were lost in the clouds, and then as they cleared and I
saw houses below becoming smaller and smaller, I thought about the wonderful
day coming when He will split the eastern sky and take us up to be with Him
forever – and we won’t look down, or back.
Not everyone has earthly travels from continent to continent,
as I do and have been doing for many years, but we are all traveling to a final
Are we on the right road, and ready for the final flight?
I wrote the above words in 2011 and have now come to the
time of beginning to write about the many experiences God has given me over the
years. Some have been almost unbearably heartbreaking, some actually
frightening, but also some have been almost overwhelmingly joyful.
I praise God for each and every one as I have traveled my journey with Him and am hopeful that these writings will be of some encouragement, or challenge, to someone else as they also travel through life toward their final destination.