HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  Today was a beautiful day here in Zambia.  It is only recently that Mother’s Day has been observed in Zambia but it is a holiday that I feel is very necessary.  Considering the impact that mothers have on their children, and thus on our future, mothers (and fathers) are very important.  Of course, satan hates the family and so that is one more reason to love the earthly cornerstone of family – mothers.

Some of the mothers of Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola holding their Mother’s Day gift from the church.

To honor the mothers of Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola today we gave each mother a gift of a dainty tea cup, a pretty dish towel, an artificial flower and then some tea bags and sugar packets and some hard candy sweets inside the tea cup.  Jill designed and put them all together. The gifts looked beautiful and were received with thanks by the mothers and with joy from the congregation.

These are the gifts that we gave to each mother attending Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola today.

Yesterday was the 23rd anniversary of my marriage to Jill.  What a blessing she is.  I know that I do not appreciate her the way that I should.  She is an excellent wife and mother! These twenty three years have just flown by!

I praise the Lord for my mother, and no offense to all of you reading this, but I have the best mother in the world.  I get to talk to her and see her on FaceTime about once a week.  What a blessing it has been to have a Godly unselfish mother who seriously prays for her son, her daughter-in-law, and her grandchildren.  It has made a difference! 

Tomorrow Jill and Anna will fly to the United States.  They will leave about noon on Monday and will arrive in Central Illinois around 8:30pm on Tuesday.  Jill will be away for about 5 weeks while she helps Anna get settled in the US, in her dorm, and in her summer job.  A new era will now open for me and Jill of being “empty nesters”.  Please pray earnestly for Jill and Anna as they travel.

Anna was our second child born here in Zambia.  Tuesday will be her 4th time to ever be in the United States.  More than likely, she will not return to Zambia.  Please pray for her.  The transition from Africa to the United States is a big one, and we have seen first hand how our children struggle with the culture shock of being in the US.  It is NOT home for them, it is a foreign culture.  They love the US and they love being Americans but it is a lengthy and emotional transition for sure.

Anna and my mother, Shirley, two years ago during our last furlough.

All of this week there have been special significant events in my life – the last time that I drive with Anna to work at the church and library, the last teen meeting that I drive her to, the last time that I drive her to church.  These times are special because I can recognize the significance of the moment and appreciate and bask in them.  How many times have I read a story that said “little did I know that would be the last time that I drove her to school, or that would be the last time that I spoke to her”.  The Word of God encourages us to learn to number our days (Psalm 90:12), to appreciate what we have, while we have it.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and especially a tomorrow with a loved one.  I encourage you, make the most of the time that you have with your loved ones.  You never know when it will be your last.

Those of you who follow our ministry know that I love quotes.  One that I reflect on often is “The problem is… you think you have time”.  Isn’t that the truth?

The Lord answered our prayers and Andrea and Allison did very well on their final exams.  They are excited to be finished with this semester.  The majority of their friends went home for the summer but they are both staying on campus and working full time through the summer.  We praise the Lord for this opportunity and that Anna will get to room with them.  We are happy that they have each other.

While in the US we are hopeful that Jill will be able to get her foot seen by a specialist who will be able to definitively tell us whether there is any nerve damage to her leg where she had the surgery 3 months ago.  We were led to believe that there would be improvement by now, but really there is nothing.  This is very concerning.  Please pray with us that the Lord will work this all out and make us satisfied with His decision.

Thank you very much for the part that you play in the Lord’s ministry through our lives.  We could not do this effectively without you.  Lord bless you!