As our cup of blessing "runneth over", we found that HE wasn't done with us yet. We had planned this stop in IL with the intention of meeting up with my family, my friends, Holly & Edgar, and another very special family and friends that meant a great deal to me. Our schedule has been pretty tight and our planning has been very short-term so far. We hope that as time goes on, we'll get better at this.
Fortunately, HIS timing is always perfect and when HE's in charge of things, it always seems to work out. This was the case with our friends who were in Colorado when we called to check their schedule. They got back in town just in time to spend a very special evening with us as it was our hope to be able to bless them with a mini-concert in their home. HE made it all work out.
The beautiful young lady in this picture here is a testimony all unto herself. I met her and her family through Holly as I was preparing to leave for Thailand. Lily was in the second grade at that time. As I spent 11 years as a missionary in Thailand, most of my friends and family stopped writing letters to me within a couple of years. E-mails continued a bit longer, but letters took far too much time and effort for most people to fit into their busy lives and Thailand is far away.
Lily, however, made it her "mission" to write to me letters that shared with me her thoughts, her life and her "growing up" concerns". Her letters were always a welcome touch as she often reminded me of things that really matter in life. Her letters continued to the time that I moved back to the States where we briefly lost contact as we both had moved. It was a special joy to spend time with this family that had made it their business to pray for me and to do what they could to meet my needs with their limited resources. It's humbling to be in the presence of people that don't just talk about doing things for others, but get things done.
For a special treat, Rose and Ted and Lily took us out for a boat ride on the Mississippi River. It was a "first" for both of us and we thoroughly enjoyed our little tour of this mighty river. Afterwards, we headed back to their house where DannyLee entertained us with his "Johnny Cash" repetoire until Lily could be persuaded to sing us a song too. It was a wonderful time of food, fun and fellowship that we all enjoyed wholeheartedly. We look forward to the time when we can all be together again!