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“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which
are behind, and reaching forth unto those things
which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Recovering from my knee replacement, I was at
the doctor’s office waiting my turn. Finding a place to sit and hoping
it was going to be a short time before I was called back, the first thing I looked for was something to
read. I browsed the stack of two choices and picked up a magazine that featured old farm houses that had been updated, yet maintain
the integrity of the past. This particular issue was centered on the porches that surrounded those old farm houses. I grew up in that
era and it was a good one. There were always swings, chairs, reading material, a place to sit your favorite drink, a few plants, beautiful
greens and lots of colorful trinkets that chimed on a windy day. The porch was a place where neighbors sat in the cool of the evening
to chat about the garden, the weather or the latest news. Sometimes a neighbor lady’s name would come up in that conversation about
what she said about the other neighbor. From that point, the conversation would go south until it was time to go home and get a good
I still love old porches. As children, we never got involved in adult conversations, but we sure enjoyed the porch when it rained. We
would get our scooter, trike, and even a toy fire engine we could sit on and push ourselves around, often being told not to make too
much noise with our toys – to pipe down!
There are some things in the past that we ought to forget. However, there are some things we need to put in our box of blessings that will
sustain us during our quiet times and help us navigate through the unchartered territories of life.
If I were to open my box of blessings, I would be reminded of all the Lord did beginning in that summer of 1993. Perhaps you were one
of the students that attended CAMP BIMI that first year. Right now my heart is filled with joy as I sit on the porch called Memory Lane.
Who would have ever imagined that the Lord would do what He has done for His Glory these past 25 years! Receiving each of your
prayer letters, photos or handwritten notes, we are blessed beyond measure to watch you mature in your spiritual life. Your children are
growing; your ministries are growing; and your people are growing spiritually in the Lord.
We’ve had the joy of reality missions training with many of you in at least 2 of 49 SMART trip countries, later visiting you on the field, or
just passing through and being able to get a bird’s eye view of your ministry. Other times,
we’ve had ‘the opportunity to sit on your porch’, meet your family and hear your stories.
If you’re learning a new language and adjusting to a multitude of cultural differences, it
can tax your physical, social and most definitely your spiritual strength. Let me say that
I’ve never met an older, well-seasoned missionary couple who does not have their own