Google+ Followers

Monday, September 14, 2015

The House of Mourning

Yesterday was my Dad's funeral.  I wish everyone could have known him. Those who did know him sure showed up in force to honor his memory yesterday!  My niece Ariel gave thanks for a godly heritage and I second that!  I'm thankful my kids all got to know their grampa and be under his influence as much as they did.  I love it when his wit comes through in my kids, though I guess I don't know where Clough wit and Young wit begin and end.

I plan to honor him in memories for the rest of my life, but right here I want a little record of his 90 years. 

Wendell John Clough was born August 25, 1925, with his twin brother Warren.  I remember my grandmother telling me that over 100 people came to see the little guys when they were born.

The Great Depression came along a few years later, and it sounds like the Clough family participated to the full.  When things were improving for some in the country, they had a house on Deering Ridge Road in Waterboro (then Waterborough) Maine burn to the ground.  The twins were eight, and their brother Robert 10 when lightning struck.  My Dad gathered his little treasures and dropped them out the window of the house before he got out, but the fire licked up little toys in the grass along with the house.  They had to live with their grandparents after that, and times were tough.

The saddest part of his whole life happened three days before he turned 18.  Warren, his twin, was hit by a car and killed.  It was tragic and my Dad talked sadly about that, with no comfort of knowing Warren was in Heaven as their family knew so little of God at the time.

His other brother also died young.  Robert was a photographer, and he stood up to take a picture of Richard Nixon (quite a while before he was President, maybe a senator?) who was touring Maine.  His heart gave out then and he died right there.

Dad fought "The Fire of '47" in Maine while he was a student in Boston.  He raced home to help save the farm, and his home was spared.

At the age of 25, while still living in Boston...well, let my just quote him on this.

"In December, 1950, Billy Graham came to Boston, Mass. for a crusade.  Some church friends invited me to go to hear him.  On the final night (December 30, 1950) I felt convicted to go forward.

"But I still faced the problem of believing the Bible.  Was it true that there was an Adam and Eve?  Was there really a worldwide flood with Noah's Ark?  Was Jonah swallowed by a whale?

"I thought I must spend the rest of my life trying to find answers to my questions and thoughts, or I could step out in faith and believe.  After much soul-searching and conviction, I went forward and made my decision, not just to receive Jesus as my Savior, but to receive the Bible as a book to be believed." 

My Dad had no regrets.  He launched into the Christian faith gung-ho.  He tested and tried the Lord's promises, and he shared his faith with the people around him.  He worked at General Electric for the obligatory hours each day, and helped in the church the rest of the time.  He was a deacon, a teacher, a youth leader, and the man who ran the bulletins off on the mimeograph machine. 

He met my Mom in the Youth Group.  He was the leader, and she was a helper.  They have a sweet story of one night when he took the group to his house on a cold winter evening.  She went to make hot chocolate for the gang, and somehow, the sight of her stirring that hot chocolate must have stirred him up too, because they had their first kiss right then and there. 

They were married six months later, and the story is immortalized forever in Josh's Lego video.

Wendy came along about ten months later, in 1964, named after him, and I was hot on her heels in 1966.  We had a great Dad, who played horsie with us, sat us down to watch the moon landing when we were 3 and 5 and (we still remember it!), bought and trained a dog for us, worked for us, cared for us, sent us to Christian schools, took us camping, taught us to swim, did Disney with us a few times, and taught us that God is our Heavenly Father, and we'd better obey him and follow Him.

I don't know if I'd ever have gone on my first missions trip when I was 16 without Dad.  Mom was scared for me to go off to Mexico, Dad was thrilled. I'm glad I went; it was life-changing for me. 

Daddy came to visit me in Peru when I was a missionary there.  That was probably the longest "just Dad and me" time.  He left his mark on Peru with his friendly, outgoing ways, and his hilarious answer to the "mi casa es su casa".  He asked if he had to help with the taxes. 

Daddy's sense of humor is legendary.  One of my new favorite examples is from just a few months ago.  He got pneumonia and was in the hospital, doing very poorly.  Mom and Wendy were in the hospital with him, in tears, thinking he was dying.  Mom bent over him in the bed, saying, "Oh no, look how grey he is."

Dad's eyes opened just a slit, enough to see her bending over him, and even in that condition, he couldn't resist.  "BOO!"
Mom jumped a mile!  Wendy's tears to laughter as she jumped too, and Daddy immediately was a little better, pleased with himself for another successful joke on his longsuffering wife. 

We're missing him, the Dad we knew, but we don't sorrow like those with no hope.  We know he's with God, in Heaven because God has promised it.  Our pastor, Pastor Storey told how my Dad witnessed to his two nurses that last day in the hospital.  That was normal for him. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bring on Botswana

Josh posing next to an impressive looking ant hill.  Josh, 14, is 6'2" so that ant hill has to be about 12 feet tall!  It's not out in the wild somewhere, it's right on the path we took in Gabarone, the capital, to get to the Main Mall.  

 We were a 10 minute walk from the Main Mall, a pedestrian street with delicious smells from cooking food, all day long.  CD salesmen broadcast samples of their music to entice you to buy (or run!)
 I walked to the Main Mall nearly every day we were here. 

 These artistic baskets are displayed in the National Museum, but they are also for sale.

  The main reason to be in Botswana was to draw others to Christ.  Paul spoke to thousands, but I only got one picture of a little group on Sunday. 
  The Orange company sells airtime, phones, and techy things like that.  I like their headquarters with greetings in many languages on it.  

Today I Googled Gabarone, Botswana, to see what I could learn about the place where we currently are. I'm a little late.  Seems like one should Google before one arrives at the place being Googled, but I might have ruined the element of surprise. But I have read  most of The Number One Ladies/ Detective Agency series, so I knew what to expect, or at least knew what I imagined.
Paul is always unique, standing out in any crowd with his height of 6 feet 10 inches/2.08 metres, but here he's making quite a splash.  They just didn't see him coming, and it's a shocker to run into someone that big, that White, and HERE!  He's going to give people whiplash as they have to wheel around to get a good gander at him.  Today he ran into (almost literally) four teenage girls who were a bit awestruck to meet him as they rounded a corner in a building.  One of them just had to tell him the news, "You're tall!"  He smiled down at them and told them, "Really?  You're the first person to ever notice."  They giggled and were ready to be witnessed to. 

He was telling me, a little awed himself, how just introducing himself as Small Paul has been such a big help.  He always does introduce himself that way, but we rarely acknowledge the help it is.  Imagine you're a country principal in Botswana.  You rarely meet people from other countries, and suddenly the biggest man you've ever seen pops up on your doorstep, wanting to talk and draw for your students!  It's a bit startling.  And then he introduces himself as Small Paul, and there's no help for it, you have to laugh, and the ice is broken.   They have been very pleased for him to come speak to their students. Paul is making a list of people who use their uniqueness, even problems, to their advantage, to tell people about the Lord.  He is so impressed with them. 
Nick Vujicic
Joni Eareckson Tada
David Ring
Some people would consider Paul's door-top-whacking height to be a disadvantage.  It's not!  It's been such a blessing to win attention easily, and he doesn't have to use a little box to stand on like Ray Comfort, he's already up there!  

A thought provoking picture from the museum.  Josh likes how Madagascar is put on there like a tree.  

Back to the pictures of the Main Mall.  I think it has become a wonderful family memory for us.  Our son Timothy decided to go out there, alone,"fishing."  Witnessing with the view of bringing people to repentance and faith.  He's been taking a course in evangelism, and Saturday it all came to a head.

Tim wrote, "I soon felt that I must go out that very afternoon and seek someone to share with, or else some calamity would befall me.  I ... retired to the quietest place in the house, and on my knees, confessed what sins I could think of, prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the power I needed, that the devils would be bound, and that I would run across people eager to hear me (not exact quote.)   I cried, under the stress of the thought that I had not yet, even after all I had learned, not shared the Way with anyone.  I then told my Dad that I must go alone and do this.  He prayed for me, after I had confessed all sins I had committed against him.  I cried then too.  (Fun huh?)"
Off he went, and the adventures he had!  He said he felt like a different person afterward. He was very thrilled with results, as the second person prayed with him!  He got into 19 conversations that "counted".  He wasn't counting people he just gave tracts to.  
We are so, so thankful.  Tim's obedient, and has always been a beloved son, but this is a day we had dreamed of seeing, him walking in his own relationship with the Lord, speaking boldly, of his own initiative.   

That was Saturday.  On Sunday Evangel wanted to get in on the action, and she went with him.  Monday he was out again at the Main Mall, and on Tuesday.  On Wednesday and Thursday he helped his dad in the schools.  As his mother, I'm wondering where my hermit went?  

Tim's upgraded his prayer, asking now that he'd find people who speak English. We have tracts in Afrikaans and French with us, but nothing in Tswana which would be more helpful right now, though most know English.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Khumbula-Remember to see this!

Last Friday, Evangel, Josh and I headed off in our Jeep for a high adventure!  We got invited to a premiere of a new Christian movie  Khumbula:  I Will Remember  that was being shown especially for pastors and Christian workers.

It was wonderful!  It's nice to have a movie we can wholeheartedly endorse.  Our family is conscious  of modesty in movies, and we just chuck 'em right in the trash can if they're potential lust producers, so I was nervous when we somehow landed front and center at the movie theater, knowing we'd have to walk out if things got "skinny".  They didn't; we didn't!

This one had a riveting story, tense enough that I could feel it in my stomach, and had a parable quality that made you think on two levels, if you're a person who thinks like that.  Evangel was busy taking notes on anything that might help her in future movie endeavours, but she got so involved in watching, she quit scribbling in the darkened theater. 

Our family favourite character was "Mr. Williams" who was the comic relief.  He was needed!  If they'd had all the tense parts without him, I'd probably have exploded, though the tension was rewarded with a good happy ending.

Same week, we were invited to another movie, earlier on.  It is called That Sugar Film and is a documentary on the dangers of too much sugar.  It was very well done as far as special effects, story line, and all the mechanics.   When I hear documentary I tend think "We're just going to have to endure this to learn something."  There was no factor of wading through boring stuff in this one!  The Australian film maker had my interest up right from the get-go.  However, even though it really inspired me to eat way less sugar, I'm not recommending it without cautions.  1) Modesty was not practiced--he was in his undies, a lot.  And there was a bikini scene we should have walked out on, but it was over before I could find my purse.  You get the idea.  2) He and his girlfriend were living together (adultery) and 3) Evolution was assumed as truth.    We did walk out when girls started appearing (special effects) in drinks and on toast and other things at the end.  The popcorn was good, and some in our group had the audacity, or irony, to eat sugary treats while watching this. :-)

Khumbulu was Ephesians 6:1-3 pictured.  Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise:  that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meet Jedidiah Jack Young

 "Lo, children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward." 
We are rewarded again!  Jedidiah Jack Young was born the 10th of July, about 8:30 AM to James and Gloria Young, and also to us (in a sense) the pleased aunt and uncle! 

 Just six days before, James and Gloria's church threw a shower for the Gloria, stating the obvious. 

Gloria did a great job on this home delivery, laboring off and on all night alone, before telling James around 4 AM that she thought the big day was here!  They called us around 5:00 and we rushed over (5 houses down the street)  in great excitement.
 The other kids were whisked away at the crucial moment, to our house, but in the evening, they came to meet their new baby brother or cousin.  Josh thought he was pretty small.
 Evangel helped Nathanael get in on the joy of it. 
 Here is the first picture of the fearsome foursome together.  Not the greatest photography, but they are a bunch of movers and shakers!  A high action group, for sure, and we are just happy to have one that's not totally blurry. 

Midwife Marian was a great help and source of confidence in the home birth. 

Pirate Nathanael might be glad not to be the youngest anymore.  Maybe people will take him
more seriously.  :-) 
 Eyes open!  A rare treat in these early days. 
 Connie's loving her new baby brother...
 and they share a happy moment. 
 Daniel's feeling the seriousness of being big brother to THREE siblings now.  It's a weighty responsibility, Matey. 

A blessed woman!   
Nathanael thinks this is the end of the matter.  And a very happy ending it is. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Day with Mark Twain

For many years, the big brown sign on I-84 has been calling me to stop in Hartford, Connecticut, to see the home of "Mark Twain" the author of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and many other books and short stories.  It finally happened! 

His house and the museum nearby were impressive! 

 Visitors are not allowed to go through unattended, you have to pay big bucks for the tour.  It took about an hour and was very educational, though left we with lots more questions.  We learned Samuel Clemens was married, and had four children.  He lost all but one of his children before he died.  I listened intently and read his quotes looking for hope that he was a believer in Jesus.  I felt for him in his losses and love his humor and want to meet him in Heaven.  I found no evidence for his salvation, but I hope his misery was helpful in drawing him to the Creator.  

No pictures were allowed inside, but I still got a picture of my favorite room from the outside.  The house tended to be dark inside, and I wondered if that was the museum people's idea or if the Clemens family actually lived with every shade halfway down all the time.  I think it's the museum people.  Samuel Clemens was a thinker, and would have put the shades wherever he wanted.  I liked that he slept "backward" in bed, feet toward the headboard of bed, head toward the foot of the bed.  The top was beautifully carved and he said if he had paid so much for a beautiful headboard, he was going to lie where he could see it.  He could think outside the box for sure!

Harriet Beecher Stowe and her family had a house right next door.  I wonder if they were friends.  We could have toured her house too, but we didn't have enough time.
We didn't get to see the whole museum either, but we saw enough, and got photos of some of Mark Twain's sayings.  We got enough of a taste of his book Innocents Abroad that both Timothy and I want to read it.

The chosen quotes were a  little too "PC" for me, but I like positive thoughts on travel so have included them for that reason.
Timothy was reading studying about Mark Twain while we were in Indiana, and I remembered we were passing his house, and we had rare spare time when I could bring the kids without interrupting Paul's schedule.  Tim distinguished himself while there too.  A lady fell down on the steps and hurt her ankle.  Tim helped her get down the rest of the LONG flight of stairs and get to the first aid people at the front desk.  The lady was so impressed with how helpful he was "and such a gentleman! He even called me ma'am."   :-)  It does a mother's heart good to have people recognize good things in our children.

"Be not wise in your own conceits, fear the Lord and depart from evil."  Proverbs 3:7

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fishing for...

 Pastor Steve Hicks took Josh fishing and taught him a lot.  He pulled in 20 fish! 
 Evangel was looping around the pond on a 4 wheeler enjoying the delights of life. 
 I was fishing for good photos and caught this Bambi moment.  I think he was a newborn.  It was so precious to see him wobbling along in some of his first steps.
 Fishing for men is what Jesus called it, and Pastor Hick's church has a suit case full of tracts to reach out to those who may not have heard the GOOD NEWS!
 The morning after the fishing trip, Pastor Steve Hicks and his wife fried up those delicious fish, and served us like royalty.  What a treat!  What a foretaste of rewards in Heaven

I don't know the details of heavenly rewards, but if God's created earth has spots this peaceful, alluring, and beautiful, then God's Heaven has got to be better then we can imagine!