Sunday, October 30, 2011

Praying for my Children

Ever since we knew I was pregnant with our children, we have prayed for them.  As they grew, we prayed for them.  As we raised them, we prayed much for ourselves, also, that God would give us wisdom!  And now that they are on their own and thousands of miles away from us across an ocean and on another continent, we continue to pray for them.

A couple of years ago I started praying scripture for my children.  For example from Psalm 63:7 & 8:  "O Lord, because you are Suzanne's help, she can sing in the shadow of your wings.  May her soul cling to you; your right hand upholds her."  Or from I Corinthians 16:13 & 14:  "Lord, help Daniel to be on guard.  May he stand firm in the faith.  Help Daniel to be courageous and strong.  Help hi to do everything with love."

And we are currently excited about the way God is answering our prayers that someday they would meet and marry somebody who would be both godly and uniquely suited for them.  Daniel's fiancee, Kelly, and Suzanne's fiance, Theo, are answers to those prayers and they are now being prayed for by name as I pray for Daniel and Suzanne.

Right before returning to Africa, I saw a book in the bookstore by Stormie Omartian called The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children. I thought that looked good, but, since I'm cheap, I decided to order it off Amazon instead of buying it in the bookstore.  So I ordered it from Amazon, but instead of being that book, the book I got is Book of Prayers: The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children.  So it is a little booklet of prayers that you can pray for your adult children.  I am finding it helpful and would still like to get the full book.

However, the other day I was praying one of the suggested prayers and I had to say, I can't pray this.  It went like this (prayer 27):
LORD, you have said to "seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you" (Luke 12:31).  Help my adult children to surrender to You in body, mind, soul, and spirit so they can move into the abundance and prosperity You have for them.  Help them to learn from the correction and instruction of wise teachers and people of maturity, wisdom, and experience so that they will avoid poverty and embarrassment and gain the honor and prosperity You have for them (Proverbs 13:18).  I pray that the beauty of the Lord will be upon them and establish the work of their hands (Psalm 90:17).  May they "long enjoy the work of their hands" and "not labor in vain"  (Isaiah 65:22-23).  In Jesus' name I pray.

I'm not sure that prosperity is what I want to pray for my children.  If God blesses them financially, that's fine.  But what if they choose to live simply?  What if they devote themselves to a ministry that doesn't bring prosperity their way?  What if they go through hard times financially, physically, emotionally, etc.? Is financial success the only way the Lord blesses us?

Instead, I prayed the prayer something like this:
LORD, you have said to "seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you" (Luke 12:31).  Thank you for your promise to give them what they need if they whole-heartedly seek You.  Help my adult children to surrender to You in body, mind, soul, and spirit so they put Your kingdom and Your work above all else.  Help them to learn from the correction and instruction of wise teachers and people of maturity, wisdom, and experience (Proverbs 13:18) so that they will be willing to give up all for Your sake (Mark 10:29).  I pray that the beauty of the Lord will be upon them and establish the work of their hands (Psalm 90:17).  May they "long enjoy the work of their hands" and "not labor in vain"  (Isaiah 65:22-23).  If you choose to bless them financially, may they give away more than they keep. I pray that they will always reach out to those living in poverty, even if it means that they end up with little.  Give them the gift of living in simplicity while providing enough for all their needs. Protect them from having so much that they forget their need for You.  Prosper them with joy, love, kindness, self-control, and peace.  In Jesus' name I pray.

And speaking of praying for our children....Please pray for Suzanne.  She has been un-well for two months, ever since her visit here with us.  It seems very possible that the illness is something she picked up here.  She has been constantly nauseated.  After a dose of flagyl, she seemed greatly improved, though not 100%.  Now she is back to where she started, feeling nauseated again.  She has lost at least 10 pounds....she was at an ideal weight and this leaves her pretty thin.  She is really discouraged by it all.  She saw a GI specialist last week and he is running some tests.  She has a follow-up visit tomorrow.  

Pray specifically that the doctor can get to the bottom of this and find out what is wrong and that he will know how to treat it.  Pray that the Great Healer will touch her body and make her well.  Pray that during this time she will draw closer to God as He leads her through one of those difficult times in life that we can't understand, and may never fully understand.  Pray that she will experience His love and presence with her and will learn to trust in Our Father's sovereignty. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

And Two Shall Be One

On July 23, about a week before leaving to come back to West Africa, my nephew wed his high school sweetheart.  Well, maybe that's not technically correct....they met in high school, but didn't go to the same high school.  A neighbor lady of Heather invited her to church with her.  Her church is the home church of my nephew, Jeremiah, so they met at church.  Heather found Christ there...and her true love, Jeremiah.

July 23 happened to be one of the hottest days of the year in western New York state.  Unusual for that area, it was over 100 degrees.  Because the area has short, mild summers, the church had no air conditioning.  And the church was beautifully decorated with hundreds of candles which made it feel even hotter! My sister scoured all the flee markets and 2nd hand stores she could think of to find enough ruby-colored candle holders to decorate with.  She did a great job on it!

The day started with a visit to the salon and up-do's for all the girls and moms. My niece, Alesha did the make-up for all the girls.

In spite of the heat, the groom was handsome and the bride beautiful!  The ceremony was quite traditional, but they had some elements unique to them, making the wedding very special.  The rest of the post will just be pictures of Jeremiah and Heather's special day!

Here's the handsome groom


And here's the gorgeous bride. 

And here's what happens when you put guys in the Sunday School room with the sports equipment.  Maybe they were confused as to the meaning of "tie the knot".
The bride and her sisters who were her bridesmaids and her half-sister.  One of her sisters is her twin sister. Can you tell which one is the twin?

I told you it was hot!

Saying their vows.  Jeremiah's dad, my brother-in-law, performed the ceremony.

It seems to me that the evidence is pretty incriminating.  The guy not pointing the finger must be the guilty one!  Although, the one with two fingers pointing at him looks pretty guilty, too, since he's been caught holding the roll of tape.

I have so many good pictures, but my connection is slow event though I have compressed these pictures, so I'll leave it at this.  The pictures are all edited and will be on their way to the bride and groom tomorrow.  After they've had a chance to post on Facebook if they want, I'll put up a few more there.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Babies

The wife of one of my co-workers at the office recently had twins.  Here the mother-to-be often travels back to her mother's house to have her baby.  This mother did, traveling back to Burkina Faso to have her babies.  Because the babies were born in Burkina, the father traveled there as well for the traditional naming ceremony, usually held on the 8th day after birth.
10 Perfect Little Toes
Usually if somebody at the office has a baby or another important event happens, everybody at the office will go together to the event.  But since the babies' naming ceremony was in another country, we couldn't really all go together.


Gathering to pray for the family
So when the mother got back with the twins, we all went over to their house to greet.  We collected a gift of money to present to the parents.  Of course, we all wanted a turn to hold one of the babies!  We prayed for the family and presented our gift to them.  Here are some pictures from our visit.
Miss K gets to hold one of the twins
Miss H's turn to hold the baby while E counts the fingers.
The proud papa
Mr. T, one of my co-workers, the mother, and the twins.