Saturday, March 31, 2012


Our second son, Franklin, tends to surprise us with his tender heart.  Of all the boys, he's the one who loves the outdoors.  Fishing and baseball are his LOVE language!  He's the drummer in the band with hands that can beat out the fastest rhythms.  In school, he applies himself to do well but if a "shortcut" presents itself then Franklin will jump on it.  In groups, Franklin tends to make friends very quickly making others feel welcome.  He's competitive to the core, so if you want a true challenge then Franklin's your guy.  He loves to cook as well.  He's created some of the most unusual combinations in the kitchen and, surprisingly, they all taste great.   

However, with all these amazing qualities, there are more.  Recently, I've taken notice.  Without Reid here, I've depended more on the boys, and certain things about each of them has caused me to be thank God again for each of our sons.  This post is about Franklin, however, so I'll continue on about him.

 His tender heart has blessed me.  Little love notes in his handwriting are a sweet surprise!  The day before Reid left for Ghana, Franklin left these two notes taped to our mirror.

 After reading his notes, I walked out to the table where his schoolwork was out.  His sketchbook was open to this page revealing his most recent undertaking...a tiger.
 I picked up his sketchbook amazed at his giftedness on paper.  His imagination can conjure up dragons allowing Franklin to immortalize them with his pencil.  I'm in awe that our 13 year old can do this!  

As I saw this drawing, I looked across the table and out the window.  Franklin had drawn the beauty of the landscape in front of him.  Incredibly realistic!  The Lord has given him incredible artistic ability to steward.  

 After thumbing through many more drawings, I noticed a book to my the left.  It was an open journal with Franklin's handwriting.  Franklin's Bible conspicuously edged the book.  Looking down, I realized Franklin had been hand copying scripture...the book of Philippians.  He'd written Ephesians recently on a retreat, but Philippians, he began on his own.  
 Our prayer for our boys has been that they would be "as strong plants in their youth."  To see Franklin pursuing God on his own is a gift to my heart.  I pray he will be a man who reflects the strength and compassion of our Lord.  I pray he will use his many gifts for the Kingdom.  I pray he will know his purpose in this world.  I pray he will always be... Franklin.  The child who the Lord created, the young man who is growing into the man God desires him to be.  

I don't tell you often enough.  I'm so proud of you, Franklin.  I'm thankful you are my son.  It's an honor to be your mom.  Always.

May 16, 2012 - Franklin's completed drawing of the tiger.

Ghana - March 2012, Chapter 2: P

This is my friend P. You may remember him from an earlier post Robin wrote about Braden and a special gift he made for P.

When I arrived at P's home yesterday, he met me and said, "I want to Skype with Braden!" I immediately called Robin, who was on her way to drop the oldest three off at school and then head to Thursday Connection (the co-op where she teaches). We couldn't get the connection to work well enough so we reconnected by phone and Braden and P chatted for about 20 minutes!

Phone call: $3.60. Camera: $200. Smile: priceless! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ghana - March 2012, Chapter 1: My New Friend

The day after my arrival in Ghana, I (Reid) was introduced to a young man name Wahab. Wahab was recently hired by the NGO, Meaningful Life International, I will be working for in Ghana and the two of us will be working closely together. Like so many Ghanaians - with a quick smile and hardy laugh - he enjoys and makes the most of a sometimes difficult life.

Wahab grew up in a Muslim family, in a Muslim village in Ghana. His parents didn't want to send him to the local school because of the Christian influence he would receive there. Wahab would not be denied learning and was a diligent student. He was eager to teach what he learned and began instructing younger children in the Koran at the age of 10.

As Wahab developed in his middle and late teens he began to study the Bible, not because he was curious but in order to "use the Bible against Christians."  He thought the Bible was something he could use, not realizing it is sharper that a two-edged sword, the Bible is living, and with the power of the Holy Spirit it will change your life. It did for Wahab. Later in life he was radically changed and now joyfully serves our Lord Jesus

Wahab also tells me he was influenced by missionaries in his late teens. World Vision and Pioneers International were partnering with short term mission teams from the US in his town. Wahab was curious about these teams and began hanging around them. In the process he got to know some American missionaries. As we talked about it, Wahab asked me, "Did you know Pastor Lewis?"

My mouth hit the floor! Pastor William Lewis lead the mission team I was on when I traveled to Ghana for the very first time (1998). On that first visit to Ghana, we spent almost two weeks ministering in the town where Wahab grew up.

Wahab, a Muslim at the time of Pastor Lewis's trips to Ghana was influenced towards Christ by the same man the Lord used to stir a passion for the people of Ghana in me. Now we will be working together. You never know all the fruit the Lord will produce from a life lived for Him and with Him!

Who could orchestrate such events but our great God! I'm encouraged to see what other surprises the Lord has for us here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

World's Largest Treehouse

Over Spring Break, Reid was in Ghana and Mason was with a friend in Virginia.  With their absence, the rest of us were looking for something fun to do.   We were also looking for something FREE!

Thankfully, my sister, Wendy, is always on top of planning fun excursions.  She invited us on a cousin day to The World's Largest Treehouse.  It's 97 feet tall supported by a live 80 foot oak tree.
This unique, but impressive structure was built by a landscape architect who says God told him to build a treehouse.  I love the fact that Horace Burgess was 57 years old when he started the project.

Our kids had a blast exploring.  Eventually a game of hide-n-seek ensued.

Yes, this photo is a lawn chair swing.  It's tied to the top of the treehouse and Godwin loved it!

God blessed me with an amazing sister.  I love her!

It wouldn't be complete without a crazy cousin picture!  Silliness!

The most impressive part of the day was this view looking down...
That's what it is all about!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Join Us!

Will you partner with our family in ministry? Will you be a Percent Partner

What is a Percent Partner? An individual, family, small group or other committed teammates that give $58 per month, which is 1% of our monthly ministry and living expenses. We need approximately 20 Percent Partners to reach the goal.

Partners can begin participating by sending checks to:
World Outreach Ministries
PO Box B
Marietta, GA 30061
(memo: "Fund Code 130)

Or recurring monthly gifts can be initiated online here.

Will you be a Day Of The Month Partner?

Day Of The Month Partners choose a day of the month and pledge the corresponding  amount for that day. For example, if you choose the 20th of the month, you are partnering with us at $20 per month. Once the calendar is filled, you will have provided an additional 8% of our monthly need, which is almost half of the remaining support needed to reach 100% of our goal.

Choose one of the available days by clicking on the calendar and filling in the requested information on the page that follows. We will then provide the information you need for setting up your monthly, tax deductible donation.

Thank you for partnering with us. We look forward to serving Jesus with you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

God's Timing is Perfect for Faith-Stretching

 Last fall, I spent a weekend with some precious people.  I attended a retreat about teaching science  because my dear friend, Kim, invited me to attend.  We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performing science experiments and dissecting sheep uteri.  (I did not prefer the dissection - at all!)  Throughout the weekend, I became increasingly motivated to "teach science" but the Lord also used my time there for His purposes to teach and grow me.

At night, Kim shared with me from a book I still have yet to read, "One Thousand Gifts."  The writing on the pages were simple reminders of God's perfect gifts he bestows on us everyday.  During our down time between sessions, I spent a lot of time with a young lady named Reilynn.  We met for the first time on this retreat, yet our hearts seemed to beat for the same things.  She and her husband served as missionaries overseas.  Now, they are living in Columbia, SC while he attends seminary.  Her husband heads up the youth ministry at a local church specifically targeted for Korean .  Through the stories Reilynn shared, her husband is truly impacting young people through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This couple lives in married student housing while raising five children, and they live on humble means.  Their lives are poured out as a living sacrifice to our Lord.  I admire them.  Their lives teach me.

This morning I received an email from Reilynn.  This is what she wrote:

       I don't know if you remember me or not... We met at the science retreat in North Carolina.  I have been following the news on your family and praying for you daily...   I don't know where this email will find you but I just wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten about you and your family.  I asked my husband if I could start supporting your family each month...  He asked about what you guys did here in the states as far as reaching the lost and I told him about the homeless work you guys do and he was all for supporting you. He feels that you can't be just a missionary overseas that first you have to be one here and that love for the lost will carry over.  So we are supporting you all now and will continue to pray for you daily.  Its not much but will hopefully get you a bit closer to your goal.  Hopefully one day when we are both done with school we can do more but wherever we are, we want to be involved in what God is doing around the world.

       I told my kids about your family and showed them the picture of the boys and they said that they wished they could meet them and be friends. I told them about you all moving overseas and telling people about Jesus. They were so excited and wanted to pray for you all.

       I think I read on the brochure  about a prayer team mailing list. Can I get on it? ...  I would love to hear about the your needs so I can pray more specifically...

       Maybe one day our families will meet.  Maybe even halfway around the world!  But for sure with the Lord one day.  We are so thankful for all your hard work and going to reach the lost.  You will face trials of many kinds (all the servants of the Lord do) but know that the Lord is on your side so no matter how hard it is He is carrying you through. Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy so we will be battling the enemy from this side in unity with all the others that are praying out.

I am continually amazed by the people God rises up for His kingdom work in Ghana.  This gift humbles me.  This gift is a testimony to God's provision as this precious couple partners with us.  There is no gift too small - no gift wasted.  God uses it all!  Over the past few weeks, we have seen other families like Reilynn's share from God's provision.  It's been beautiful.  

The timing of Reilynn's e-mail encouraged my heart tremendously!  You see, on Monday Reid wired money to Ghana to secure a house for us to rent.  SIGHT UNSEEN!  We have not even seen pictures, but we are trusting our friend who chose it and we are trusting our Lord!  It is another step of obedience.  For, "We walk by faith, and not by sight."

Each step of this journey has been faith-stretching.  In Ghana, a renter pays a full year's rent up front - no one pays monthly.  Not only does it stretch our faith to send this huge amount of money for a home we have not seen, but we also have committed to a home before we have the full amount needed for monthly support.    We are only lacking 20%.  We are trusting God for the remaining amount to come within the next few months.  We hope to depart after the boys are finished with school.  Only two short months away.

Currently, Reid is making plans to go to Ghana in a few weeks.  He will assess our home for what is needed, set up our banking, investigate schooling options, meet with ministry partners, and he will PRAY.  PRAY.  PRAY.  The Lord must go before us and Reid will be seeking Him to do exactly that.  We seek God's leading for all that we do.  We desire to be His hand, His feet - not our own.

Will you partner with us in prayer?  If we must go under-supported, we choose to go under supported financially, but completely covered in PRAYER SUPPORT.  We need your prayers.  We beg for them.  Please pray for - 
Prayer warriors to interceded for us.
Our family to glorify God wherever we are - at all times.
More families like Reilynn's to partner with us for God's work on the other side of the ocean.

But you will not go out in haste, 
                                    Nor will you go as fugitives;
For the LORD will go before you, 
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 52:12

Friday, March 9, 2012

From Tiffany to Corelle

When Reid and I married, we lived the dream.  I registered for china dishes, everyday dishes, and even Christmas dishes.  I wanted to be able to set the table with the dishes that suited the occasion.  We were blessed with many wedding gifts filling our china cabinet with 10 place settings of our china.  Each place setting cost over $100!  As I said, we were blessed.  Our china pattern, Tiffany Weave, was beautiful.  Crisp, white, elegant.

On into married life, one son, two sons, three sons, four sons later... I noticed that I rarely used my China. It sparkled in the cabinet, but didn't sit on the table often.  There were a few special occasions when we would enjoy eating on the white plates.  Anniversaries, special "just because" nights, etc...  It was memorable for our family to dawn the china for a special meal every now and then.  However, these special meals did not happen often.  Actually, they were very rare.

  Our everyday pattern was Portmerion Pomona.  They were lovely.  Different fruits painted on the plates brightened my kitchen.  At one point I needed surgery while we were without insurance so our everyday dishes were sold to pay for the medical procedure.  They were replaced with a set from a church yard sale.   My new "plain" dishes were not as pretty, but they certainly were as functional.  :-)  Thankfully, because we sold the dishes (and some other things) no debt was incurred from the medical bills.  :-)

Now, here I am again.  Selling dishes for something more important.  A sweet couple, Dorothy and Nathan, helped list our Tiffany china on Ebay to help us sell it.  Now, it is gone.  Sadly, we did not make very much money on it - less than 10% of the current selling price for this pattern.  (It's a little harder to part with some of the sentimental things when no one sees the value I seem to see in it.  Sigh...)

So, I've been shopping for another set of dishes.  Ones to use in Africa.  Ones I can pack in a suitcase without fear of breakage.  Ones that we can afford.

Are you ready for a laugh?

I've been searching for dishes.  Corelle in fact.  They are durable and should be more study in travel than ceramic.  Where am I shopping?  Goodwill, AMVets Thrift Store, KARM Thrift Store, Etc...  Within my budget are the dishes priced between $.10 - $1.00 per piece.

I've finally found a set of Corelle dishes.  An entire set!  Guess what pattern?

Christmas Holly!  Our dishes in Africa will be Christmas Holly!  Isn't that hilarious?  Oh, the irony!

Because the entire Christmas set of 6 will not meet the needs of our large family, we have other Corelle dishes as well.   The rest remind me of the 80's with peach and blue trim around two ducks in the middle of the plate.  A few are blue and mauve with country motif.  Oh my!

Can you believe I've gone from Tiffany china to Corelle around our table?  God has a sense of humor doesn't He?  I'm glad I do too. 

We can celebrate the joy of Christmas, well, everyday!

Come see us in Ghana.  You are welcome for Christmas dinner anytime!

"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Cry

The children lead us, don't they?

Last summer, Kristie O'Leary of Feeding the Orphans asked Mason to write a song about the plight of the orphans.  At this time, God was leading our hearts toward mission work with the orphans, but we were uncertain of the timing.  The Lord began speaking to Mason's heart as well as ours.  Mason was 14.

Late one evening, Mason came into our room after the rest of the family had gone to bed.  He sat down with Reid and me stating, "Mom and Dad, I've been praying and I know what God wants me to do with my life."

"That's wonderful Honey.  We've been praying for you too.  So, where do you believe God is leading you?"

Mason replied, "God wants me to be a missionary."

Reid and I were ecstatic.  In our minds, this seemed to be a high calling.  In our excitement, we responded, "Oh, that's great Mason.  When you finish school, you can go anywhere you want and become a missionary."

Mason's blue eyes locked in on ours.

With deep conviction in his voice, he clearly said, "No.  Not later.  Now.  Why should I wait until I am done with school?  I can minister now.  I want to go now."


Why wait?


Mason's words challenged us as parents.  A stake was driven into the ground for our family that night, and here we are now - just a few months shy of moving across the ocean to share the love of Jesus with God's beloved children in Ghana, West Africa.

As you watch the short video below, you will hear the song Mason wrote and recorded at age 14.  "The Cry" is about the cry of the orphans and Mason's (and our) heart cry back to their plea.  Listen to the words.  Maybe God will use this song to speak to you too...

(Thank you, Kristie O'Leary, for putting together the beautiful video.)

 "I will come child, 
I hear your cry, 
I can not watch
And just stand by.
Your pain and your loss 
May not go away
But they will not compare
To God's amazing grace.
I will go 
And harvest the Lost
I will go
No matter the cost.
I will go 
And see them through
Lord, I will do it
All for You...
All for You...
All for You..."
-Mason Beebe

So...what is God asking you to do now?  Not later.  Now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

No Longer in the Driver's Seat

Mason is now 15.  This is now my view when riding in the van.

I'm often in the back seat.

Sometimes in the passenger seat, but I am never in the driver's seat anymore.  
Mason is now the 
"Official Chauffeur" for the family.

Recently, I've realized my new seat in the car reflects my position in life as well.  I am no longer in the driver's seat.  Actually, I have never been in the driver's seat of my life, but it has appeared that way to me.  Now I understand God has always been the one driving, but I can see Him in the pilot's seat now.  God is the one leading us to our destination.  He's steering and applying the gas!  

Thankfully, with God, I can fully trust He will not run off the road, take curves too fast, or make me panic...not that Mason has done these things, of course.  

With God, it is an easy release of control - as long as my heart is fully trusting.  When I become a backseat driver giving directions or suggestions, the road becomes a bit bumpy.  How can I know more than the Driver if I am not the one in the Driver's seat?  I can't.

I must trust.  His timing.  His stops,  His turns.  His speed.

God has provided so much of our needed support.  We are amazed by what He has done!  So many of people have given generously toward God's work.  The Lord has provided 78% of our needed monthly support through His people.  Amazing!  Our family is hoping to depart for Ghana in May, but we still need 22% of our monthly support.  Would you consider helping us?  Maybe God is steering your heart toward partnering with us monthly.  (Did you catch the play on words?  Ha!)  

Seriously, we really need your help.  Monthly support or a one time gift will spur us toward ministering on the ground in Ghana.  You may click the button on the right side of the blog for instructions on how to give.   Mostly, we need your prayers.  Please pray for God's perfect timing!  He is the one taking us to our  destination.  He's in control, and we trust Him.  

"For in you, O Lord, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God."
Psalm 38:15