I voted yesterday—something women are still barred from doing in some countries. I might have felt underwhelmed by my options, but still, I got to vote. And I know it’ll mean I get called soon for jury duty. But that’s something else women sometimes still get barred from doing. So, bring it.
This week my hubby and I head to a country in the Middle East where women still can’t vote. Our plan: to spend two nights there with friends. Then on to Africa for a couple weeks of ministry. That includes a few nights in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where my brother-in-law and his wife have been living since January, having recently relocated there to help disciple a wonderful and growing team of nationals. Never been to Ethiopia. Looking forward to it. Except…they said to bring mosquito repellant?
From Addis Ababa, we head to Kenya via Nairobi to Mt. Elgon (not Mt. Elton, which my spell-corrector wants me to say), where we went last summer. The house-church movement there has multiplied to at least the eighth generation. Exciting times! And Gary’s ministry partners there want to meet his wife. It’s a sign of trust that he would bring me, they say. So thanks to some generous donors, the nationals’ wish is coming to fruition. (Others have donated money for stuff like Bibles, grain, shoes—so encouraging. If that’s you, thank you!)
Back through Nairobi, we catch a flight to Lodwar, which looks desolate as the moon. There we plan to meet up with a semi-nomadic tribe in which many have recently embraced the gospel. In their world, here’s the pecking order: men, animals, women, children.
These folks have little from which to scrape out a living. So the mission of our four-person team is to train the leaders in doing children’s ministry. We want them to know that every human of any age or sex is made in the image of God and of infinite value. And contrary to the thinking of some Ivy-League professors such as ethicist Peter Singer, people rank higher than animals. Below the angels, for sure—for a little while at least. But definitely higher than animals. The women there have never even heard that such a thing as voting exists. And the kids have never been to school. Yet.
Friends are staying in our home with our daughter. She should have a blast with their baby. And Gary and I look forward to having some time together. Would you please pray for our family and for the people we will encounter?
Last week, my friend Allison and her hubby were celebrating their 25th anniversary in New Zealand, biking through “Lord of the Rings” territory. They had a romantic dinner. Told each other what they loved about each other. And the next morning, Karl had died of a heart attack. He was fit. No warning signs. Gone. The last conversation they had was about how much love they shared. Thanks be to God. How many people can say that? But of course, my heart breaks for Allison, who was hoping for at least twenty-five more years with the love of her life. So I’m reminded that, as I tell you all these plans we have made, I should add this: If the Lord wills it, we will go . . .
Life is short. Make it count. And tell people you love them!