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Trying times and testing faith

July 3, 2009
By Kimberly Short Wolfe

At this moment, I know some young people - young adults actually, but to me they are still "kids" - who are in Honduras as missionaries. If you have even glanced at the news, you know that Honduras is in the worst turmoil it has been in for decades. I think of "the kids" with their three babies, and my mom heart aches.

I've been awake at night remembering the little girl who sat at my table many times and ate brownies. She taught my daughter piano, was my student in the Christian school in Richwood 20 years ago, and I marvel at the young woman she has become. She and her sister brought all their boyfriends to meet me. But when she brought this young man, the one she actually married, I thought ... this is "the one" for her.

A few weeks ago, they were in a neighboring county in West Virginia and we spoke several times by phone trying to arrange a time to get together. It did not work out but a mind-boggling thing occurred. It became obvious that this little-girl-turned-woman was now a confident and assured young mother and wife, trusting in her Savior. She spoke with confidence and fervor, and I was left shaking my head. When did this happen? When did this couple whom I dub "the kids" mature, grow up, head to a third-world country and rock their world for Jesus?

Now as I await every single detail of what's happening, I have heard from them via the missionary girl's mom and also by messages on the Internet. The messages are clear, they are confident, planted and determined.

After trying "the door" to get out of the country, the way was blocked. Turmoil is so great that they dare not drive from the house to the airport. But yet a peacefulness wafts over the ocean from them to calm me and the others who are "concerned" for them. That sounds so much more spiritual than "worried," doesn't it? The kids have been giving us scriptures to assure us of God's continued plan. The night before last, the verse the husband sent was:

"I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou Lord only makes me dwell in safety."

So now the student becomes the teacher and so goes the cycle of growth, maturity and God's plan. I marvel at the pictures of them on the Internet working with "their people" and the joyfulness that is so apparent on their faces. The adjustments they have made in giving up the comforts of home and the human support speak loudly of their commitment to answer a higher calling, to deviate from the norm of materialism and selfishness that has so many sidelined and chasing the tail of self-fulfillment. Won't we now learn from them and follow them as they follow Christ?

We are not all called to go to Honduras, but I firmly believe there is a plan for every single person on Earth. In reading that, your plan probably came to mind. Is there a job, a random act of kindness, a selfless act, a service to God and man that you could perform? Let's not waste the experience of knowing totally abandoned people without emulating their lives.

Let's remember that our "life is like a vapor, and that it appeareth for a little while and then disappears." Let's make our lives count all the while enjoying every minute provided by the one who holds us in the palm of his hand, just as he holds the dear little family in Honduras in the palm of his hand.

(Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is the grief counselor and bereavement coordinator for Mountain Hospice and is also a homeschool mom. E-mail or call 304-823-3922, ext. 136.)



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