Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Show and Tell

Long before Kevin went to Mozambique, Africa for two back-to-back mission trips, long before he went to Nairobi, Kenya for school, Africa was a part of my life. I had two uncles, two aunts, and four cousins who were missionaries in various parts of Africa. One of my uncles was a pilot, and was privileged to fly the Billy Graham team when they were in Africa for a crusade back in the 1950s. That family buried a daughter in Africa at the age of 6. I was 5, and will never forget that phone call telling us that my cousin nearest to my age had gone home to Jesus - in fact, she was singing "We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer," as her Daddy flew her home from boarding school, never to return.

The magazine "Christianity Today" did an article a few years ago about the cemetery where many missionary kids are buried (including my cousin, Barbie). The article was about the huge sacrifices missionaries have made, especially back in earlier days, and how the children are a part of the sacrifice, due to the calling of their parents. It was a heart-rending article. Most MK's I know are totally willing to be a part of their parents' call. My aunt and uncle came back to the US a few years later, because my aunt had repeated bouts with malaria that were destroying her health.

The other family stayed in Africa for 45 years. My cousin, Ann, married another MK and has been in the desert of Mali for 20 years. In that time, they have seen about 50 converts - talk about dedication to a difficult call! I did a post on Ann and tried to find it to link, but I couldn't locate it.

Ann's mom, my Aunt Gen, was an amazing woman. She was in her 60s when she taught herself to use a computer - she and Uncle Al spent the years of their retirement translating scripture into the language of the people they worked with for so many years. They made many trips back to the field after retirement, taking the Word in their people's language. Gen taught herself to process the translation work on the computer - I was in awe, because I hadn't even learned anything about a computer the last time we visited.

It was at that visit that she promised to make me one of her beautiful necklaces. She and Ann spent a lot of time at markets, buying beautiful stones. She made this amethyst one for me, as well as earrings. I must have given the earrings away. I wish the deep purple showed better in the picture.

Aunt Gen has gone to be with the Lord as well, and I am so happy to have this memory of her.

In my last post (#300), I offered a pair of carved wooden elephant earrings, brought to me from Kenya by Kevin. I promised to show you the necklace he picked out at the same time. I was so proud of the gift he chose for me - this incredibly artistic, carved wooden set of giraffes. Don't ask me how anyone can do such precise work - and how did they get the spots on them? If anybody knows, let me know!
If you haven't signed up for the drawing, go here and let me know you want to be in the running!

Sorry - no Twin Update this week! The last pictures I took were here and here.
For more Friday Show and Tell stories, stop by Kelli's blog, There Is No Place Like Home.


Jewelgirl said...

300 Posts! Congratulations on your
bloggie milestone!!! Hug to the

Jennie said...

What beautiful necklaces, and those tiny giraffes are SO sweet. I really enjoyed reading about your family working as Missionaries in Africa too. Thanks for sharing that.

Hootin' Anni said...

These are very nice indeed!!! I have a pair of 'dangling' earrings that are ivory this would go really great with your necklaces!!! Wanna send 'em my way? [just kidding]

My Show N Tell is Gone with the Wind this week!!! Hope you can stop by for a visit.

Penless Thoughts said...

I loved this post, Dawn!!! What a wonderful heritage you have. You are indeed blessed. Both necklesses are beautiful and you know I'm already in on your drawing!!

Diane said...


What a wonderful heritage you have and seriously--what a wonderful God we serve. How he takes our lives and entwines them stuns me everytime I read of His handiwork! Praise God!

It's amazing.

It's God!

Beautiful, beautiful necklaces....and you are so right...what precise artistry.

Great show n tell my friend. I was spurred by your post yesterday to return once again to Friday Show N Tell.....mine's up.

Have a great day.


Kindra said...

Congrats on your 300th post! I just posted yesterday how blogging has so important to me too! I can't believe how many wonderful people are out there that care so much!

I love your necklaces! What great momentos! My MIL took a trip to Africa a few years ago and she had wonderful stories to tell with pictures! And some wonderful momentos to share with us!

Constance said...

Doesn't it blow your mind to think of some of the sacrifices people are willing to make for our dear Savior? It is definitely a calling! \

One of my favorite "stories" is of Jim & Elizabeth Elliott and the other 4 Missionary families in the 1950's. To think that one of the men who killed Nate Saint is highly esteemed by his people as a leader and pillar of their Christian faith as well as being "grandfather" to Steve Saint's children testifies of the love and transformation that Christ can work within us!

I love the giraffes on the necklace!

Needled Mom said...

The sacrifices that people make in His name are a true testament to their faith. I so enjoyed this post.

The necklaces are both beautiful works of art.

Lisa said...

this is nice...the giraffes are my favs...
God is good always!

Barbara H. said...

They're both lovely, but I really like the amethyst one. So pretty! What a lovely remembrance of your aunt.

Robin said...

I for one, have always been impressed with the devotion of missionaries. And I have always been so glad God called me to be a pastor's wife and not a missionary. Although, there are some churches that may be worse than a mission field LOL!
Those were great stories Dawn - thanks for sharing them!

Maine Mom said...

Beautiful necklaces! Thanks for sharing more about your family.

Diane J. said...

I used to think I wanted to be a missionary, but as an adult I realize that many times the sacrifices weigh heavy on our missionaries. So far He hasn't called me to foreign missions but I'm grateful for those who do serve.

I love amethyst! That necklace is beautiful, and the natural shades of purple will go with most anything.

Your giraffes are pretty too.

Have a great weekend, Dawn. ;o)

Love and hugs,


Tammy said...

What a sad, sweet story of your cousin, Dawn!

The necklaces are so beautiful!

I'm still here...but leave first thing in the morning! :)

Mimi said...

what a fascinating story of your Aunt and Uncle... you have a very devoted family...
It has to be very difficult to be a missionary...because the entire family is effected for their entire life...
I love the neckless's such artistic work...

truth said...

What a beautiful post. I love hearing about passion the Lord puts in the hearts of people and the love for others.

Midlife Mom said...

I lived with a lot of MK's when I went to boarding school. It was so hard for them to be so far away from their parents who were on the field. They didn't get to go home for holidays so would go home with staff at school or one of the students. It is quite the sacrifice that they make too but I never heard even one of them complain. Great post!

Nadine said...

What an amazing story and rich heritage you come from Dawn.

The necklace is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Jungle Mom said...

This post and the mention of MK's brought tears to my eyes. Partly because of the fact that since we, the missionaries, were expelled from the jungles of Venezuela, we have had to leave behind a small cemetery of those who died there as well. With no one to care for the graves. I know they are in heaven but hate that their graves are not cared for.

Sharon Lynne said...

What a legacy you have!

I don't know if missionaries stay that long anymore.

One of my best friends grew up in Japan, as her parents were missionaries there for many, many years.

The dedication of that generation, is amazing.

I loved seeing the beautiful jewelry!

Kindra said...

Small world! Firth is 20 minutes south of Lincoln, NE. I'm originally from Deshler, NE which is close to the Kansas/Nebraska border. Thanks for visiting my blog! It is so nice to "meet" you!

groovyoldlady said...

I have several missionary friends in Africa. One is a young woman who is a "covert" missionary to Muslims. One is retired schoolteacher who went to develop a primer and teach reading to the Fulani people in C.A.R. and then in Camaroon. We also have friends in Kenya rasing their 3 children and teaching at a Bible college.

They are, indeed, VERY special folk.

Lala's world said...

what a great post... having lived in Kenya myself as a missionary I can imagine the sacrifice it takes...loosing a child anywhere would be devastating..and on the field even more so! what a calling!
love the jewelry.. I bought myself a gold necklace in Kenya of the continent of Africa... that country is still so close to my day I will go back!

Kelli said...

What wonderful treasures, Dawn! I've always loved giraffes!