Yesterday morning I received an email from our son Johnny. As usual, it was brief and to the point: “You sure you guys should be going to Pakistan with all the violence going on?” It was a very good question and as I had not heard anything from our friends in Pakistan I was not sure how to answer it.
I sent an email out to friends asking them to pray for us and also made contact with our friends in Pakistan and asked them for more local news of the lie of the land.
We had some lovely emails back from friends filled with love, prayers and support and an encouraging message back from our friends in Pakistan. Why are we going to Pakistan? From Paris via Chiang Mai to Pakistan? It is not even in the same direction – we are definitely backtracking. It is not exactly a country where the backpackers and intrepid mountain goat climbers visit. Is it? I have to confess, I have always wanted to visit Pakistan. Don’t ask me why.
We are going to help local church leaders develop a marriage enrichment program. We will be based in two cities and spend two weeks there. Simply getting a visa was an adventure!
This morning Keith happened to be up to Psalm 23 in his bible reading. His translation reads ” The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” He shared in the car driving to the airport, how he had found this quite challenging.
We had passed through immigration and were sitting eating apples at the gate. I reached for my glasses so I could read Psalm 23 for myself but couldn’t find them anywhere. In my mind I was saying “I can’t go to Pakistan with no glasses, I won’t be able to read anything. I am definitely lacking my glasses.”
I said to Keith, I don’t even have Melinda’s phone number. He drew out his wallet and produced a tiny slip of paper I had discarded earlier in the week, with her number on it. I had a plastic bag filled with Thai coins that had been filling Keith’s pockets all week and there behind me was a public phone – that took coins!
Melinda had reached home and found my glasses – they had fallen out of the car. As they only live ten minutes drive away, she said “I’m coming”. Immigration spoke English and allowed me to leave without my passport and wait outside for her. She got every green light and arrived in amazingly good time. She greeted me with a smile and said “you just wanted to see me again”.
She then said that perhaps God was showing me in a very real way that He would be with me every step of the way over these next two weeks – He had provided everything I needed to get these glasses back. Such a little example, but oh so very powerful for me.
However, we do have other concerns that make our hearts heavy.
Keith’s father is having major back surgery this Tuesday and Keith’s Mum needs full time care – and we will be in Pakistan. This is when you are thankful that Keith is one of six children – there are others around to help carry the load. But we still feel a little powerless to help. But we can pray for them and us. And you, dear friend, can pray for us. In fact that is the best support – if you read my blog, we covet your prayers for us and our friends over these coming weeks. Thank you.