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MARIA'S CHRISTMAS LETTER TO HER PARENTS!       Maria #169       DO 2809       12/91
--Good Lessons on Healing for All!

Dear Mother, Dad and all my dear loved ones,

       1. Happy Christmas 1991! Another year has passed by so very quickly! And it seems like just yesterday that I last talked to you on tape, and that the children made you their yearly letter report and sang their songs for you. This year they have some new songs to sing for you and some new lessons to share!--And some new victories to report. Mother, you wrote that you were so thankful that the children were sharing their lives with you. I'm really thankful that you're encouraged by it. It makes us know that their labours aren't in vain, and motivates them to want to do it again. I want you to know that they appreciate your communications, too, and are thankful as well for the gifts that you have sent.

       2. Techi really did appreciate the calendar. It's very beautiful! But I think what touched her the most was your sending her the Christian books that I read when I was young, about her age. She was fascinated with them and read every page of all four books. I want to thank you, Mother and Dad, for going to all the trouble to find those. I suppose they were in the attic in some dusty old box underneath a lot of other old dusty boxes, and it was probably quite a chore for you to search for them and collect them after so many years. Do you realise that they're about as old as I am!--And those little paperbacks were still in such good condition! They were just the ones that I was wanting. They have beautiful little stories in them!--And I'm looking forward to using them for our many Family children throughout the World! They went across very well with Techi, and I'm sure the others will be very encouraged by them, too.

       3. I really wish I could find some more old Christian books like that!--Even new ones would do, but the problem seems to be that they don't write stories like that anymore, and the old stories are out of print. Those whom we have asked to look for books in English have not been able to come up with much that's really edifying nowadays, so I'm just putting in a plug that if you ever find any other good old-fashioned children's stories similar to those in some old used book store somewhere or at a used book sale, I would be very thankful for them, and they would be very well used by Techi and David, and many other children. Or, if you have any more of the books that we kids read when we were children, I'd love to have them! I really appreciate your sacrifice in collecting and packaging those, and paying the postage, and all the work that I know went into getting them to us. Those were some of the stories that inspired me to live for Jesus when I was very young.--And I'm sure they'll inspire others.

       4. I guess I should have started this letter by asking you how you are and telling you that I love you all, and I'm praying for you! I always marvel, Mother and Dad, at your taking on that big job in managing a Home for the elderly which requires so much physical strength; not only physical but also emotional and spiritual strength to try to care for your little flock there who are in such need of help of every kind.--Especially when you're not very well yourselves, it must be a tremendous sacrifice to take on the care of so many others. But I know that if the Lord has called you to such a job and commissioned you to do it, then He will give the grace for it and renew your strength day by day even when you think you can't go on one step further. So I know you have to get your courage and strength from Him as I'm sure you feel like you don't have much of your own. But that just shows what He can do! "We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of Him and not of us." "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee ... They go from strength to strength."

       5. I'm sure that there's such a fulfilment in helping others through their last difficult days of this life, and making it easier and more comfortable for them.--And most of all giving them the comfort and love of the Lord, and the faith to face their little bit of time left bravely, to help them know that after that small moment then will come a glorious Eternal Future. I think for us who are so carnal and Earth-bound, one of the most wonderful things to us about Heaven is the knowledge that we will be freed from the bondage of these bodies that are so weighed down with afflictions and pain and suffering. Sometimes when we're tired and we're sick, and we're discouraged because this body of this life is so heavy and hinders us from doing the things we want to do, and even the things we feel we need to do, we can, nevertheless, rejoice that soon it will all be over. If we can just be patient and be faithful and be persevering through these trials and tests, the Lord will say to us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

       6. Here's a little poem that I like:
       Passing out of the shadow into a purer light,
       Stepping behind the curtain, getting a clearer sight.
       Passing out of the shadow into Eternal Day.
       Why do we call it dying, this sweet going away?

       7. We have a very precious Mommy in the Family who has seven children, and her next to the last child was born with Down's Syndrome. Out of the experiences in that little child's life came beautiful lessons for not only her but all of us. The Lord shone so purely through that little child, and he was a great witness to many. His body was very frail and easily beset by every illness that came along, and finally he was so weakened that at the age of about 2-and-1/2 the Lord took him. His Daddy wrote a little song in memory of his son, the words of which I want to share with you:

       Once the night looked kindly,
       Once the Sun did shine
       Upon you, my gentle treasure
       That once on Earth was mine.

       Once you smiled to see me,
       Once I held you near;
       But now my eyes are misty;
       My treasure's far from here.

       But I'm happy 'cause you're happy,
       You're in Heaven now at last.
       Trials are past,
       Pain is over,
       That cocoon's no more your home,
       For you, our precious Butterfly, have flown!

       Thank God the race is over!
       Thank God the fight is done!
       Together with our Saviour
       We fought the war and won!

       With victory now behind us,
       I long to soon abide
       In Heaven where you're waiting,
       Over on the Other Side!

       Once I held my treasure,
       Now you're stored away;
       Once I dreamed of Heaven,
       It's real to me today!

       And though I deeply miss you,
       How faint my grief shall seem
       When I come to join you
       Beyond the rainbow's gleam.

       Yes, I'm happy 'cause you're happy
       You're in Heaven now at last.
       Peace and joy,
       Love and laughter
       All abide in that new Home
       Where you, our precious Butterfly, have flown!

       8. While Gabriel was living, his mommy and daddy were able to start a successful ministry with other parents of Down's Syndrome children, and were able to lead many of them to the Lord, and give them more faith for their children and more encouragement to see that God had not given them damaged goods; it just looked like that on the surface.--But inside those little bodies that can't function like other children are often such beautiful spirits that are hidden treasures in disguise. These precious children can bring great joy and happiness to others and can soften their hard hearts and give them understanding and compassion and love and happiness, in a way which might not otherwise be possible. Of course, the Lord doesn't give us all the blessing of Down's Syndrome children in our lives, but He gives us all, at some time or another, afflictions, physical or otherwise, that drive us to Him, and keep us close to Him. I guess that's why Saint Paul said, "This light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh in us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," and that, "All things do work together for good to them that love the Lord." The Lord knows we need these things to sweeten and humble us and to keep us desperate and make us more understanding of others.

       9. Once when the children were young and they were sick, we were trying to get them to look on the bright side and look at all the blessings that could come out of their sickness--which is pretty hard to do, of course, when you're flat on your back and you're feeling the pain and the suffering sickness brings. But that's when it's really the most important to try to keep looking up and hanging on to Jesus' promises. The following are some of the possible reasons why we sometimes are allowed to have sickness, which we discussed with the children. Many of the same could apply not only to sickness, but to other problems and difficulties we experience:

       (1) For one thing, sickness certainly teaches us to pray and to get ahold of the Lord, and to ask the Lord why or what He is trying to teach us through these things, because the Lord doesn't allow us to be sick for no reason.
       (2) To make others get desperate in prayer and fighting with us.
       (3) To help us get closer to Jesus, and to show us that we need to put Jesus in first place in our lives.
       (4) To teach us to slow down and take time with Jesus.--Because sometimes that's the only way He can stop us and get us to take time with Him.
       (5) To stop us if there is something wrong in our life, or something we're doing that He doesn't like. Sometimes He uses it to prevent us from doing something we're about to do.
       (6) Sometimes it's just a spanking for having done something naughty. Maybe as a chastening for breaking some of God's health laws; like possibly not getting enough sleep or not eating right and so on, or going outside in the cold with a wet head, or lying in the sun too long and getting a bad sunburn, etc.
       (7) Sometimes it's to get us to yield and say "yes" to something.
       (8) Sometimes it's to make our heart and spirit cleaner.
       (9) Sometimes it's to teach us to fight for spiritual victories and not take things so passively--to learn to fight the Devil aggressively.
       (10) Sometimes it's to humble us or to keep us humble.
       (11) To keep us from being self-righteous.
       (12) To test our faith and see if we'll still believe and trust the Lord in spite of our affliction. Like Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."
       (13) Sometimes it's to test our faith to see if we really have the faith for Him to do the miracle of healing (or to deliver us from whatever the problem might be).
       (14) To teach us patience.
       (15) To show us that we're not strong in ourself, but that our strength comes only from the Lord.
       (16) To make us more dependent on others, to accept their help and to call for their prayers.
       (17) To unite everyone else as they pray for us.
       (18) To show those who are close to us how much they need us, and to make them more appreciative of us.
       (19) For a testimony, so that when the Lord does heal us (or solve the problem), He'll get the glory.
       (20) To get us to give the Lord the credit for our health, and not just to take it for granted.
       (21) To make us more thankful for the good health we have most of the time.
       (22) To cause others to give us extra attention that we might need.--And to show us how much they really love us.
       (23) To make us sweeter through our suffering and to make us more merciful to others.
       (24) To teach us to comfort others as we have been comforted and loved.
       (25) Sometimes it's even to teach others something through our suffering.
       (26) To help us to appreciate health more, and to feel more for others who are sick.
       (27) To give us a burden to pray for others who are sick.

       10. So we taught the children that it can be one or even many of these good reasons why the Lord allows us to get sick (or to have other afflictions). The Lord doesn't do anything to be cruel or mean to us, but He's actually being good to us in some way through allowing the affliction. It's a blessing in disguise. Often we don't see the reasons and we have a hard time accepting things by faith, but it makes it easier if we know that the Lord has lots of good reasons why He may allow us to have this trial. So it's good to look on it positively instead of negatively.

       11. I know these lessons have really helped me when I've been sick. I've had an eye affliction for quite a while now. It seems to be some kind of infection of the eyelid, but when I sought medical advice earlier on, the doctors were not much help. Three of them didn't know what was causing the problem, and the other two thought they did but said that ultimately it was incurable. So it was then that I decided to put my eyes into the hands of the Great Physician Who always has a perfect diagnosis and a perfect cure, and to let Him take care of it as He knows best. And I know that when the Lord is through teaching me the lessons He wants me to learn through this, He will heal me. In the meantime my precious co-workers have been so wonderful. They've been reading my work for me on tape so I don't have to use my eyes for it. Through all of this I've been learning so many terrific lessons that it seems the Lord couldn't have taught me any other way! For one thing, it's made me see that no matter how much I believe in healing or how much faith I have in it, if the Lord is not done teaching me the lessons that He wants to teach me, I'm not going to get healed until I've learned the lessons for which He has allowed this to happen in the first place. And no matter how fast a learner you may be, some lessons just take a while.

       12. It's just like going through your grades in school. You may be very intelligent and a fast learner, but it still usually takes you a certain amount of time and you just have to progress through your grades one at a time without skipping any. You may think you can learn your lessons quickly, but the Lord may know that you need a lot of practice and a lot of drill work and a lot of habit forming to make them stick, which all takes time. And perhaps most of all, the Lord may be trying to teach you patience, which usually also takes a lot of time. Apparently, however, many people's illnesses need not linger for long, as the lessons the Lord wants to teach them through their afflictions are not so long-term. He teaches people different lessons at different times by different means, and He tailors every person's experience to fit their individual needs.

       13. With some of us, the Lord deals with us in both ways, with long-term afflictions where it's a real battle to get our healing, and also with many short-term illnesses or ailments. In telling you about my serious long-term affliction, I don't want to neglect to also mention all the less serious short-term afflictions I've had that the Lord has been so faithful to heal me from--very wonderful healings to me, because I knew that the Lord had miraculously touched me and intervened and prevented some minor ailment I had from becoming much more major and serious. Then there are the many many times where He has prevented my contracting illnesses that I have come in contact with, and that's just as much a miracle.

       14. Any healing from the Lord, whether minor or major in our eyes, is just as miraculous and just as wonderful. We look on the outward appearance and get much more excited over the healing of cancer or blindness, for example, than over the healing of some less spectacular illness. But "minor" healings that we have experienced--such as instantaneous healings of headaches or fevers--or the immediate cessation, upon prayer, of a persistent pain, major or minor, are the same in the Lord's eyes. One is no harder than the other for Him, and they are all very very wonderful and we need to praise and glorify the Lord for them with all of our hearts.

       15. I had allowed my eyes to get weakened through reading so much while the Lord was trying to get me to relinquish some of that and let others share the load. But I was so convinced I had to do it all myself and nobody could do it but me, and that I had to get involved in every single detail of all these missionary supervisory reports. Well, one thing I found out is that I am not so indispensable after all and other people could help me, especially if I trained them to do so.

       16. So this was the Lord's way of forcing me to train others, and to not try to take the whole load myself, which eventually would have so worn me down that I couldn't have done anything. I was violating the rule of teaching others to teach others, and of always training others to do your job, as well as also violating the principle that leaders should only do what they can do, delegate the rest to others, and not take on more of the burden than they should. The Lord's load is easy and His burden is light, but often we overburden ourselves and make for ourselves greater burdens than He would have us to carry. When we do, then it's not His burden.

       17. Also, in spending so much time reading reports, I was getting a lot of input from others, but not enough from the Lord. I was listening more to others than I was to the Lord. The Lord wanted me to spend more time talking to Him and hearing from Him, and learning to step back and distance myself a bit and give myself more time to hear from Him, and pass that on to others. The Lord said that I was leaning on the arm of the flesh; in other words, my eyes. He said in prophecy that He would close my natural eyes so that I could see with the eyes of the Spirit.

       18. Another way that this affliction has been good for me is that it's made me depend more on others, and not try to be so self-sufficient. It's helped me to sympathise more with others in their afflictions, and to realise what a heaviness and a burden these things can be for those who experience them. It's made me more tolerant and more patient and more sympathetic with others, all of whom at some time or another go through battles with physical problems. It's had lots of other good results as well, like some of the ones that I listed above, and possibly many others that I don't even realise. So I'm thankful for this affliction.

       19. But if I'm ever tempted to get discouraged, all I have to do is review God's many wonderful promises of love and care and protection. It's so wonderful to have His Word that all things work together for good for His children!--And it's so encouraging to have a lifetime of experience that has proven it. "He's never failed in one of all of His good promises." Another faith-increaser is to hear testimonies of those who have believed God and been healed. I've been compiling not only Family testimonials, but also those of many other Christians whom the Lord has healed so marvellously. These have been a great source of encouragement to me and to others.

       20. I know Techi learned a lot from her year or so of battles with headaches and weak ankles. But when she had learned the lessons that the Lord wanted to teach her, He miraculously healed her.--When the doctors couldn't even find out what was wrong! And she's just been wonderfully healthy and free from those things since then, thank the Lord!

       21. Well, healing is a big subject, and I've been praying more about it and thinking about it, and hearing many testimonies from all over about it. I think the conclusion I've definitely come to, and that probably many other Christians have come to before me, is that healing is somewhat of a mystery and a very big subject.--That the Lord deals individually with each one of us, and that there are no "pat" answers. Just as He deals with each one of us differently through a variety of situations and circumstances that are unique to us alone to bring us to Salvation, so in our healing He seems to work in a similar manner by tailoring the circumstances of our illness and healing just to us, and what would be the best for us, personally. Every case is so different. Every testimony is so different. There doesn't seem to be any set formula except a general one that faith in God's promises equals performance of God's promises! But how and when and where and under what circumstances and all the other details differ with each individual.

       22. I heard of one man once who received a direct revelation from the Lord that on a certain day he would be healed of a very serious terminal illness. He was so convinced, it had been so vivid and clear to him that he had no doubt whatsoever about it, and he hastened to spread abroad the happy word to all of his relatives and friends. Well, the day arrived and guess what?--He died! Praise God!--What better healing could anyone ever have than to go to be with Jesus!--Total healing from every earthly ache, pain and sickness!--To be free from the sickness and illness and the heaviness and the bondage of this life forever! So one way the Lord heals some people--and especially those who have already lived long and fruitful lives for Him--is to take them Home where they'll never be sick again!--The best healing of all! Hallelujah!

       23. But in most cases I think the healing that the Lord wills for the majority of people who are still fairly young and active and have further years ahead to use for Him, is to heal us now in this life. I think He desires most of us to stay here on this Earth for a while and use these bodies He's given us in His service, and therefore it's His Will to heal us on this Earth sooner or later so we can do our job for Him. Some have a slower, more long-term healing process, but others may be instantaneously healed! There are also many who are sick whom the Lord would like to heal if they would only have the faith to trust Him.

       24. But it's a complicated subject, and since we don't know who the Lord is going to heal and who He is not, I think the best attitude to have is one that says, "Lord, I trust You with my life, and my body. I know You're going to do whatever is best for me, no matter what it is! Whether it's to heal me, or not to heal me, or heal me right now, or heal me later! I'm going to trust You completely. I'm going to say, like Job, 'Even if You slay me, I'm still going to trust You!' I'm expecting You to heal me, but if You don't, I'll still love You and I'll still trust You.--Because I still know that healing is coming even if in the Next World!"

       25. So after I have claimed all the promises of the Lord that I can claim; and after having united prayer and the laying on of hands; and after I've gotten things straightened out with the Lord, and I'm sure I'm being obedient to His Will and to His Word and doing what He wants me to do; after I've fought and rebuked the Devil and the forces of the Enemy and his attacks to keep me sick; and after I've claimed Jesus' power to destroy the works of the Enemy and have claimed God's victory; and after I've done all I can do and I've placed my life completely in the Lord's hands and made sure I'm not trusting in the arm of the flesh to heal me, then I can have the calmness and the peace to know that in the Lord's perfect time He will do the healing no matter how long it takes and no matter how far advanced my condition may be.--The Lord can resurrect and make anew and make every whit whole! But in the meantime, if I'm doing a better job for the Lord sick than well, and I'm seeing more now with my spiritual eyes than I ever was able to see with my physical eyes, I'm happy and contented & so thankful to the Lord for His intervention in my life.

       26. I always remember that beautiful poem that I had written in my Bible while I was still there at home with you. I don't know where I found the poem, but it might be familiar to you:

       "Disappointment--His appointment,"
       Change one letter, & I see
       That the thwarting of my purpose
       Is God's better choice for me.
       His appointment must be blessing,
       Though it may come in disguise,
       For the end from the beginning
       Open to His wisdom lies.

       "Disappointment--His appointment,"
       Whose? The Lord's, Who loves me best
       Understands & knows me fully,
       Who my faith & love would test;
       For, like loving earthy parent,
       He rejoices when He knows
       That His child accepts, unquestioned,
       All that from His wisdom flows.

       "Disappointment--His appointment,"
       "No good thing will He withhold,"
       From denials oft we gather
       Treasures of His Love untold.
       Well He knows each broken purpose
       Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
       And the end of all His dealings
       Proves our God is wise & just.

       27. Well, I didn't mean to go on so long about healing, but it's certainly an interesting subject and the Lord is laying it on my heart to pray more about it and study more on it. I heard of a famous healing evangelist who had great success in praying for thousands of afflicted individuals, but after only a few years of ministry he died paralysed in a hospital. Why did this happen? Did he not have faith? Who knows? We don't know the details. Perhaps he started taking the glory to himself for the wonderful things the Lord was doing through him. Perhaps the Lord had to strike him down to show not only him, but the people to whom he ministered that healing comes only from the Lord, and Man cannot give it. Maybe it was to show the people that they needed to keep their eyes on the Lord and not on Man.

       28. Well, praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus! I certainly want to keep that always in mind, that anything good that I do or accomplish is just Jesus, that I'm very weak and incapable and completely nothing without Him! I very much like that old song that you know so well, "Without Him I can do nothing! Without Him I'd surely fail. Without Him I would be drifting, like a ship without a sail."

       29. Something that has really helped me to learn to exercise my spiritual muscles over the last years has been the awareness that everything that happens in our lives has a reason! In other words, the Lord has a reason for it, and we should always look for that reason. When you see all of your life in that light and everything that happens to you as being the Lord's Voice speaking to you and trying to show you something, it opens up a whole new way of looking at things!--A whole new spiritual dimension, a whole new way to see the Lord and to hear His Voice.--And it brings the Lord so close. It's so precious when you know that every little thing that happens to you is directed by Him, and He's interested in getting through to you, and He's speaking to you. If you'll just stop and look and listen and ask Him what He is trying to show you, you'll become so much more aware of His presence and you can see all of the concrete ways in which He guides you.

       30. Now, I know all of this is pretty basic and elementary, but it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully the Lord uses all the little things in our lives to speak to us. It gives you a more positive outlook. For example, if you get sick, then you try to look for all the positive reasons why it could have happened, instead of just looking at it as a hindrance and murmuring and complaining about it, and considering it something that you just have to suffer through. It's like if it rains and the children are disappointed they can't go on a planned excursion, well, what reasons could the Lord have for letting it rain? Maybe He has something more important for them to do.

       31. Or maybe you're out witnessing and it starts pouring and you have to rush in to the nearest shop for cover. And you say, "Well, Lord, why did You let that happen? Here I was out witnessing and trying to bring people to You, and now You've made it impossible for me to pass out any tracts on the street." But if you're open to the Lord and His Voice and ask Him why, expecting to get an answer, He may show you that right there in that shop is your mission field, right there is your appointment, and right there is the person that the Lord wants you to witness to.

       32. I heard of a man who had parked in the same parking spot year after year, day in and day out in the same place. One day he came back to the car and to his surprise he had been given a ticket for parking in that particular spot. So he was quite indignant and upset, and of course moved his car and had to pay his fine. But at the same time he asked the Lord, "Why, Lord, did You allow this to happen? It certainly has inconvenienced me, and I have had to pay a fine. Now on top of it all I have to find a new parking spot." Well, the next day the Lord showed him the answer. In the night a very big storm had come up and this huge tree had blown down right on top of the place where this man had always parked his car. So praise the Lord! The Lord answered quite dramatically. He doesn't always answer in that way, of course.--And sometimes it's harder to hear His Voice and figure out what He is saying to us. But if we keep persisting and looking for the answers, the Lord will be faithful to show us that He always has a reason.

       33. Well, excuse me for talking so much about what I have been learning and feeling and thinking, and not so much about you, but I just don't have that much news from you to respond on. I'd be happy to hear more details when you write, and what you've been going through and thinking, and what's going on in your lives, and how the children are doing and how Rachel is getting along in school.--And the problems in American schools. I understand you're sending her to a Christian school, and I'm really thankful you're sending her to a good school!

       34. I'm very interested in teens and the problems they face. Teens already have a lot of problems growing up, and going to ungodly, anti-Christ evil schools certainly doesn't help them any. From things we've heard, the U.S. public schools are some of the very worst, they're almost like Hell on Earth now!--The negative peer pressure is so bad, and the violence, and the drugs, and the Satanism, and the anti-God teaching and attitudes are too much for any Christian child to be expected to endure or stand up against. I think that verse, "Come out from among her and be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing" certainly should apply to Christian kids and public schools nowadays.

       35. We saw a documentary not too long ago, I believe it was a "700 Club" program that somebody sent us on Satanism, where several parents were crusading against textbooks which were being used in the public schools that were actually teaching Satanism and witchcraft, and introducing witches and Satanic rituals as something good and harmless. All this was begun at the ripe young age of about seven years old in second grade. We understand that Sodomy is being taught in public schools, and promoted as an "alternate lifestyle," and abortion is promoted as something necessary and good, if it helps the mother and helps the family. Well, the same attitude, of course, is prevalent worldwide, but because of the news media's campaign to promote these evil practices, plus the fact that the news goes out in English worldwide, it's much easier to hear what's going on in the States than in other countries. But I believe that the U.S. is the leader in both good and bad, and what happens in the U.S. is usually passed on to the rest of the World quite quickly.--Their trends, their attitudes, their products, their beliefs, their religion. And unfortunately, there is more bad than good that is being passed on nowadays.

       36. With all of this evil being promoted in the U.S., at least it's encouraging to hear that there is a great resurgence of born-again witnessing activity there!--That there are Bible-believing praying people who are doing their best now to fight the evil and really take a more active stand than ever before against it! I guess it took a very desperate situation to get people stirred up enough to fight for their lives, and the lives of their children and their Christian beliefs.

       37. I really pray that Rachel and the other children stay safe and uncontaminated and unpolluted for as long as possible. That's why I'm so glad and thankful that we can teach our children at home. I also understand that there is a very large home schooling movement in the States nowadays. There was even some coverage about home schooling on the American news that we get and how it is now legal in every state. I thank the Lord that our lifestyle is such that we can home school our children. It has so many advantages, both for them and for us.

       38. You'd be really proud of David and Techi, Mother and Dad. They're such sweet kids! They haven't had an awful lot of formal schooling; in fact, in comparison to most kids their age, the time they've spent in formal schooling has been just a fraction of the time that most kids spend. Yet on their achievement tests they score right along where they should be in their age group, which is a pretty good indication to me that there's an awful lot of time wasted in public schools, & also a pretty good indication that if they had had more formal schooling, they would be far beyond their age group. But we're not concerned with just seeing how high they can score on tests scholastically, we're much more interested in them getting a more well-rounded education--not just scholastically, but also vocationally and spiritually as well.

       39. David and Techi are now participating in a vocational high school training program, which they both very much enjoy. Many high schools even in the U.S. have some form of program very much like this. They have all sorts of names for such programs, such as cooperative vocational education, work study internship, career exploration, earn while you learn, etc. And this kind of vocational program enables our young people to train for Christian service, plus learn trade skills while going through high school. Our students in the program have regular group or individual study classes part-time, and practical on-the-job-training the rest of the time. They learn their trade or vocation or specialised skills by working right with a skilled person actually doing the job! It's a tremendous opportunity and challenge for our teens, and very good preparation for the future since they get such a head start in life by being trained and qualified.

       40. This kind of training program is especially ideal for our Family kids since we already have so many vocational areas for them to choose from to be trained in. For example, as you know, we produce our own excellent videos. We also do a lot of performing. Plus we publish volumes of material every year that all needs to be written, edited, proofread, illustrated, printed, shipped and distributed! We have one teen girl whom the Lord has given a wonderful talent for writing children's stories that we have been publishing regularly, and other teens soon to follow in her footsteps, God willing. Even Techi has been writing articles of her personal experiences which have been published in our children's magazine. Some of our teens are being trained to be our spokesmen with the media. There are just so many things to learn and do! Plus, in addition to a trade, our kids travel the World and learn all sorts of languages and witness to hundreds of thousands of people!

       41. David really likes the program, and besides being a real Biblical scholar, like many teenage boys, he is very interested in mechanics, motors, computers, etc.--So he is taking several courses in those things. And Techi is learning how to type and write articles for publishing, and work with word processing and the computer; as well as having baby care classes and cooking. What's so nice about having vocational training is that by the time they're ready to graduate from high school they will not only have their high school diploma, but they'll be trained and experienced in any of several vocations; plus, of course, we hope they'll know their Bibles backwards and forwards! They already have a pretty good start in that, thank the Lord! They'll be good at witnessing to others, and well-versed in working with others. So really, they're doing at least three things at once: Their general high school program, vocational or technical training with on-the-job experience, and their Christian Bible school, or seminary instruction and training and experience all at once! It really keeps them busy, but as you can hear from what they've said, they're learning so much and they love it! I think they gave you some specifics and I'm giving you more of a general overall picture of their training and education.

       42. Somebody read me an article the other day that talked about how so many people in the U.S. are unemployed nowadays. The skills that were once so important and useful are now not nearly so much in demand, and many of these people are going back to school to learn new skills. The experts are saying that the skills that are going to be most important in the future and most in demand are in childcare, sales, language skills, people handling and international skills.--And that's exactly what our Family young people are best at! They get lots of training in all of these skills. Of course, most of these are skills that every missionary needs, but it really is interesting to see that everything we stress with our children, because of our way of life, are the very things most needed these days everywhere! I thought that fact might really encourage you and set your hearts at peace to know that your grandchildren are very well and happy and learning lots. I'm sure it makes you happy just to hear them on tape, and be able to see how well they're doing! They've been such a blessing and happiness to me as well!

       43. Around the time of my birthday I was feeling a little bad that I was so busy and wasn't able to spend more time with them, and I told them that I was sorry that I couldn't be with them more. I felt bad about it and I told them that I hoped they didn't feel too bad. So on my birthday they made me a little birthday tape and sang some songs for me. I believe they mentioned that on their tape to you. They each said some birthday greetings to me, and told me how much they loved me.--Just really sweet and precious! David is becoming so much more expressive. Usually he is a man of few words, as I guess you've noticed in years past on his tapes. But this year he has really matured and become more expressive and more open with his feelings, and even more talkative and willing and eager to share his lessons and help make other people happy by trying to comfort them and encourage them. Techi, of course, has always been quite expressive and talkative. I'd like to share a little portion of what she said on her tape to me:

       44. "Recently, Mommy, you were saying you were sorry that you weren't able to spend more time with me. But I just wanted to ask you to please not worry about it because I, of course, would like to spend more time with you because you're my Mommy, and I really love you, but I don't feel bad about it, so don't you feel bad about it, please. I'm just real thankful for the time I do get to spend with you. Just last Sunday, I was reading these beautiful prophecies that the Lord gave Grandpa, and I thought about you when I read them. It was talking about how sometimes parents have to sacrifice time with their own children in order to save many other children for the Lord, but it hurts. But parents just have to put their children in the Lord's hands and put them on the altar; that's the supreme sacrifice, to let go of your own children. But then these beautiful prophecies say,
       45. "'The things of yesterday, the things of yore and the pain will be forgotten in the things that shall be. Neither shall there be any crying nor sorrow nor pain, for all these hurts shall be forgotten in the joys that I will give them. And I will wipe away all their tears; neither shall they remember them anymore. And all their pain shall be forgotten in the beauties and joys that are to come!'"
       46. And Techi goes on: "I thought of you and your eyes, too. But it's encouraging that whether you get healed here or not, in just a little while you're going to be completely healed and happy in Heaven! It says, 'For yet a little more sorrow and a little more crying, a little more pain, and these things of time shall be no more and shall be forgotten as a tale that is told, and a dream that is past in the glories that shall come. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! For it is a small thing, these sacrifices thou must make that thou mayest glory in eternal rewards forever! These things shall no more be remembered and the pain shall be forgotten.
       47. "'The tears shall be wiped away, and the former things shall be no more in the glories and the ecstacies of the Kingdom to come! These shall be they that shall be no more, and they shall be forgotten like a dream or a tale in the Real World to come forever! We kiss goodbye for now, good night here, but good morning Up There! Yet a little while and these things shall pass away like the night season, and thou shalt glory in Me and My Love forever! A little more pain, and a little more sorrow, a little more wringing of the hands and these things shall be no more, and My Love shall wipe away the hurt. So comfort ye one another with these words.'
       48. "And sweet Mommy, I really admire you for all that you do sacrifice with your eyes, and how hard you work for us! For one thing, you're a much bigger blessing to me in the position that you're in now than if you would be just like my little personal Mommy just for myself. And I'm sure the whole Family is grateful to you for how you've been so yielded to the Lord to work on all of these new publications, and that He has given you a burden for the Family children. And that's wonderful! And I'm so thankful! And, Mommy, you've really helped me in my problems and my lessons that I'm learning, especially the ones before when I was having a very hard time. You helped me to make it! Now the Lord has time to work, and the Lord is working and helping me to get victories, and helping me to just keep on the track and not get derailed so easily. But I never could have done it without you and all your love and prayers, especially all of your praying for me! That's really wonderful!
       49. "I'm so thankful that you listen to my 'PCQs' (Personal Comments and Questions). That's so sweet and shows love. You're the best Mommy in the whole World! And I'm really thankful for you, and how the Lord gave you to me! And I do hope you have a very happy birthday and a wonderful year in the Lord, and that you'll be able to learn the things you need to, and that the Lord will give you wisdom in all that you have to do. Please don't worry about me, because I'm happy and the Lord is helping me, and I'm glad I get to see you every day, that's a real blessing for me! And you're a wonderful Mommy! And I hope that you are encouraged that I'm happy and that the Lord has been helping me! Thank You, Lord!
       50. "This tape is just a little token of my appreciation, and I hope it's a blessing to you! God bless you! I really love you! I really really love you! Thank you so much, Mommy! You're such an encouragement to me! I love you! And here's a verse I got for you, for your new year: 'She that is faithful unto the End, I will give a crown of life.' I love you whole bunches, and hugs and kisses! I love you!" (End of Techi's message.)

       51. I'm sharing this with you not to point out how great I am; after all, most children who have parents who love them at all think those parents are pretty great!--But to give you a little sample of how considerate and sweet and loving the children are, and to show you what a sweet little counsellor Techi has grown to be. Both children can pray with and for people and encourage them and comfort them with the Word, and the spiritual principles they have learned. I was thinking, too, Mother and Dad, how this should comfort you, as you had to sacrifice me to the Lord's Work, but how wonderfully the Lord says He will repay and wipe away the tears and take away the pain, and give great reward in far greater measure than the little that we were able to do for Him. He says, "What thou spendest I will repay." And, "He that forsaketh mother or father or children for My sake will receive an hundredfold."--Not only in this life but in the Life to Come!

       52. I remember Grandma telling me that the Lord had called her to be a missionary at one time and that she had failed to heed that call. But I believe that she prayed for me that I would be, and as a result you have not only one missionary from our family, but three!--Who love Jesus and who love souls, and who have a good working knowledge of His Word! And who have the faith to believe Him for impossible situations.--The main things it takes to be good missionaries.

       53. We aren't exactly like your average Pilgrim Holiness, Free Methodist or Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries, but we love Jesus a lot, and along with thousands of others, are trying to show it by feeding His sheep and keeping His commandments to go into all the World and make disciples of all nations. We're trying to do our very best for Him and He in turn does His best for us, and daily, by His Holy Spirit draws many hungry hearts into His Kingdom. So please continue to support us with your prayers, as we also will be doing for you.

       54. God bless you all and continue to make you a great blessing to those whom your lives touch. May this coming year be a fruitful one, and in spite of the growing darkness of this World, may you shine brighter and brighter as we grow closer to His heart and are fed by His Word, which gives light to our path and enlightens the darkness.

       Much love and prayers,
       Your Daughter,



Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family