Greetings from the Meads!! We are currently in snowy west Michigan. My body is struggling to acclimate to the change in weather. I looked out the window as I prepared my morning coffee to see a layer of fresh snow and a thermometer reading a cold eight degrees. I was cold just looking out! The landscape was beautiful as snow clung to the bare tree branches and covered the ground with a fresh white blanket. We have been gathering warm weather clothing to safely venture outside. A fresh spark plug and gas allowed the old snow blower to function. Ah, winter in Michigan. Part of me enjoys the snow and cold, and another part wishes to return to the temperate climate on the Great Rift Valley.
We have returned from a “kids trip” around the US. As a missionary, one stress you live with is having family far, far away. Just taking a time to talk and see how life is going in their home environment is a special gift. People and family may email that all is “fine,” but fine may be many things to many people. Our trip took us from Michigan to Florida to North Carolina to Louisiana to Nevada and back home. In addition to seeing family, we had other opportunities. We shared our work with a youth group in North Carolina. I had lunch with a supporter of the work of CURE. I heard of a mission in Burma and we met with missionaries serving in the Cameroon. We visited a special hospital that does work with the disabled and others. Traveling, we were able to share our work and dreams and hear of many others. I love to hear the life stories of others. Some people are leading truly amazing lives.
So what is going on with us? We are in the process of reorganizing our life. We have never really lived in the house we are calling home, so there is much to do to personalize it. I am trying to get used to the cold. I have been gathering supplies together for the work of CURE, our futures trips this year, and also for a CURE orthopedic graduate working in the Cameroon. Dr. Henry Ndasi trained with CURE in Kijabe and has returned home as the sole orthopedist in his mission hospital. A Texas church partnering with this mission hospital is sending a container of equipment and supplies to the Cameroon Hospital. I will add some things to be used by Henry as well.
What a great ministry for a church! Sometimes I have seen “missionary support” limited to a few thousand dollars, and that’s it. Now the financial support is of course helpful; I need it to continue serving CURE. But to say you are truly a supporter, so much more could be done. What is the total cost of running the ministry for a year? Could you do more? What are the dreams, and exactly what is being done? Is the work being done something you can support or not? What could make them more effective? What is their biggest need? How are they doing in their mission field, emotionally, spiritually, and physically? Do they have children in college far away that could use an adoptive aunt and uncle?
I heard of a mission in Nome, Alaska, broadcasting AM radio into Siberia, presenting the gospel to many isolated people. Could a bigger or newer transmitter make them even better? A friend of mine digs wells and changes whole communities’ lives by providing a source of clean, reliable water. Sponsor a well? The people I met working in the remote areas of Cameroon provide the basic medical care for a whole surrounding region. A volunteer doctor, a container full of supplies, builders, nurses, and more could widen the mission’s impact. A family running a camp for needy kids in Kentucky, teachers traveling across the globe to share their knowledge and skills, people teaching special farming techniques appropriate for the climate and culture, groups rescuing young girls bound in slavery, people teaching and organizing microfinance networks, groups traveling to create safe houses for families with none, disaster relief organizations, CURE providing medical and surgical care for the physically disabled child across the globe, and so many others reaching out to help those less fortunate. Many people are doing great works of service.
What is the one thing that really reaches deeply into your soul and takes hold? Nothing comes to mind? That is OK — for now. Take some time. Seek out some quiet. Look at where you spend your money. Seek out what brings you joy. Read, talk, and most of all listen to the stories of others. Life is too short to waste. Bucket lists, a special car, a powerful title, a fancy house, the perfect spouse — all are goals to chase if that is your aim. Is your aim high enough? Things wear out, become passé, and rust. Contentment, joy, and peace will never come from things or titles; we will always need more. The old story goes that a man asked a wealthy man who seemingly had it all in money, title, and power, “How much is enough?” The wealthy man answered promptly, “Just a little bit more.”
Serving others will rarely bring you fame, wealth, and a multitude of things. Serving others can, however, give your life meaning, a feeling of contentment, and a joy no one can remove. CURE has many opportunities for you to serve. You can be an advocate for the children. You can raise funds to care for kids. You can form teams to perform maintenance on the hospitals. You or your church could “adopt” a CURE hospital to support its work. You could volunteer to raise funds to educate national doctors, nurses, and staff. You could help missionary kids find a college home and maybe be a place they could go for holidays. You could obtain needed supplies and equipment and arrange shipping to CURE Hospitals. This web site has information on CURE opportunities.
I wish to thank all of you who have given us your financial support. Without you, we would not be able to return to the field. Trips are in the plans for the UAE, Kenya, and a longer time in Ethiopia. I am in the process of gathering needed support and supplies as we embark on a different adventure. The future path is still a little foggy as to where and what all we will do. I do know that teaching and serving the physically disabled kids in the developing world is my current calling and my passion. I know God is faithful and has a plan. My job is to trust and step out in faith, firmly in His grip.