There is a book that was published several years ago by the famous Christian author Max Lucado called "Just Like Jesus". I never read the book in its entirety, but I gave it as a present to someone who I admire...someone who emulates Christ in all that he does. He is my father (my earthly father that is). For the record, I do know that I am extremely blessed to have him in my life. There are so many people out there who were not blessed with good Godly parents, or decent parents at all for that matter. I realize more than ever the profound effect that FATHERS have on their daughters and the role they play in their lives.This man loves Jesus and has studied God's word diligently throughout his entire life. He always strives to know Jesus more and be obedient. He will give any free moment he has to help others in need...whether it be with his time, or talents (he is a wonderful wood worker), and even financially. Although he is technically "retired", he is by no means sitting still. He is busier than ever before. He helps babysit Ella all the time...even when he is sick and not feeling up to it!
I mention him in this post because he will be traveling to Africa to do missions work in February. This will be his third trip there in the last two years. He goes with a couple other men, traveling from village to village in one of the poorest places in Africa called Mali. It is one of the poorest nations in the entire world. The majority of the population is Muslim. Most of them speak French, which my dad also speaks (not fluently, but enough to get by). The men on this mission trip sleep on concrete floors in the 100 degree heat. If you think you have ever been "roughing it" while camping outdoors, I'm sure it is was nothing in comparison to the conditions these men live in while they are there.
Don't get me wrong, they NEVER complain. They are so blessed and overwhelmed by how God is working in Mali through them. The people of Mali LOVE when they visit and are very excited to hear more about Jesus. I am asking that you lift up in prayer, not only my father and any other men on this trip, but also the people of Mali. Pray that God will open up their hearts to the truth of Jesus and his love. I feel so inspired by my father's continued obedience in allowing Christ to use him as a vehicle over there. Please pray for them!
Doesn't he look so handsome in this picture? He is not perfect, but he is always striving to live a more Godly life. This is apparent from the moment you meet him. He radiates love, kindness, and sincerity. He is quiet and soft spoken, but when he speaks, you listen. His faith is so simple...something I am envious of. He is not like me who is constantly questioning. He is my spiritual rock when I am feeling far away from God. The most beautiful thing about his Christian walk is that he never judges me when I am not acting very Christian like. He knows he married an imperfect person!!!!
Ella is so blessed to have these men in her life. I pray EVERY day that God is preparing a wonderful, Godly man for her to marry (that is, of course, if she chooses to marry).