I just LOVE when the Lord brings people into my life and I know it RIGHT THEN! Yep, you guessed it . . . story time!
Last week, I was up at school preparing my classroom (and my brain) for the rapidly approaching new year. Well, after quite a while of working I decided that the L-O-N-G walk from my classroom to the snack machine would be worth it for some much needed M&Ms. I came around the corner just a few feet from my destination and I almost ran into this lovely woman and her sweet daughter. Of course, since I've NEVER met a stranger, I said hello. She said hello. Amazing how in ONE WORD you can tell the level of a person's spirit, and I could tell that this woman was Spirit-filled. So, again, NEVER turning from an opportunity to "visit", I asked her what she was setting up. And she proceeded to tell me that they are a missionary family. Her husband works on airplanes and these airplanes are used to take Scripture to remote areas of this world. Right now they are in the States but hope to be going over seas soon. I proceeded to tell her that I've been wanting for our class to "adopt" a missionary family so badly for two years now. My classes in the past have "adopted" soldiers which was a wonderful experience, but the Lord just put it on my heart to take care of a missionary family. The Lord brought this family to my class! And what makes it even better is the sweet little girl with her that day is a third grader! My Alison met the little girl and everything so this year they will be able to write back and forth and I'm expecting a very wonderful experience through all of this. This is a photo of Dano and Melinda Whited and their beautiful family. Please pray for them with me, my dear friends. They are doing the Lord's work in a mighty way! I may be naive but I didn't realize how many groups of people DO NOT EVEN HAVE A PORTION OF THE SCRIPTURES! These people do not know about our Jesus! They don't know anything about Him! That makes me want to cry! Not just for them but to think that Jesus actually hing on the cross and died for those people, too! And without men and women like Dano and Melinda, so many would never know. I hope that through my writing I may touch a life or two, and bring people closer in their walk with the Lord, but, folks, really that's just a drop in the bucket compared to what Dano and Melinda and others like them are doing. I have very dear friends that have spent time as missionaries in Malaysia and Alison's teacher last year had spent many years as a missionary in Puerto Rico. These people are the most humble, warm, Spirit-filled people I know. And the world IS a better place because of them!
I didn't do a very good job writing this article. My heart is full, but my brain is mush right now. Editing for The Heart's Journey Home is coming along amazingly. It is so fun to go back and reread what I've written . . . and then make it better. School starts on Monday so we've been getting ready for that, and, on top of everything else, I am trying to get back into some kind of an exercise routine. I've always considered that the one "extra" thing, but I have since figured out that it should be one of my top priorities. My health is a precious gift, and I want to treat it like that. Still . . . it's a struggle to get on the treadmill everyday when my sleep schedule is, well, what it is. So, I said all that to say that though I didn't write it as eloquently as I'd intended, my heart is with the Whited family and I hope that you will print their picture out, hang it up somewhere in your house, and pray for them, too.
OTHER PRAYER REQUESTS: Please, please, please pray for Kevin Burris. Kevin is the husband of a wonderful woman that I teach with. Patty taught Alison Kindergarten and she will have Olivia this year. She is a dear friend, a wonderful co-worker, and one of the most godly women I have ever met. She and her Kevin are still in so much love after, oh, I'm just guessing about 23 or 24 years of marriage. Kevin was diagnosed with MS several years ago, but just recently it has gotten worse. Long story (and many medical details that I will get wrong) shorter, he will go in for a monthly treatment that may stop and even REVERSE the progression of his MS! My dear friends, please pray specifically right now that the Lord will indeed REVERSE the progression of Kevin's MS. Please pray that the Lord will ease his physical pain and the pain that I know is in my dear sweet friend's heart. I know it's so hard on her to watch her husband, her best friend, hurting like this. Pray for Kevin's doctors that they will have a divine wisdom and a compassionate heart in dealing with Kevin's illness. Pray that every financial need will be met for them. Pray, my friends, for the most precious peace to descend on Kevin and Patty and that they will find rest in our precious, precious Savior.
Please pray for my friend, Erica Foster. She is the mother of a former student and has recently been diagnosed with MDS, which according to my research is a "pre leukemia". She has to go through chemo, has lost her hair, the whole nine yards. Friends, pray for healing! Pray that Erica can have a super natural strength. Pray for peace, a peace that passes all understanding. Pray for Erica's doctors that they, like Kevin's, will have a divine wisdom and a compassionate heart in dealing with Erica's illness. Please pray for Erica's children, 10-year-old Josh and 5-year-old Erin. The fear that must be in their hearts, I can't even imagine. Please, lift Erica and her children up to the Lord!
Please pray for the family of Zelma "Pat" Rose, the grandmother of a friend's husband, who recently passed away. Pray that they will have peace and hope in the promises of the Word. Pray that memories will be abundant and will comfort the grieving hearts that she left behind.
Please pray for my friend, Sharon Chill. Sharon has had a myriad of health problems including a stroke and she is awaiting test results on a cyst in her throat. Please pray mightily that she will be healed. Period. That she will gradually experience better and better health until the doctors can no longer find anything wrong with her. Pray that the test results will come back that she does NOT have throat cancer. Pray for her girls. It must be so hard for them to see their mama so sick. Pray for her husband, Bob, that he will experience peace and comfort in knowing that his wife is safe in the hands of our Lord and Savior. Pray for her doctors, like Kevin's and Erica's, that they will have the divine wisdom and compassionate heart in dealing with Sharon's illnesses.
Also, please pray for Melinda Whited's daddy, Richard "Jim" McDonald, who has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins, B-Cell Lymphoma. From what I understand, this is an aggressive but treatable cancer. Pray for complete healing. Pray for peace for Mr. McDonald and his family. Pray for his doctors, just like we prayed for Kevin's, Erica's and Sharon's, that they will have divine wisdom and a compassionate heart in dealing with Mr. McDonald's illness. Please pray for Mr. McDonald's strength to increase and for his pain to decrease everyday.
UPDATES: My heart is very heavy to tell you that our sweet young friends, Katie Leach and Ethan Bibb, both going through treatments for cancer, have experienced some complications recently. Please pray for these two young people like you have never prayed before! Pray for HEALING! Complete restoration of health to their little bodies. Pray for their parents who are beyond exhausted, mentally and physically. I can't even imagine what they must be going through. Pray for their siblings who I'm sure must have questions going through their minds and a certain amount of fear in their hearts. Pray for their doctors, that they will know just what to do, what treatments/medicines to incorporate so that these two young people will once again experience life cancer free! I believe that this can happen with the help of the Lord! Please, make this your specific prayer request for Katie and Ethan!
Always remember that if you or someone you know is in need of prayer, I will be happy to add them to this list. Just let me know. I believe that there truly is power in prayer!