The thing is, they hadn’t seen us in four years! But they’d been reading our prayer letters and been praying for us for all that time. Honestly, I was shocked that they remembered our faces and names well enough to recognize us in a restaurant.
But then again, I shouldn’t be shocked. Our time on furlough in Indianapolis has been filled with a myriad of experiences like that. Take last Sunday, for example. The First Church of the Nazarene (which has been so wonderful to us, providing a house for us to live in, giving us gifts, a crib, etc.) asked that we speak at their Sunday night service. After we shared our stories, I was overwhelmed with the response of people, asking if they could keep in contact with us, support us, get our prayer letter, pray for us. We’ve gotten emails and comments on my blog this week. And today in church, numerous people came up to Brad, asking again for more information about our ministry.
And others at Castleview Baptist Church here in Indianapolis have done the same. We’ve been invited over for delicious meals, welcomed to Christmas parties, etc. And I’m always so amazed when people who remember us from four years ago, recognize us, come up to us, remember our names, remember our baby’s name and inquire about us.
The reason why all this is so amazing to me is that sometimes, when we’re living on a tiny island (5 by 10 miles in size) in a country on the other side of the world, we think we’re alone in our work. We have huge burdens to carry, as we try to help people who are poor, if not just economically, but spiritually, too. I’ve sat and listened to women talk about being abused by their husbands. We’ve heard stories about children who have been sick or died. And we serve a people who often have no hope.
At the same time, we’ve dealt with our own sicknesses, our own trials, our own loneliness.
But one thing is for certain. We’ve never been alone. So many people have been praying for us, reading about our ministry, and caring for the people whose stories break our hearts.
And of course, what this means is that the people of Indonesia should know that hundreds of Americans are praying for them, helping them and loving them—all the way on the other side of the world.
So, thank you to Indiana and to all the other people who care about us and our ministry. And by the way, if you’re reading this and don’t yet receive our prayer letter, please email us at email@example.com . Or check out the updates on our Web site: www.hopkinsmaf.org .