Africa’s Ambassadors – Debbie Wilhite

In Australia's Ambassadors, Good News From a Far Country by Debbie Wilhite0 Comments

AfricasAmbsPicOct13Debbie Wilhite

Well, it’s time to refer to the calendar again to see what has transpired in the past 2 months. What would I do without my “outside brain” in written form?!

August had our thoughts drifting to a few weddings of friends in the States, as well as a dear niece, Lydia, who had spent several months with us here. It seems these children become lovely adults overnight.

Jerry traveled early one morning to Johannesburg to purchase a rebuilt engine for our Kombi at a fraction of the price for one here in Polokwane. The Lord led us to a couple young mechanics who have been quite helpful with both our van and truck problems. On the way he was able to stop in Witbank for some Zulu Bibles to take to Zimbabwe in September.

The end of that week we had double blessings when two families arrived for a visit. Michelle and Michaella spent their “holiday weekend” with us. Zabulon and Sarah drove up from North West Province with their 3 children, her sister, and his niece. I decided a “party” was in order for the girls and invited them into my bedroom, locked the door (to keep out snoopy male figures), and opened my closet doors.   The giddy, giggling girls changed into the garments almost as quickly as I tossed them out. They all left with store-name bags full of free clothes of their choice and size. I didn’t realize how much I had till then.  We are too blessed.

What a joy it is to give–especially when you know you’re giving to those who can truly use what you give.  While we were chatting in the kitchen about Zabulon’s trip to the States and our own occasional furloughs, Zabulon commented, “The next time you go I would just like one thing from the States. I’ve always wanted a pair of real American cowboy boots.” It was a simple statement made off the cuff. But Drew happened to be there and Drew happened to own a pair of real American cowboy boots. And Drew had outgrown them. And Drew had been praying about to whom he could give them. And Drew made the connection.

“By the way, what size do you wear?” Drew slipped out of the room and down the hallway, returning with his real American cowboy boots. I wish I could have captured Zabulon’s face when he saw them, when he tried them on, and when he clicked his heels together in the air!! His thanks was profuse. “Drew, I will be wearing these at your wedding and many years after.” The Lord is so good to orchestrate our steps when we desire to do His will. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”  (Psalm 37:23)

Joel received a good report from his doctor regarding his post-operative healing. Contrary to his possible desires, he still can’t scale a skyscraper and leap from a high building…but that’s just fine by us!

“Uncle George and Aunt Jackie” included us in the rounds of visiting a few missionary friends “up north.”  They are always an example and encouragement to us of love and faithful service for the Lord.

September brought some special surprises. The Castner kids became “Wilhites” for 16 days while their parents paid a visit to their son and  Michelle’s mom in the States. It was a blessing for all with many lessons. I’m sure Hannah, Timothy, and Joshua returned to Botswana with a greater appreciation for their family! Hopefully we were a good influence. At least we all survived, right? *smile*

The Mnqonywa family also drove up from Burgersfort for a Sunday of service and fellowship. Their visits are always peppered with plenty of laughter. Mr. Porter and his daughter, Anna, spent the night on their way to Witbank. It was a delight to get to know them. They also stopped en route back to Zimbabwe affording us a humorous chat with his wife on the phone. What a good sport she was to total strangers! (And you can’t find many “stranger” than us–ha!)

This past week was another highlight of the month when Connie and Kristen Nadaskay, originally from our home church, shared a few days with us between their visits with the Hammetts. Of course we had prepared the house for their arrival and maintained a measure of cleanliness, but I had to laugh when Debrianna declared, “We need to clean this house up before the Hammetts arrive!!!” She was determined that Joshua’s bedroom needed an overhaul as well. It’s obvious we are anticipating our pastor’s family’s visit in a couple weeks. (It’s also obvious she considered “Aunt Connie” part of the family!)

Connie commented how her father used to say, “You know company is like fish: they stink after 3 days.”  Joshua, overhearing, objected, “You don’t stink, and you’ve been here five days!” Neither “Aunt Connie” nor Kristen had that problem according to Josh!

It is a privilege to entertain those God allows in our home. We are grateful for opportunities to practice being “given to hospitality” even in far-away Africa. Not all months are as plentiful with visitors as other times, we know. We anticipate and cherish these moments which make for special memories.

Wish I could talk on and on about our married and single state-side kids and grandchildren. They, too, have been blessed not only by entertaining some, but also by being on the receiving end of the kindness of others. We are grateful for those who care for our family, both near and afar. Ultimately we realize that it is the benevolence of our gracious Heavenly Father to care for us all.

When our children were little if we heard of unexpected company coming, our family used to play a game we called “Company Drill.” It brought a smile to watch everyone scurry about, working together to make sure we were ready to make people feel “at home.” I hope our older children who remember this “game” are now implementing it in their families, and our present family will know what a privilege it is to serve others in the home.

 

Rejoicing in the Lord,

Debbie

Debbie Wilhite
Debbie and her husband, Jerry, are missionaries to South Africa. They have 11 children, 3 of whom still live at home, and 11 grandchildren.

You can read more about their ministry here and read Debbie’s testimony here.

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