Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from West Virginia where we mourn the death of our senior Senator, Robert C. Byrd, the longest serving Senator in U.S. history.
I had hoped to be writing this update during my July 1st. flight back to Africa. However, needing a little more time with my Mom, permission was given for me to change my departure date to July 21st.
Thank you for your prayers. When I arrived home the end of May, I didn't expect my Mom to live long. But, once again, she has rallied and is doing much better. We have arranged for in-home Hospice Care to help my sister for the remaining months of 2010. This will free me to return to the field and prepare for whatever the Lord has planned. It is possible that, due to my mother's needs, I'll return home earlier than expected to begin taking steps toward retirement. I shall continue to wait upon my faithful Lord to give daily guidance.
You may remember that I've often spoken of having learned a lot from my African friends. Recently, as I was praying about what would be best for Mom, the Lord used a call from Pastor Jérôme Kambou to share some wise counsel. At age 90 and recovering from three hospital stays and surgery, Mom was becoming so tired, frustrated, and anxious from Home Health and physical/occupational therapy sessions. Her heart rate immediately went too high when they arrived at the house. After hearing this, my African pastor reminded me that Africans, when referring to the elderly, don't say "old" . . .they usually say "tired". He then asked, "and Alice, when someone is tired, what do they need? . . . they need to rest . . . so, let your Mama rest". And, with the help of Hospice Care, my mother's wish to "rest and wait for the Lord to call her home" is being fulfilled. How I thank the good Lord.
News from my co-workers, Verlin and Debbie Anderson, is good. Two CHE (Community Health Evangelism) seminars have been successfully completed. Debbie has also completed introductory lessons for the ladies at Gouméré. As soon as I get back, Debbie and I will share in this effort. I'm really looking forward to that.
At this time, the Anderson family is taking a few days of well-deserved vacation. Please pray for them. Please pray for traveling mercies for our two African pastors who will be coming Stateside for the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptists and the National Association. And, please pray for me as I travel on July 21st. and 22nd.
Many of you have prayed. You continue faithful financial support. You have called. You sent cards with messages of encouragement. You've shared uplifting words from His Word. Thank you, my dear Deleen, for Psalms 32:8, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye". May God bless you.
Love and prayers,
Alice F. Smith