Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday Girl

20 years ago yesterday, May 22, 1991, Suzanne joined our family. She has been a real blessing to us. What a privilege God gave us to raise this special gift! 

When she was only three months old we took her to Niger where she grew up.  As you can imagine, she drew a lot of attention.  The European women would always stop me in stores to coo over her and exclaim, "Quelle poupee!"  (There should be an accent over one of those e's).  That means, "What a doll!"  The Nigeriens were always amazed with her white hair.  I could post picture after picture of her growing up in Niger, but this one is one of my favorites. 

There was a Suzanne (Susanna) in the Bible.  Do you know who she is and what she did?  She is mentioned in Luke 8:1-3 which says:
 1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.


When we named our Suzanne, it was our prayer that she would be a woman who would follow Jesus and who would serve Him in practical ways and who would be generous with her time, possessions, and talents.  What joy it is to us that our Suzanne does have a heart of service and that she loves and follows Jesus.

These past 20 years of our lives have been enriched by Suzanne's life.  We pray for God to continue to bless her and to give her many more fruitful years of service to Jesus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Engagement Shoot

We have just moved from MD back to PA.  The house is in disorder and I have no time to blog.  So I'm just going to post a few pictures I took of my nephew and his fiancee. 










 

Monday, May 09, 2011

College Graduation

Wow.  Was it only four years ago that Daniel was graduating from high school and now he's graduated from college?!
  
Graduation at Cedarville was quite the event.  Daniel's Grandpa and Grandma Hall were able to be here as well as us.  Graduation started at 10 and we were there just after 8:30 and there was already a long line waiting to get in.  By the time we got in, the really good seats were taken, but ours wasn't too bad.  We had a good view of the stage, anyway.  But I couldn't see the graduates as they came in....just a few peeks at mortarboards bobbing down the aisle between the heads of people around me.  The graduates were coming down two aisles and I had no idea what aisle Daniel would come down....the one closest to us or the one farther away.  I decided to just take a picture of the screen, so I aimed my camera and snapped.  Just as I snapped the picture, they changed the camera angle to a different view of the graduates and when I looked at my picture on my screen, there was Daniel!!!! I absolutely could not believe it.  It was just a little blessing from God that I got a picture of my son coming down the aisle even though I couldn't see him.  Don't you think that's amazing!???!     The ceremony was really good.  The speaker was Dr. Barry Black, the Chaplain to the US Senate.  He gave an excellent message and challenge to the graduates:  without Christ you will never be truly successful.  There were brief addresses by other important guys in the college, including Dr. Brown, the President.  Then came the time for the receiving of the diplomas.  Over 600 names were read, graduates received their diplomas and a Bible, and they were off.  It happened so fast that it's hard to tell if this is really Daniel or not. It's definitely not either of the graduates before or after him.
     After the graduation it was a challenge to find Daniel in the throng of happy graduates, parents, grandparents, and siblings.  We all finally got together and got some good pictures of Daniel, of Daniel and Suzanne, of Daniel with us, of Daniel and Kelly, and of Daniel with some of his friends.
 
As the crowd dispersed, we headed back to my cousin's house for a graduation party.  I made African peanut sauce, Natalie made rice, Jeanne put together a salad and a cut vegetable platter, and she made four pies.  It was also my birthday, so a birthday cake also appeared from some hidden corner. We had a great time celebrating one of Daniel's major achievements.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Azaleas

My favorite spring flowers are lilacs.  But after having spent a spring in Maryland, I'd have to say azaleas run a close second now!  They are everywhere down here and in every color imaginable:  red, pink, coral, purple, yellow, and white.  OK, not black or green.
There are a whole lot of them in the woods outside our apartment and we can see them as we eat at our table. I have no idea if they grow wild or if somebody planted them there.  Then on the campus here (Washington Bible College & Capital Bible Seminary) there is a prayer garden with benches and nothing but azaleas.  One morning I took my Bible and notebooks out there and had my devotions there.
  
John and I went out with the camera and tripod and took pictures of ourselves in the prayer garden.  I love this pictures and hope you enjoy them, too! 
When I see the beauty of the azaleas, I am struck by the awesomeness of our Creator God.  How could so many colors have "just happened"?  And what big bang could have produced the intricacies of a flower with its petals and stamens?  And how could it have just happened that bumble bees (who in and of themselves are an aero-dynamic impossibility) could know that they could use pollen to make honey?  And how do they turn pollen into honey, anyway? I think God is pretty amazing to have made all this beauty, to make it provide food for bees, and to encourage us when we see such glory around us.

And a year from now when I'm back in Niger and am too hot to even breathe, I want to look at these pictures and remember God's glory!