Flowers are such a beautiful creation. Almost ten years ago when we first moved to Krinkrin there were only a few flower bushes in the village, and those were defended, by their owners, with a sharp tongue. Flowers were something you didn’t mess with and you walked big circles around. Kids did not want to be caught messing with somebody’s flowers.
After a period of time we were able to plant a verity of different flowers of our own, and it didn’t take long for the word to get out the we allow people to pick flowers from our flower bushes. A young man on his way home from the fields asked if he could pick a flower to take home to his, newly married, wife. A little girl asked if she could pick a flower to put in her and her little sister’s hair, before they go to school. A little boy and girl came and asked if they could pick a small bucket full of flowers to put on their recently deceased Daddy’s grave. A young lady asked if she could pick a couple flowers to take to her elderly housebound grandmother.
They saw us picking flowers and making bouquets; and it wasn’t hard for the kids to catch on that it was special to us when they brought us some flowers to put in our hair or add to the bouquet on the table. And they were awestruck that when we put the flowers in water, they didn’t shrivel and die in a couple hour, but still looked new and beautiful a few days later. They would excitedly tell their new discovery to the other kids and adults when they came into the house, and their listener would look at them, and then at us, in total disbelief thinking we would say, “what they were saying was just their imagination,” just to find that we fully confirmed what was just said. Then some would come back a few days later to check on the flowers’ status.
So we randomly go through periods of times when the kids fill the table and shelf with many beautiful bouquets, and the girls all come around with their hair looking like a bouquet itself, and the guy’s get to tuck flowers behind their ears. But there is one flower at this time that they are not allowed to pick. The little pick rose. The bush is still small and only has a few blooms. Only Mama Tara (and endearing cultural name they call my Mom) gets to pick the roses. It’s Mama Tara’s rose.
Then there’s the little boy, that his parents haven’t been permitting him to spend time at our house anymore due to some poor choices on their part. The handsome little guy quietly slipped in the door, the other evening just before dark, and gave his Mama Tara a unique, special flower he had pick from the creek by his Grandfather’s house. Of course as any blessed Grandma would, when one of her special little boys that she hasn’t been able to spend time with recently, gave him a hug and kiss, and took the unique, special flower and put it into the small white vase with the little pick rose, she had picked earlier. When he saw that his gift got the place of honor next to the little rose his little shoulders went back, his chin up, and he quietly said good night as he slipped back out the door.
Many times it’s the small things that become the big things that we hold dear to our hearts. There may be periods of time in life when we are separated from the ones we love so dearly; but the sincere, genuine acts of kindness and love shared in our times together are not quickly forgotten and continue to hold our bonded hearts. When y’all think of it could y’all lift our handsome little guy and his siblings up in prayer. That they may be able to discern truths from lies, understand God’s true love versus hypocrisy, that God would heal their poor hurting hearts showing Himself faithful to them, and use what Satan intended to harm for His glory.
We are also blessed with the companionship of a group of young families that are hungry for the true things of God; and for the opportunity to pour into them as they begin to pour out their lives for their fellow loved ones. And we praise Him as He continues to give them the courage to take a stand for their newfound faith. It’s hard to see them being persecuted as they try to sort out what they’re experiencing. To see them struggling as they try to focus on the roses and not on the many thorns. But we keep trusting and believing they will come through victorious with a deeper understanding of God’s faithfulness and endurance because of it. He is faithful to the end!
We are also super blessed with the company and encouragement of Camille and Bryson Long this week. This is Camille’s first time back since three and a half years ago when she moved back to the States; but she hasn’t seemed to miss a beat since the moment she set foot back in Krinkrin again. It’s so encouraging for me to see how encouraged the young ladies feel from the fact that Camille came to see them again. There’s no question if they adore her; and her life is still such a strong witness to them even though they live a far distance apart at this point in their lives. The love of God is stronger than distance!
I’m excited to say, I plan on leaving in a week to go back to the States, for two and a half months, for three of my sibling’s weddings. I look forward to spending time with all my siblings and the new ones being added. Thank you all for your prayers and participation in sharing the good news of Christ across the world, and namely Nicaragua. Our God is faithful, and He honors the prayers of His people.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you (and us) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippines 1:3-6