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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Who knew? God knew.


In 2008 we were leading a team of volunteers in Swaziland from the US and welcomed a family from Charlevoix, Michigan.  I remember them will for a variety of reasons. First, the father was a dentist and was going to work with Dr. Mark McGee doing dental work for the whole week. The second reason was that her brother (a strong, fit young man) fainted out in a homestead visit while we all stood and held hands to pray. He was dehydrated and anyone who has traveled with us since then has heard us tell how important it is to drink a lot of water because he this young man could get dehydrated, anyone could.  (As an aside, he chipped his tooth when he fell and his dentist father had to glue the tooth back together back at the hotel. Great to have a dentist as your father).

The third reason that I remembered them was that almost all of their luggage was lost, and the 14-year-old girl (Jane) had none of her own clothes to wear.  Most girls that age would be very upset, but Jane just went with it and even had to borrow clothes from her older brother all week without a single complaint.  Her luggage never did arrive and since that trip the whole family only travels with carry-on luggage!

Today I saw that young girl, Jane, again. She is now 23-years-old.  In fact, Jane has been with us for the past month here in Swaziland.  She and Spencer have been dating for the past few years and have now graduated from University.  Both plan to go on to graduate school and decided to take the next two months to go on a trip of a lifetime (as if Africa wasn’t enough!). 

Today we put them on a shuttle to Johannesburg where they will take an 8-hour flight to Abu Dhabi.  Then they will take another 8-hour flight to Vietnam.  They will backpack through Vietnam for 23 days and the move on to Thailand for 20 days, finishing up their adventure in Indonesia for 17 days. 

We are so incredibly proud of both of them and their desire to stretch themselves, learn about the world, and learn about each other as they look towards and unknown future in a world where nothing is certain. 

What they both do know for sure is that God brought them together when they were 13/14-years old and God has a plan for their lives. As we said goodbye to them, Ian prayed over them for protection, peace and joy.  We look forward to following their adventures over the next months, and there is a part of us that envies the carefree time that they have to explore the world.

So, what is the moral of this story? You just never know who you are going to meet on an 11-day service trip with Heart for Africa!

Live from Swaziland … our nest is empty again (except for the other 148).


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