My dad showed up yesterday morning just as Mike and I were getting into the van to leave to go see Erin. He said he had called, but no one answered. I did hear the phone ring a little earlier, but my hands were tied and when Mike said my parents called, I thought I’d just call them back later from my cell phone. My dad, a man on a mission, took a chance that we were home and drove over anyway. He knew we were going to Erin’s (he must of read my blog post from the day before) and wanted to give us a little cash to pass on to her for groceries or whatever. He also wanted the receipt for the new stationary bike we bought for Mike. He said they wanted to buy Mike a bike, but we beat them to the punch, so they insist on reimbursing us.
My mom and dad are missionaries. Whether they are off feeding orphans in Africa, helping out in churches in Rio De Janeiro, visiting the sick in Ridge Meadows Hospital or driving a recently widowed friend to Port Alberni, B.C., they are always on a Mission. My parents have their own charitable organization, called Amazon Evangelism. Project Wellness, a division of Amazon Evangelism focuses on caring for the needs of orphans in Africa – food, water, education, medicine etc. Recent articles in two local newspapers featured my dad and his latest trip to Malawi, Africa (my dad has done the last few trips solo). The Maple Ridge News, calling their article; Maple Ridge Charity Builds Better Life in Malawi, informed its readers that Project Wellness drilled its twentieth well in Malawi last month. Twenty wells provide 20,000 people with clean water, which changes those 20,000 lives forever. The article also mentioned the schools built and the land bought for farming. It also informed its readers that all monies raised go directly to the missionary work and the needs of others. There are no paid staff members. All workers involved are volunteers, including my mom and dad. The only payment my dad has received lately for his missionary work, came from a couple of extremely grateful Malawian women; two chickens and a bowl of rice flour.
When my dad returned home from his last trip a few weeks ago, he and my mom came out to the rink to watch Madison play hockey. Because I am the team's safety person, I am on the bench with the team during games, so in between periods during the ice clean, I went over to say hi and hear how his trip went…I wanted details. He said the trip went well and without much further ado, he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. I recognized right away that it was a page from the book he reads every day called My Daily Bread. He said he pulled out the page for me because he knew I'd appreciate it. I read it and he was right. When I got home, I put it between the pages of my own daily bread, My Upmost for His Highest. I've pulled it out a few times to read it's comforting words. The writer, David McCasland calls the piece, He Guards Me Well and includes a beautiful paraphrase of Psalm 23: "The Lord my Shepherd guards me well, and all my wants are fed: Amid green pastures made to lie, beside still waters led. My careworn soul grows strong and whole when God’s true path I tread. Though I should walk in darkest ways, through valleys like the grave, no evil shall I ever fear; your presence makes me brave. On my behalf Your rod and staff assure me You will save." McCasland goes on to say; "No matter what you're facing today, Jesus knows your name, He knows the danger, and He will not leave your side. You can say with confidence: The Lord my Shepherd guards me well."
At the rink that day, I wanted to hear about the newly drilled wells, the beautiful orphan children, the travel experiences, the adventure, the dangers etc. That would all come in time, but my dad, a man on a mission, wanted to quickly bring the focus back to the Shepherd and remind me that whatever our circumstances, He guards us well!