Saturday, September 22, 2012


Jeff began to feel badly Wednesday night. We had worked through an emotionally exhausting day of counseling with those we love here. We wondered if his weariness was tied to the day’s events. But in the early dark, his discomfort turned an ugly corner and became severe. We both suspected malaria. (Jeff has had malaria seven times; I have had it four.)

After a sleepless night for both of us, we decided to use a malaria self test but the results were inconclusive. We tried a second test with much prayer that God would give us a clear answer. He did. The test was definitively positive. We began treatment immediately.

We are so thankful for the convenience of the malaria self tests. We were able to diagnose and treat from the comfort of our own bedroom, instead of facing a difficult clinic experience in town.

For those who are interested in specifics, malaria is spread through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. Mosquitoes bite an infected person then transfer the illness when they bite the next person. Malaria manifests in a cyclical fever. Your fever raises, then drops (producing chills), then levels before raising again. Through each cycle one maintains a very unique brand of headache and joint and body aches. Malaria is mean and it hurts in a very distinct way.

Malaria is common in this land. Many people suffer with it every day.

Malaria can be deadly if not treated. You don’t ever want to wait malaria out. When you know you have it, treatment should begin immediately.

We are blessed to have access to education, information and medicines to help our bodies fight this sickness. We are overwhelmingly grateful for our Lord, the Healer, who is at work on our behalf even before we know the disease is coursing in our blood.

Please pray for: 
*the meds to remove the parasites from Jeff’s body
*Jeff’s energy and strength to renew miraculously and quickly; malaria leaves a body anemic and weak
*wisdom as we prepare for furlough departure—so much to be done but with one player out we need clarity to choose where to put our limited energy
*Cheryl’s health to remain strong
 *the Cashlings to be well

We are so very thankful for: 
*the ability to buy medication
*medical professionals who research and study sicknesses like malaria so that the disease can be treated
*our home to convalesce in
 *every single prayer and pray-er who labors on behalf of our family 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Communing in the sacred space of grief is tender and soul affecting.
This poem by Shawn Brown speaks artistically poignant to the experience of grief. I am thankful for Shawn's heart and his willingness for me to share his writing here. 
Be blessed-

at a deep silent lake of grief

3 adult children sit on a low dock

dangling their feet in the water

it is dark and the dark is cold and clear

though a grey mist is forming

a fog that becomes more dense with distance

no way to make sense of the vague shapelessness there

a man stands waist deep in the utterly still water

hands at his sides

shoulders drooping

also seeking somewhere to focus his eyes

the stars have been coming out

one by one and in groups

to shine their light on the people

so many that it is remarkable

reflecting off the smooth lake

steady through the ripples

everyone is grateful for their light

and there are others at the shore

on the dock

toes in the water

arms open

children splashing lightly

playing around their legs

feeling the weight of the water

quietly understanding what their age allows

someone skips a stone

and all wonder when it will stop skipping

slide into the silent water and fall to the bottom

all the while the ripples spread, more stars come out, the stillness grows

no one tries to deny that soon they will be completely submerged

and that when they emerge

the water of that lake will never completely dry from their skin

and that they will return to the lake

often at first and always for the rest of their lives

and though grief is lonely

they will never be alone in their remembering

the ripples of this life will never stop spreading

(Shawn’s mother-in-law, Laura Reppart, is currently undergoing radiation treatments for a brain tumor. For prayer news and updates on the Reppart family you can go here. To see more of Shawn’s writings please visit his blog Circumstantially Wonderful .)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”

Psalm 33: 8-11 & 13-22

These last weeks have been full of remembering.

Childhood memories with life long friends.  Delightful reunions over burgers in Kampala. International, world changing events.  Rebecca. Airplane ferry flights. Friends who have relocated.

Some seasons are just like this, aren’t they? Heavy with memory. Deep with meaning.

Psalm 33 and 34 have poured into these deep recollections in my heart. And actively breathed life, repeatedly.

Today, with world news swirling and dear friends grieving and travel logistics pressing I read David’s words, out loud.

And it helps me to remember.













He is.

We wait in hope. 

We rejoice and trust.

And His unfailing love settles all over us.