Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Valerie!!

Proverbs 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Today marks a special day for the modern world!  It is the ?? anniversary of the arrival of one very special lady.  Aren't we blessed??  I know I am and anyone who knows Valerie probably feels the same way. 

My 30th Anniversary Surprise!

Abigail Miller, Valerie, and I

Each time the Lord takes our family through a trial, He always sends special "Angels" to encourage us.  In college it was the Ortiz Family.  When Randy had his cancer, the Lord really used Dr. and Mrs Dan Siemer, and Kevin and Amy Arthur to help us through some great difficulties.  After my tumor surgery at Mayo Clinic and our son's death two weeks later, the Lord sent the Noonan family and their church in Rochester, Minnesota, and Pastor and Mrs. Abberger and Lakeview Baptist Church to our side.  This furlough there have been so many blessings, but one of the greatest is my friendship with Valerie Higley.  She loves her family, her church, and her pastor and his family.  She is always thinking of ways to be a blessing to someone and I am humble to say that I have been the receipient of many of her "gifts".  For our 30th wedding anniversary, she made it possible for my favorite singer, Abigail Miller, and our daughter, Christa, to fly to Connecticut to be part of the festivities!

Br. & Mrs. Higley

A few years ago, I met Valerie via the internet. She is a member of one of our supporting churches and when she found out we had Skype she asked to be added to our contacts. For a long time Valerie was just a little green cloud with a white check mark in it on my computer screen. One day we decided to try and "meet up", she in Groton, Connecticut, and me in Okinawa, Japan. We chatted just a short time and that was that. Later she contacted me again and asked to interview me for the ladies at her church. I was excited about it, but a little nervous. We had a wonderful time during our visit and I was glad for the contact and the interest in our work on Okinawa. After that Valerie went back to being her little green cloud on my computer. Last Fall, soon after we arrived back in the US for our furlough, we visited Valerie's church in Groton. This is when our friendship really took a change in direction.

She sharpens me, encourages me, listens to me grumble, laughs at my jokes and sarcasm, loves my daughter, and most importantly encourages my walk with the Lord in a positive direction.  One verse she recently shared with me was:

Malachi 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

After she shared this verse with me, I asked myself two questions, "Kelly, when the Lord listens to you speak to people, is He so moved with joy at your conversation that He wants to write a "book of rememberance" containing these words?  If someone were listening in on your conversations, would they see and know the love of the Lord through what you say and how you act?"  Praise the Lord for this verse, for the Lord showing it to Valerie, and for Valerie sharing her morning Bible reading with me! 

Thank you, Valerie for all you do for me and others.  There is no gift grand enough that I could give you to show how much I appreciate your love, compassion, understanding, and kindness toward me. 


Friday, March 18, 2011

So MANY Things!!

From my living room window!

I know many of you have contacted me asking WHERE in the world have I gone!!  A furlough missionary is sooooooo busy!  Our schedule is usually - have a treatment, go to meetings, come back in time for next treatment.  This last trip to New England was wonderful and a huge blessing.  However, I arrived back with the flu!!!  NO FUN!!  On the way back to Ohio, my husband had to keep pulling over so I could be sick on the side of the road!  Ahh, the romantic life of a missionary!  I want you to know that I am NOT complaining!!!  On the contrary, I am grateful for our many meetings and the supporting churches that want to see us while we are in the States on furlough.

My DAD - is doing GREAT!!!  He is amazing and so is my Madrasta!  Dad is in PT and has made great strides.  He likes being challenged and rises to meet the challenge.  My Madrasta is making sure that he is getting what he needs so he can be more independent each day (something very important to my Dad!)  My only regret is not being able to see him more!

Christa - loves teaching, but is looking forward to Spring Break, which starts today!  She has not ceased to be a blessing to her parents!!  Fer sure and fer certain!!

My GREAT Hubby - Busy setting up meetings, studying, preaching missions conferences, travelling, taking care of ME!  In January, he made a trip to Okinawa for a Bible conference at our church.  Last month we celebrated 30 years as husband and wife.  I will be writing a post devoted strictly to this event.  This is the first time he has been home for longer than 3 days since last Fall.

ME?? - Blessed beyond all measure!  May will finally end my chemo!!  Whoo Hoo!  Then the retesting will start to see how the chemo worked.  Please be in prayer about this.  Hair is growing back!!!!!!!  Body tired, but spirit is wonderful! 

Japan - PLEASE continue to pray for the people of Japan.  I know the Lord wants to use this terrible disaster for His glory.  Praise Him for the missionaries that are already there helping the Japanese people.  Our church in Okinawa is fine.  Okinawa is about as far away from Tokyo as New York to Key West.