Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Mary Kay writes:
Charlie and I are so blessed to have wonderful friends all over the world. I say this with a spirit of awe, as I normally take it for granted. It is just not something we think about so much.
But in the last month, our reliance on our friends has really been brought home to both of us. Charlie and I spent an entire month on different continents – he in the US getting Chip settled in school and speaking in churches, while I was here in Ghana with Ken for the start of his school year. This may not seem like much to some of our friends who travel a lot for long periods of time, but this is the longest we have been apart in 23 years of marriage! The previous “record” was 3 weeks, when Charlie returned to the US for medical tests in late 2007.
It is hard to be separated from your best friend and life companion for that length of time. There are so many things – both important and insignificant – that don’t get said, little stories that don’t get shared. But God has given us so many blessings in this time as well - particularly our friends.
As Charlie has traveled around the US, he has relied on friends, both old and new, to provide a meal, a place for him to stay, a car to drive, a pulpit to preach from. You have all been SO generous in this provision. He owes a debt of gratitude to so many! We are especially thankful for the Rakes and the Hughes, who took him in in Virginia without ever having met him, and Walter let him preach on Sunday, too! The Mathis family in Atlanta gave him a home for two weeks, while the Greers were again generous with the use of a car. And the list of people who fed him would stretch for pages!
Meanwhile, Ken and I were here in Ghana, starting a new school year. It is hard to be the ones at home, as nothing seems to happen. It is so quiet in our house right now, with both Charlie and Chip gone. But we too have had friends step in to help out, feed us and provide companionship. The Mozleys and Gongwers were a real blessing, keeping Ken one weekend while I had to travel and feeding us on several occasions. God has even brought new friends our way during this time, knowing the void we needed to fill.
Charlie will be back home tonight, for which I am so thankful. But I am also freshly thankful for all our friends!
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7, NIV)