Dear Praying Friends,
Two Stories: Elmer’s and bugs.
Elmer’s: My friend Diane in France sat down with me one day, shaking her head. “I don’t understand Americans,” she said with a thick South African accent. “Please help me understand.” She told me about serving in an international church in the Nice area. She was helping with the children, administrating a craft. One of the fellow children’s workers threw away several bottles of almost-empty Elmer’s glue. Diane seethed with anger. When she recounted the story, I didn’t understand why she was angry. Then she went on to explain.
“Mary,” she said, “I have lived with very little. I cannot understand how Americans can throw away things that are still useable. There was plenty of glue left for several projects, but since the bottles were low and harder to squeeze, they preferred throwing them out and buying new ones. I don’t understand. Please help me understand.” I felt ashamed. Her words still haunt me when I throw away decaying leftovers. Why? Because it was the first time I truly understood how deeply wealthy we Americans are. We are wealthy because we can afford to toss things in the trash.
Bugs: One of the students who went to Ghana before recounted a story about bugs, how large they were, how they’d fly and land and startle the short term missionaries.
Understandably, some of the people on the team weren’t too keen on large flapping bugs startling them. A curious thing happened after the bugs were shooed away. Little children captured the bugs and took them away. Why? The team later found out the bugs were good for eating. I have a feeling my world is going to be turned upside down soon. I’d been feeling pretty lax spiritually in the past several months, mainly because I’d been lulled into ease.
America can do that to me. I can spend far too much time worrying about money and activity and homemaking and work, yet so little time following after the Kingdom of God. Ghana will be God’s gift to me. To jumpstart my heart and make it new. I will understand again the elemental things of life: Jesus, food, shelter, clothing, relationships, the power of God. Aidan agrees. He told me yesterday, “Ghana is going to change my life forever.” He is ready. He is excited. He is expectant. So thanks for partnering with us in prayer for this great adventure. We leave tomorrow, departing Dallas at 5:00 PM.
May the Lord bless you, keep you, and shine His glorying face upon you. Thank you for loving us well, praying for us, and cheering for us. We look forward to giving you an amazing report when we come home.
With joy, Mary and Aidan DeMuth