8/19/2012

Sunday in Africa

This morning we enjoyed a conversation with our dear friend, Wendy. It was on our patio over a cup of coffee with Clancy occasionally pushing his wet nose onto my laptop.  Wendy, however was at her dining room table in the Congo.  That's right, she's in Africa.  A missionary for over 20 years to various people groups in that region, it was the first time we've had a video chat.  It was a reminder of how far communication has come over the years.

Back in the early 90s when she served her first term on that exotic continent, letters took weeks to get back and forth. They were treasured, read and reread. We were happy the thin air mail paper had arrived safely to tell us of her adventures in learning new languages, adjusting to a new culture, and a new menu. It was truly special when a cassette arrived and we heard her voice. Our girls produced their own and sent a rambling audio letter of school news, and a concert of vocal and piano selections. The paper missionary letter was the norm for many years. I helped distribute it for a few years, copying the original, stuffing envelopes, and typing labels.

It was wonderful when she had Internet access and email kept us informed. Connections were erractic though and it sometimes took awhile to get answers. The satellite phone was for emergencies and there were a few.  She was evacuated several times, hiding out and waiting for a plane to take her and what she could carry to safety.

But today we spoke face to face in real time, thanks to Skype . The afternoon sun was pouring through her dining room windows and she could view our patio and the dog.  She'd just returned from a 5+ hour church service as we're preparing to attend worship here, which will be a much shorter service. Yes, she's learning yet another new language as she begins teaching in a new area.  Her schedule remains just as demanding as when she first began her missionary adventure.  She's getting her household help arranged, and looking for a kitten to raise to keep the rodent population down. Now in a large town, she's adjusting to more security. There was lots to talk about.

Our means of communication has improved dramatically--it's Jetson-like now.  But communication with the One we worship this morning has remained the same  throughout history--instant, real time, and interactive. I'm so grateful. 

I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble, and you will answer me. Psalm 86:7 NLT

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!  Isaiah 65:24 NLT

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Positively encouraging

8/19/2012

Sunday in Africa

This morning we enjoyed a conversation with our dear friend, Wendy. It was on our patio over a cup of coffee with Clancy occasionally pushing his wet nose onto my laptop.  Wendy, however was at her dining room table in the Congo.  That's right, she's in Africa.  A missionary for over 20 years to various people groups in that region, it was the first time we've had a video chat.  It was a reminder of how far communication has come over the years.

Back in the early 90s when she served her first term on that exotic continent, letters took weeks to get back and forth. They were treasured, read and reread. We were happy the thin air mail paper had arrived safely to tell us of her adventures in learning new languages, adjusting to a new culture, and a new menu. It was truly special when a cassette arrived and we heard her voice. Our girls produced their own and sent a rambling audio letter of school news, and a concert of vocal and piano selections. The paper missionary letter was the norm for many years. I helped distribute it for a few years, copying the original, stuffing envelopes, and typing labels.

It was wonderful when she had Internet access and email kept us informed. Connections were erractic though and it sometimes took awhile to get answers. The satellite phone was for emergencies and there were a few.  She was evacuated several times, hiding out and waiting for a plane to take her and what she could carry to safety.

But today we spoke face to face in real time, thanks to Skype . The afternoon sun was pouring through her dining room windows and she could view our patio and the dog.  She'd just returned from a 5+ hour church service as we're preparing to attend worship here, which will be a much shorter service. Yes, she's learning yet another new language as she begins teaching in a new area.  Her schedule remains just as demanding as when she first began her missionary adventure.  She's getting her household help arranged, and looking for a kitten to raise to keep the rodent population down. Now in a large town, she's adjusting to more security. There was lots to talk about.

Our means of communication has improved dramatically--it's Jetson-like now.  But communication with the One we worship this morning has remained the same  throughout history--instant, real time, and interactive. I'm so grateful. 

I will call to you whenever I'm in trouble, and you will answer me. Psalm 86:7 NLT

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!  Isaiah 65:24 NLT

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