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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Reception Number 2

When Evangel and Ryan announced their engagement, the first South African question tended to be, "Where's the wedding?"  It was in America, in Maine, because of all the family and friends there, but we definitely did not want to leave out family and friends here.  So yesterday was the big day.  We tried to share the best of the first wedding, though I did NOT want to just stick in the DVD of the wedding as I was thinking that might be rather dull. 

The plan we finally came up with was

--a nice processional with as much pomp as we could muster
--a blessing over the couple
--a word from Ryan (Actually, a lot of words.  He shared his testimony and their engagement story.)
--a picture collage  with a tear jerker song that Ivy Ford put together.  Sniff,  it was wonderful.
         It had pictures of Evangel and Ryan from babyhood to engagement. 
--a picture collage with wedding pictures that Evangel put together, with a song too
--several games that we could play in a church, sedate games (no Capture the Flag) but fun
         and, of course, food and fellowship.

                                             Looks like a real wedding! 
 We were so glad the Frew family came.  Berdine and Michelle are some of Evangel's best friends, but we're friends with the whole family.  They are praising the Lord for the recent completion of their 5th adoption when little Lilia became officially a Frew.  They are missionaries too, both in South Africa and other African countries.  The wind was a strong south-easter all day as you can see by some of the hair do's. 
Cousin picture.  We have a whole series of these, and in most of them, Jedidiah is staring longingly at the flowers, longing to bite them.  Tim, Nathanael, Josh, Daniel, Ryan are the big guys,
and Evangel and Connie are the ladies while Jedidiah's the beloved baby, 6 months old.
                                                             The beloved bride
                                               Rebecca Espin caught the bouquet. 
                                   A complete dozen friends with Evangel
Daniela Hammond took a bunch of these pictures.  We decorated with a lot of pictures of the wedding. 
Dion and Johanneke Johnson are some of our dearest friends.  Their daughter Megan came all the way to the US for the real wedding. 
                          Josh was another photographer, getting the drone's angle on things. 
Evangel's friend Becky just became a Mrs. in December.  She was  a big help with the flowers and the make up department. 
Ben and Marietjie McIntyre drove FAR to come to the reception. It was so nice of them, and so nice to see them again. 
This is a certified sweetie pie.  I certify him myself. 
                                                   Evangel and Connie
This was a big day for us as a family, but I think it was most important for Daniel and Connie.  "Excited" is kind of an understatement to describe them. 
Evangel has babysat sometimes for Holly and her sister Jessie, and they love baking together. 
Berdine, Feylin, Gabi, Megan
A quiet moment with Aunt Joy who helped out in photography, officially, and other stuff as needed. 
                                              They didn't want to be too serious. 
                                                    The bridal party
                                                  We had 6 repeats from the original wedding, and 6 new ones. 
                      Impressive young men Oliver, Josh and Tim, with Daniel's back. 

In bed this morning, Paul told me the words to the third verse of Sweet By and By

          To our bountiful Father above,
           We will offer our tribute of praise,
         For the glorious gift of His love,
           And the blessings that hallow our days.

Truly we are blessed!  God has called us and given us a good path to walk.  Days like this when we gather with so many beloved people and laugh and enjoy the good, I just realize afresh how good our lives are, and what He has given us. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

And it came to pass...out tracts

For the uninitiated, tracts are the good news of Jesus Christ on paper, usually illustrated to help them make the message more winsome to people.  Our favourite is This Was Your Life by Jack Chick.  which is comic book style.  We like comics so we assume other people do too.  If I pick up a tract that can't hold my attention, why would assume someone else would like it? 

Paul passes out tracts all over the world, wherever we are, and I just want to write some of the responses he has had recently, in the USA.

1. Thank you!  I'm a Christian.  (Walmart person)
2. God bless you!  (lady working in an RV store)
3. That's what we all ought to be doing. (mechanic)

We are still traveling in a motorhome, and I overheard one conversation through the bathroom vent, as I was getting ready for church, and Paul was pumping gas. 
He called over to the man at the next pump with a small car, "I'll pay for your gas if you'll pay for mine." 
(That makes people laugh, and shake their heads, though one guy topped him.  He said he'd pay for ours if we'd pay for his boat.  His boat holds 350 gallons of gas!  Whoa!)

They chatted and laughed as their gas flowed, and then Paul offered the man a tract. He thanked Paul, and told him how he tried to minister to people through music because they didn't want to hear preaching. 

It's scary sometimes to get the nerve up to give people the gospel.  It's encouraging to be reminded that a lot of people are pleased to get them.  The USA is not Africa, where people sometimes ask us for more tracts if we give them one, but neither is it dangerous.  No excuses really.

"And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word"  (Acts 4 29.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015



You are welcome here

       Be at peace

Get up when you're ready

        Go to bed when you please


You don't have to thank us

        Or laugh at our jokes

Sit deep and come often

        You're one of the folks



I found that poem on the front of a guest book in the drawer at Camp. Camp Belle is the lakeside summer cottage my great-grandfather built on Square Pond in Shapleigh, Maine.  The guest book listed guests from 1942-1983, usually in my grandmother's handwriting.  I can picture it.  She would enjoy her guests so much, she'd never think of the guest book until some time when there were no guests, and then she'd sit and list them.  Guests were her joy, and she really did live like the poem because I was one of her frequent guests.  And she listed me!  From the time I was a little squirt, all the way through 1983 when the book ended, and I was a about to enter my senior year of high school, I'm on the list.  She didn't just lump "grandchildren", it's like she savored the memory of having each of us. 


I'm feeling really challenged by this.  For me, one of the best parts of Evangel's wedding was the sleepover guests at that same Camp Belle.  We had up to 8 people staying over with four or five of us Youngs.  It was so cozy with the wood stove for heat, and the leaves turning colors all around us.  At times it was really cold out, and I was so thankful that wood stove did the job.  Paul was our fire starter and maintainer as long as he was there, and we varied between "warm enough" and "let's open the windows".  When he had to leave on the Sunday after the wedding, our fire faltered a bit. 


The four teens acted a lot like my cousins and I did when we were teens.  They played loads of board games, went for canoe rides, hikes and bike rides, and read books.   I loved watching them unknowingly re-living my teen years and awakening some sweet memories. 


But I did get stressed in all this.  Grammy never did, unless we did something wrong.  But for something to be wrong, we had to actually be mean or destructive.  She really did let us stay up as long as we wanted to, and sleep as late as we wanted.  (admittedly not healthy for everyday life, but wonderful for teens wanting a bit of freedom)  She wasn't picky about manners, and she definitely "sat deep".  So I was evaluating what the difference was between us.  I did anticipate our guests, and enjoy them very much, but I missed the "peace" part sometimes.  How did Grammy stay so peaceful when there were mobs of us around, with our friends too, and our pets?  For one thing, she didn't play "entertainment committee".  She just let us be.  I could have done more of that.  I was so scared they wouldn't see everything or do everything or would feel neglected.  When we moaned of boredom, Grammy would suggest a swim, or a walk or a book, but she didn't start planning trips to Boston to entertain or anything like that. 


I'm so thankful for my heritage, the good family I come from.  Grammy's been gone for 19 years now, but I tend to smile when I think of her. She's associated with lots of happy memories.  I'm hoping, praying, and planning to grow in my hostessing to be more at peace when we have our beloved visitors.  "A gracious woman retains honor."  That's my goal, to be gracious.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

Just Married!

The Church of the Wedding!

 The World's Best Maid of Honor, Evangel's cousin Ariel.
Ivy Ford, sister of groom, good friend of Evangel.

 Holly Ford, another sister, another good friend!
 Gabi Labuschagne a friend all the way from South Africa

 Megan Johnson, a friend all the way from Cape Town. 
 Naomi Shorette and Dakota Knight do the flower petals in a sweet way.

 Dad and Evangel walking the aisle
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Ford
 At the reception, Pastor and Mrs. Charles Storey.
 Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Ford, Ryan's parents. 
 Ryan's truck was properly labelled. 

Ryan, Josh looking good in his first suit, and Daniel, Ryan's brother. 
 My sister Wendy and Sandy Ford, enjoying their twin dresses! 

 Caught red handed! 
 Budding graffiti artist :- ) 
Ariel did a great job with a fun photo booth. 

Surrounding the wedding

 The brethren march through the Maine woods. 
 What a gorgeous time of year to get married!  A week or so before the wedding, we could see the trees turning colors.

I had wondered if we could use ferns in our decorating, but soon discovered a lot of them were not green anymore. 

The overnight guests stayed out at The Camp, which is generally only a summer home.  It has wood heat which was amazingly warm.  Paul was the fire man, keeping us nice and toasty.
Did I mention that it was cold?  It got down to 25 degrees F, which is way below 0 C. 
 The camp!

The RV where some people slept. 
 The bridesmaids manhandling the bride at a small shower for her. 

 Pippin wasn't exactly in the celebrating mood. 

The groom got the bride to the shower on time. 

 The dress cake at the big shower!  Not only beautiful but delicious--made by Sharon Rowles. 

This random picture of a stained glass window in the dressing room is just because it's pretty. 

 Other shower goodies all in pink and green! 
 There were lots of people there and lots of gifts.  They are blessed. 
 The sister of the future mother in law of the bride and the future mother in law of the groom with Claire in the background
Evangel and Aquilla having a chat.  The three South Africans, Aquilla & Gabi & Megan had only arrived that morning.  They were not acting jet laggy at all!