Video of church building project at Kenemaro Lighthouse Baptist Church
Link to give if you want to help
March 3, 2019
LEGACY OF LOVE
Yesterday I had the joy/sorrow of attending the celebration of life of a dear friends mom. Like my mom, she had experienced a life of pain and physical limitations. Also being 86, she had endured much in her life journey,but also….FORTUNATELY….she found Jesus along the way in her teen years! She and mom knew each other fairly well. They shared the love of and total life commitment to their LORD and Savior. They also shared a love for their church family (different churches, but in that both are our supporting churches they did see each other on occasion when we presented our ministry) . Both of their husbands were chairmen of the missions committee for years at their churches. BOTH loved lavishly their children and grandchildren. BOTH shared a deep love for music. In a way it was like reliving my own sweet mama’s celebration of life yesterday as tears streamed down my face at times. I could hold my dear friend’s heart in my prayer hands as I too am walking this path of bittersweet sorrow. WE both are missing the physical presence of our amazing moms more than words could express, but knowing they are PAIN FREE and jumping and dancing at the feet of JESUS, singing HIS glory……we would not even for a millisecond wish them back. They have left us a legacy of LOVE.
Last night as mourning with joy washed over my heart, I found myself meditating on LOVE. The self- sacrificing, wanting the best and enduring all ,kind of love our mama’s demonstrated and spoke often of to us, their beloved daughters over the course of our five (plus a little 😉) decades of life.
Right now my precious husband is deployed. He is not in a physical battle front, as many dear women struggle through. There are not physical bullets and bombs whizzing around him, but there are many spiritual fire spears and bombs exploding. Bill is deployed as a soldier of Jesus in the war zone of PNG. His uncle fought in PNG in WWII. Uncle Milton would NEVER speak of the horror he saw there. I have to laugh….we speak OFTEN of it!! We try to bring the warzone to you weekly.
This “tour of duty” Bill and AMO went to PNG to fight has been one of great spiritual conflict. The enemy is not making this time easy in any sense.
We asked for prayer as our guys awaited their luggage , lost enroute, for a WEEK. All of Amo’s clothes. All of Amos special treasures he had purchased with his own money for his PNG friends and Aunties and Uncles…..LOST. The computers needed by our pastors, and important books for classes…..LOST.
Thankfully this battle is not fought alone. Many are fighting with us, and we all prayed. Victory came. Though wet and damaged, both suitcases with ALL the contents were recovered. VICTORY.
As we shared ,Bills eyesight has now officially gone beyond what glasses can really fix. WITH his correction he could not pass the NY state requirement for driving. That is BAD. We are waiting for the needed surgery, but to HELP him until surgery the DR ordered some very strong glasses. That will make things much less straining on his eyes. We ordered the glasses…they were due to be done and ready for pick-up when we made the very sudden decision for the guys to head back urgently to PNG. THE battle cry was sounded. BUT the glasses were “delayed”. They called JUST AFTER the guys got through security at the airport and they were not allowed to go back through. They would miss their flight if they waited for me to pick up the glasses and get them to Bill. SO, I mailed them Express to PNG. That was WEEKS ago now. The urgently needed glasses are IN Port Moresby…STUCK in Customs!! WHAT THE ISSUES ARE causing customs to have issues with in ONE pair of GLASSES in a box we have no clue about, but WHY we know. We have an enemy trying to make the deployment hard. Please PRAY with us for GOD to release these glasses SOON. Every email or text or written word is a strain. Driving is a strain. LIFE is a strain without new glasses. WE trust GOD and know HE is in control. BUT we PLEAD for HIS merciful intervention!
YES, warfare is not easy. There is fighting. Our warfare is fought on our knees. Please pray.
BUT why did Bill take this deployment now? IN the midst of our personal and family grief? When we are in the midst of a huge transition with sorting through , packing and trying to sell the family home? It is because we were shown an amazing picture…..the heritage of LOVE is very very strong. Our coworkers were hurting. Real love is self-sacrificing and thinking and believing the best. REAL LOVE wins over EVIL.
Our dearest PNG friends and partners in ministry for decades now are hurting deeply. There is NO greater JOY than your children walking in truth…..the opposite is ALSO true. There is NO DEEPER PAIN in the heart than parents feel when their kids walk away from GOD. Watching our dear National brother and sister walk that horrible path of praying and begging GOD to work in a heart that remains stone has been excruciatingly painful. IT has come to the point where our friends no longer could remain in the ministry, because they NEEDED time to work with their prodigal child. Bill and the School Board agreed with them and accepted their resignation after serving with GBBC for over 2 decades. They were the backbone of leadership , only preceded by Bill. EVERYONE else is relatively new. They left the same week our family need brought Bill and AMO and Aaron back to the USA to help my through the most painful period of my life…saying goodbye to my most precious mama and celebrating with bittersweet grief, her life. Not only were they really hurting, leaving the ministry they loved, but our whole TEAM was groaning under the strain. The best solution…send Bill and Amo back to serve for a month.
Our friends are trying to secure property with their finish pay from their years of service with GBBC. They will be living right down the road from our newest church plant, Lighthouse Baptist, in Kenemaro! Our friends need our love and encouragement right now. They have left the ministry they love and need help and support as a couple and family to find out WHAT IS NEXT. We have a loving heritage left vividly from my mama that explodes with an example of following GOD when life took very humanly appearing “wrong” and hard turns. Her example full of enduring the pain and not only living in, but BLOOMING in darkness!! Bill is an ambassador of the GOD of LOVE and HOPE. Pray for him and his opportunities to show lavish love and support of our dear friends. Such love is only possible in human presence!! PRAY God’s Spirit can somehow blast into the unrepentive heart of a child we all love.
This weekend Bill was putting out a squabble among our children, as well. As church planters, every church we have started will for now and always view us as their spiritual parents. Indeed , we have lead most to the Lord, and discipled them in their new life in Christ, so that bond is deep and real. Our most recent “graduated” church plant, Lusillo, has had it’s struggles and growing pains during this challenging “launch” into independence. Most recently the main issues Satan has used to divide and discourage has been another heartache for parents in ministry. The current pastor and his wife are recent GBBC graduates. They were older coming to Bible College. With kids married and grandkids and kids at home (a LARGE FAMILY!), they somehow with GOD’s amazing grace completed their studies and graduated. They are hard workers. They are mountain people . They are perfect for Lusillo….but we have an enemy. One of the young daughters got sucked in to a very bad relationship up at Lusillo. Her innocence and wrong choices led her to an unplanned pregnancy. Cultural pressure led her into a really bad, abusive marriage with an alcoholic husband.
The church family, instead of showing love and encouraging their new pastor have attacked and accused him. Bill had the opportunity as “PAPA Pastor” to go up the mountain and speak to our children about LOVE. God’s AMAZING and lavish love that edifies and strengthens. The love that does not kick when their down, the people of God’s heart. This pastor is blameless, though hurting deeply because of the wrong choices bringing pain to his beloved little girl. There is a battle raging. PRAY! Satan the accuser is strongly at work. Pray that this horrible situation will become a huge blessing for our growing young church. Truly the LIGHT GOD wants to SHINE out to the darkness of their community is HIS LAVISH LOVE! Pray for VICTORY at Lusillo.
Our heritage of love is so very huge. The past weeks of sorting through the amazing trail of faith seen in all my parents belongings , I am challenged even more, to finish my race well. I want my children and grandchildren to also see the HERITAGE of LOVE passed along to them through me and their daddy as well!
Please be praying:
- PRAY for GOD to continue to maintain safely the estate trust as we continue to wait with our dear friends for the settlement date in April. PRAY for GOD to protect these monies that they may be
Used to promote the KINGDOM of GOD. PRAY for the dear ones that will be dispersing these gifts to have peace and discernment and wisdom in the process so that GOD may truly be glorified.
- PRAY for the sale of our family home. The main work is DONE. The huge dumpster is full and ready for pick up. Every closet, every cupboard, the basement and storage areas and shed are cleaned out. Every surface is shinny and clean. We are ready to show. There was already an early showing even before the house is listed. PRAY for the RIGHT PEOPLE, at the RIGHT PRICE and in the RIGHT TIME to buy our home. IT is a bit more traumatic than I anticipated, selling our family home of over 40 years. We need peace.
- Pray for wisdom as we plan on medicine and supplies to be purchased….it all hinges on the estate trust money as to how much we are able to order and ship….SO WE ARE PLANNING BY FAITH, and waiting for HIS right time to make final orders. Pray for discernment and good prices.
- PRAY for dad’s transition. The supplies for his new apartment to be build into our home in PNG are being ordered and gathered. PRAY for fast, easy and efficient processing, for many hard and able workers and for a completed GOOD result with an area daddy where can be totally comfortable living. WE above all want to honor our daddy as he is worthy of honor. His passport is in process and Bill has the paperwork for his visa into PNG with him….so continue to pray for GOD to make this possible.
- PRAY for Bill’s eyes….for his glasses to be released from customs and get to him in Goroka. PRAY the glasses HELP. PRAY as we anticipate eye surgery later this month for him. PRAY for success in getting his vision restored to a more normal state!
- PRAISE GOD with us as we celebrate today our miracle boy LEVI. When I reflect upon the horror and trauma and heartache of watching our tiny little man struggle through the over 100 days in NICU, I cry for the many little ones taken on purpose in abortion at 23 weeks. When I see the amazing love and care of his parents, John and Becky, and their dedication to caring for their little man, with special needs (but miraculously few!!), I just am so thankful for God’s amazing strength he has given them. Levi is an amazing gift and we CELEBRATE HIM this week!!!
- PRAY for our marriage, and our family divided by the oceans during this difficult but needed deployment. I am so very proud of my SOLDIER husband! HE is strong and faithful in the LORD. PRAY for protection and encouragement for us both during these long and stressful days of separation. PRAY for GOD to continue to work in Amo and Aaron’s hearts as we see the heartache of children turning from GOD all around us these days and the negative impact it has on ministry. PRAY for GOD to build a hedge of protection around them against the wiles of the very strong and EVIL god of this world…Satan.
May we continue on in the LEAGACY of LOVE and make a path for those that follow behind us to continue on as well… FOR GOD’s GLORY and for HIS KINGDOM to grow.
No restraint. No RETREAT. NO REGRETS! Fearless. Faithful.
Bill and Amo in PNG. Lori and Aaron and Dad in the USA