This is my friend Claude, but most people call him “viking.” He spends most of his days walking up and down the road in great pain from arthritis picking up plastic bottles that can recycled, and he gets a few dollars.
Claude is an individual who sadly wasted his young years on alcohol, and now in his later years has to try to find money in order to buy things. I’m pretty sure he still drinks a lot too.
He is what I sometimes refer to as a “forgotten individual” or someone who everyone ignores and overlooks. Because Claude constantly begs for money (which probably goes towards rum) few people will spend time with him.
Last month I started meeting with him on Monday mornings with the deal that if he would go through a Psalm with me, I would give him a small bag of rice. So far he’s come by three times, and even sat in with me as I visited with another lady in the community a few weeks ago.
Please pray with me that Claude would turn from his addiction to alcohol, and through these studies he may accept Christ.
Reclaiming a Lost Love
One afternoon in 2017 I found a large selection of Hardy Boy Mysteries at a store in Kingstown, Saint Vincent. Those books immediately took me back to my childhood where I read many of the old hardback hardy boys mystery books (even one in a day!)
In this days reading was a passion for me because it was a form of learning, and also escape. An escape in the sense that it fed my imagination, and led to dreaming about what the Lord could do in my life.
I wish I could say that books are still a passion for me….but they aren’t
Literature and reading has been replaced by other “more important things” such as social media, and television.
Of course by my phrasing you can tell they aren’t more important since screens do little to feed my brain like a book does. In fact they make it weaker!
With the Lords help I am committing myself this year to reading physical books (kindles don’t count because I’m already looking at screens enough). Pray for me this year as I invest my time and energy in things that strengthen my mind, and calling from God.
In 2016 veteran Child Evangelism Fellowship missionary Betty Hoover asked me if I would like to have any of her teaching materials once she retired that year.
I immediately accepted, expecting her to send a few items…
Instead she sent me everything!
Around Christmas 2017 I received more than entire carload of teaching material that had been used to share the Gospel with countless children.
I was honestly overwhelmed by this gift, but understood why Miss Hoover sent it to me. She wanted her ministry to continue. And it does in a powerful way.
This afternoon I drove to an area of Barrouallie to hold a “bible club.” The kids are always looking for my car, and start excitedly jumping up and down whenever they see it.
As a little girl ran to give me a hug this afternoon, I thanked the Lord for a dear missionary who faithfully served the Lord for many years.
And whose legacy of ministry will last for many years to come.
This is one of the last selfies I ever took with my beloved Australian leather hat.
That hat (originally purchased in the Queen Victoria Market) was a big part of my identity for the first years of ministry in SVG. Especially because it kept me from getting sunburned, and covered up my bald spot 🙂
It was more than just a hat though…
It was a connection to the country of Australia where I served, until the Lord led me to Saint Vincent.
That hat didn’t just symbolise Australia for me, but the relationships and friendships made during years of ministry there.
And though he hats long gone, their influence upon my heart remains.
I am grateful for the privilege God has given me to serve Him proclaiming the Gospel in foreign countries. And I’m grateful fo the friendships that drew me closer to the Lord along the way.
In the summer of 2017 I successfully killed my fridge.
I won’t get into the details of it, but a foolish decision on my part led to my fridge no longer working properly. Which was followed up by embarrassment, and shame.
The thing about life is we will all make foolish decisions sometimes (like killing a fridge). But in the moment following our foolish decision, it feels as if we are the only ones who ever make mistakes.
That emotion leads us to isolate ourselves, and hide the problem from everyone else.
And of course that’s the worst possible response.
Shame and embarrassment are powerful emotions so the temptation is to take those feelings away as quickly as possible by covering up the problem. But that mistake often shows that we are try to accomplish too much on our own. It’s the Lord’s way of drawing us back into stronger relationships with others.
Killing my fridge was a big enough mistake that couldn’t be covered up, which in the end was a blessing because I had to ask for help. Initially that led to some laughter from my friends (it was a bit funny) but then they helped me get the problem taken care of.
God takes great joy in bringing us problems we cannot fix. For it is those problems that lead us to our knees in prayer, and seeking out the help of trusted friends.