Monday, March 23, 2009

Recent highlights

When it rains it pours! In the past week: Ezera broke three fingers, then Gift got a fever, then they both felt fine for a day or two, but the bad luck streak continued. Saturday night, Gift and I were playing catch outside. I threw the baseball, and he caught it with his eye rather than the glove. Ouch! An ice pack enabled him to have a quick recovery. The same day, it was Ezera's turn to join in the fun of having a fever. Not to mention, all three of us (Gift, Ezera, and I) have been coughing/congested for about two weeks.

All that aside, last week was an especially great week for many random reasons. I attribute it mainly to our streak of incredibly wonderful host families.

And the highlight of last week happened Wednesday evening after our concert. I fixed the boys a snack while they showered, and then we continued the bedtime routine. They had their hearts set on a Bible story, so I read "David and Goliath," stopping to explain key details so that they understood. After the story, we continued talking on their beds....somehow the topic of demons came up. I assured them that we have nothing to fear if Christ lives in our hearts, explaining that demons cringe at the sound of Jesus' name. Then I asked them, "Boys, is there a time when you have asked God to forgive you of the bad things you've done--and then asked Him into your heart?" Gift said, "Yes." Ezera's reply was, "I don't know..." as he started getting shy. I shared with him about the importance of following Jesus, and I told him it's a choice that I can't make for him. He decided he wanted to ask Jesus to be His savior that night; he refused to wait any longer. I truly doubt I will ever forget the priceless moments like that one! How encouraging to know that Ezera will be joining us in heaven one day. 

We spent several days in Little Rock, AR, and I was able to go by the capitol building and governor's mansion. Here are two photos. The view going across the bridge (entering the city) was beautiful at sunset! Too bad I had to take it through the car window.

Recently, I've really been missing social interaction with others my age. Host families usually consist of older couples with no children at home or families with kids (who of course are way younger.) I rarely come across individuals my own age, much less get to spend time with them. That's why last week I was surprised (but happy!) to have the chance to enjoy the company of several college students. Thursday evening, my host family's college-aged nephew came over for dinner. His friend came too, and the three of us hit it off. We covered a variety of topics from "The Invisible Children" to Africa to worship music to college life. The guys ended up staying late into the evening, and we had a blast playing basketball ("knockout") with the kids, and then just talking in the living room with Tracy and her husband (host fam). 

In addition, my weekend host family was a blast! Bruce was the pastor of the church, and his wife (Janet) had me laughing over her amusing stories.  Their son, Blake (14), was great with Gift and Ezera (of course they had a blast swimming!), and Grant's their college-aged son who was home on spring break; we had fun laughing over a previous American Idol episode! It might sound silly, but I think the Lord knew that hanging out with peers last week would refresh me. 

[Weekend host family! Janet and Bruce; Grant, Blake. Ezera and Gift modeling their new spring shirts!]


Janine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janine said...

Ash! That's so exciting to hear about Ezera!!!! I can't wait to hear more about it. Hope you're feeling better...Love you

Anonymous said...

Ashley, I can just picture the story time with the boys enjoying the action of David and Goliath. What a precious delight to be able to lead Ezera in the prayer of salvation! And to think he's the boy you sponsor -- what a privilege!
Love you, honey, and am praying for your visit with Grandma this weekend in NM.

Anonymous said...

That's a neat story. It's nice to see you using your caretaker skills to help these kids and then to pray with them has to be very special.

P.S. It has to show "anonymous" unless we sign up for an account.