From Julianna for Debbie Wilhite
Juli here…For those who haven’t heard, Mum’s going under the surgeon’s knife tomorrow morning to replace the lens in her left eye. Dr. Weyer is a highly recommended ophthalmologist & Mum has 7 kids all ready to pamper her during recovery…so, no worries! In light of that, Mum asked me this morning if I wouldn’t mind writing about my trip to the States for the ladies paper…” “Sure. When’s it due?” “Uh, tomorrow.” 🙂
In February this year, I was invited to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding. After praying about it (this has to be God’s will, right?), we finalized travel plans. On August 2nd, Dy and I traveled 33 hrs to PA. The next morning I took off again for Indiana to begin a week of wedding preparations, while Dy traveled to WV, ND, and AK. To see God lead and direct Kate’s life has been amazing. I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am for friends who are surrendered to God’s will. All 5 of my fellow bridesmaids are involved in some aspect of ministry making for some sweet fellowship. It was one crazy week going from 6 am to 2 am just about every day…dress fittings, bridal showers, flowers, shopping, church, decorations, rehearsal, etc. Throughout the whole week, Jared (Kate’s 20 yr-old brother) was undergoing chemo for Ewing’s Sarcoma. He and his family have a superb attitude in the midst of this trial and are a major encouragement to me. A lesson in total trust in God for the outcome.
The big day was Friday, the 10th of August. All went as planned (and even better!). The next day, I flew to DC to spend some time with another sister, Deanna, her husband and 3 adorable nieces. Finally was able to meet Mikah Joy, who’s already a year old. She, Madelyn and Meredith kept me laughing even as jetlag hit. Dea let me tag along to see my newest niece/nephew via ultrasound, and they treated me to a “concert” @ the Iwo Jima Memorial, played by the US Marine Band. Simply fascinating! That Thursday, Dy & Derek (who drove down for the weekend) accompanied Dea, Mikah and I into D.C. I love history! Walking through the Holocaust Museum had a sobering effect. Definitely a highlight of the trip. We toured a few more Smithsonians before heading home to meet up with Jon. It was the closest we were to having all the stateside kids together. Sunday morning Jon left & my oldest sister, Johanna, arrived with her crew (including a nephew I’d never met). After church, Dy and I crammed in some Tannie (Aunt)-time with all 6 nieces and nephews.
The next week was spent in Paradise. Okay, so not what you’re thinking, but the actual town in Lancaster county. Joh and I toured the shops, visited a “new” Baptist church, and even worked on an Amish Farm. The Amish lady made me laugh when she queried, “You know how to use a knife? You have cupboards like this in Africa? You don’t have a dishwasher? You hang your clothes up outside?” Yes, life in Africa isn’t as wild as you think! Oh, we may hold crocodiles and pet lions,
but we still accomplish the mundane chores in life.
The last 11 days in America were spent at Lehigh Valley with my brothers. A sweet family allowed me to stay with them, enabling me to spend more time with my brothers. The days were packed with baking (love that), church, shopping for luggage (which was only $2…yes, I am my father’s daughter!), nursing home service, hospital visit (ever go into a place hoping to be a blessing and coming away far more blessed yourself?), fair outreach with a brother and friend, volleyball
practice, day @ Knoebels with sweet friends, walks, seeing my brothers newly-built house, refreshing friendships, packing, etc. On Labor Day, the Halls took my brothers and me to Ocean Grove for an amazing day on the beach.
All in all, God is so good to me in ways I certainly don’t deserve. So many things learned. Lessons on influence, patience, trust, purpose in life, and so many more. I’m ever so thankful for those who took care of me, sent cards and gifts home for my family and especially for those who pray for us. Diane Street from New Jersey is here for 2 months and has been a blessing already. Having another blonde in the house is quite entertaining. 🙂
I know Mum would appreciate your prayers and even a note or two as she recovers.
Signing off from Africa,