Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's a generational thing

Before we get too far away from furlough, I want to look back at some of the most meaningful times during furlough: time spent with grandparents. If I haven't mentioned before just how much we adore and enjoy our grandparents, let me mention it now. They pray for us, spoil us when we're around, share years of wisdom and experience, and have helped to shape the people we've become. 
Terrill, his mom (Velma) and his maternal grandmother (Anna Weber) pose after a lovely visit in Atmore, Alabama.
Terrill with his dad (Arlin) and paternal grandma, Glennys Schrock Shank, in grandma's old upholstery shop in Blountstown, Florida. Grandma Schrock always has a glass of mint tea and a listening ear ready for us. She's great at filling us in on the happenings of the family. I appreciate her positive attitude and faith in God's provision.
Terrill with both grandmas in Blountstown.
One way that our grandmas have equipped us to live in Africa is by modeling generosity and care for the needy. Even today, grandma Anna continues to quilt beautiful blankets to be donated to the Ik. When distributing them, we think of her and know that much prayer has been put into them. Since I have an affinity for the Ik elderly (and since their skin is thinner), they are the happy recipients of these quilts. Alice (above) had been asking for a blanket since last year. When she saw me pull this beautiful creation out, she hugged it tight and said a prayer of thanks to God. Then, while we sat and talked to her son around the fire, she wrapped herself up. It was no small gift. 
My dad's parents (Vernon & Donna Gingerich) came to visit us several times in Tallahassee.  One thing I appreciate about them is their ability to have good, meaningful conversations and encourage us to live a righteous life. Although life has not always been easy for them, they've used the lessons they've learned to encourage their family. How dear to have grandparents who want to invest in us!
Here I am with my maternal grandma (Doris Stutzman) on my right and my grandma Donna on my left. Recently, grandma Doris has uprooted from Berlin, Ohio for a move to a warmer climate in Tallahassee, Fl where my parents live.
 It was special to have her around for the holidays after living 1000 miles apart for the past 20 years. Here I'm sitting with mom and grandma at Christmas. Now that she is closer, I had much more time during this furlough to 'hang out' with grandma Doris. She always had a meal prepared when we stopped by her house and she never turned down a game of cards. Grandma Doris has been a shining example of love and devotion to her family. If a need arises, she doesn't hesitate to help out. Since she grew up with a big family on a farm, she's taught me much about being a pioneering woman. 
 One way that grandma Doris has helped us out while we've lived in to do internet research for me when my internet is not fast enough. Do you remember the story of Chilla Mandella? He was the 12-year old with TB of the spine who we transported to Kampala last February. At that time, he could not walk and could not control his urination. When we left him in August, he was just standing up and leaning on a stick. When we met up with him again in February, this is what we found (above in the back). He has taught himself to walk again. He's not completely well yet as his legs need therapy, but praise God for his walking again! Grandma Doris found me some strengthening exercises online and  now every evening Mandella comes over to do his exercises.

Grandparents. I could say much more but I'll leave you with this. Terrill & I both have wonderful parents who've poured much love & wisdom into our lives. But, others (like our grandparents) have influenced us as well. We're thankful for the many people who have invested in us.


Mama L said...

Loved reading about your family. Cherish the memories of my visit with you in Uganda. Grateful for the friendship you have with Bobby & Maridith. Will stay in touch,
Mama Lane

Cassidy said...

My eyes brim with tears as I see Chilla Mandella standing. A portrait of answered prayers.