Friday, December 17, 2010
A Night for Missions
A couple of nights ago we made a run to St Louis to hang out with two different missionary trail blazers. Our first stop was Margie McFarland. An amazing women, who's tough as nails and a pitch-perfect example of Christ-like compassion. Those of you who know her, understand when I say she holds nothing back, no matter who you are or what you do!
When they lived in Jerusalem in the late 50s to early 60s, she was in the same Damascus gate markets I've recently trod, running circles round those merchants in street-cred Arabic. She once told a soldier during a squabble over ground beef that she may be American but her heart was Palestinian. She recently returned to the Old City with her now-grown son. He dropped her off at Jaffa Gate and before she got into the souk, a carpet dealer called her by name. While there a young boy came in, his father requesting her presence at another shop. The word spread quickly. Forty years had passed, but 8 hours later she still had a line waiting to greet "Mother."
My mom worked as her husband's executive secretary when he was General Secretary at WEC in the mid-70's. One Christmas, Sis. McFarland bought a Louis Marx train set to go around the tree (a purchase Bro. McFarland seriously questioned at the time, she told us). When my parents stopped by to say hello, my two-year old curiosity derailed the set and she was smitten. I still have the train Margie McFarland gave me. Before we left, a little reindeer mysteriously appeared in Cooper's hands as a memento to his meeting this great woman of God. He may not remember the simple blessing she prayed over our family, but we'll cherish it always.
For dinner, we met Roger & Becky Buckland. Having ministered in the States for many years, they moved their family to the Philippines and saw amazing things through Bible Schools and pastoral work. In 1993, without knowing the language or anyone in the country, they moved to Prague, Czech Republic to start a brand new work. Today, they are opening Bible Schools all over Eastern Europe and we're honored to be one of the Furlough Replacements for them during 2011. Cooper was totally taken by Bro. Buckland, to the point he nearly finished off a jar of bananas for him (I can't get Cooper to eat very often much less a total stranger!). We wish the Bucklands a blessed year as they hit the road to reconnect with supporters and share their vision of an enormous burden they carry for the region.