Friday, April 14, 2017


As our departure draws near, we have reached our last birthday celebration in the States.  
We celebrated Shiloh's 15th birthday in Kansas.

What fun to be able to include my nephew in our celebration as we went out to eat at Zaxby's (love their chicken wings), went bowling, and then stopped for ice cream at Dairy Queen.  

We are very blessed to have Shiloh as a part of our family, and we are grateful that God has granted us wisdom in taking care of his diabetes.  When he was diagnosed in Uganda, the doctor looked us in the eye and said, "People who get diabetes in Uganda die."

We love you, Shiloh, and pray that you will always seek the Lord's direction for your life.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


What brings March Gladness?  Each month brings us closer to our departure when we get to go home.  At the writing of this...16 more meetings and just 85 more days.

We all agree . . . Keith is the best preacher!
We are privileged to spend time with other special missionaries.
Keith and I were interviewed on a Christian radio station.
We have been in several mission conferences this month which are opportunities to spend more time with the church members enjoying fun activities with them.

Our children hiked to the highest point in Alabama.
The boys went fishing, and Shiloh caught an eel!
They did catch some fish, too.
Each furlough someone invites the kids to ride horses, which they love.
We enjoyed eating some Louisianna crawfish.
The boys had opportunity to get some gun practice in.
We have made some family stops, too.  It has taken a while, but we have finally made our rounds in getting all of my family visited.  They are really spread out!

Our children with their Grandpa Ward.
Keith and I with my dad.
This is a mixture of cousins, spouses, and second cousins.
We were able to visit Keith's grandmother, too.
As always, we make time for educational field trips with the kids.  While they might not fully appreciate the value of seeing history up close, one day they will be able to look back and say, "I was there."

History field trip to Ft. Smith.
One of the difficult aspects of the ministry is when we see people saved, attend our Bible college, and then move away.  A part of our hearts goes with them.  However, sometimes God decides it is time for them to move on up to heaven.  Many, many years ago, Keith led John Jones Kalanzi to the Lord and later wed him and his wife.  J. J. (as we all called him) attended our Bible college and assisted another missionary in starting an orphanage and school at our church.  When the orphanage was moved to the village, Brother J. J. went with it and became pastor of the church that was started there.

Leighton, J. J. and Harriet in 2007
Last week while driving home at night, Pastor J. J. died in an auto accident.  Not only does he leave behind his wife Harriet and their five children, but also 80 orphans and 100 street children who looked up to him as father.  Please pray for his family and the ministry in Mbira as they face difficult days ahead.

Thank you for praying for us, the furlough trail, and for the many people whose lives God has enabled us to touch.