It has been awhile since you've heard from me . . . hopefully you haven't forgotten who I am! After reading the following of "what's been happening with Alice", you'll understand that I've not been sitting around twiddling my thumbs.
June 10 and 11, 2011 How I enjoyed being in Huntington for the WV State Association of Free Will Baptist meetings, especially the powerful preaching centered around the theme "Power in the Rock". The State Mission Board presented me a plaque in recognition of 36 years of missionary service in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), West Africa. Clint Morgan, Interim Director for International Missions came from Nashville. He spoke very kind and complimentary words regarding my missionary career and gifted me with a lovely Bulova wristwatch. He and I met with our State Mission Board. We all agreed to work toward getting my support rechanneled to the Bulgaria Team (Awtreys and Postlewaites).
June 25, 2011 A dear sister in Christ died and, praise the Lord, she is no longer suffering. Her homegoing was a part of God's answer to my prayers for a house at Winifrede. Her children readily agreed to let me purchase the house. The sale was finalized on August 25th. I'm preparing to move the first week of September. How good of the Lord to give me a house that I've admired for years. My Mom will move with me . . . so, these are busy days of sorting through her things as well as mine.
July 17-21, 2011 The National Association of FWB's met in Charlotte, N.C. The Holy Spirit's presence and guidance was evident in both the worship services and the business sessions. IM announced my imminent retirement and presented me a plaque of recognition. The National is always a time of spiritual "refreshment" for me. And, how wonderful to see and talk with so many old friends!
July 25, 2011 I mailed the 125+ letters and prayer cards to the many friends who have been faithful supporters of my missionary work for 36 years. These letters were sent to help acquaint you with the Awtreys and Postlewaites (Bulgaria Team). It is my heartfelt prayer and desire that you begin supporting their ministries. Several churches have already started to do so and I thank you very much.
July 31, 2011 was the official retirement date from employment with International Missions. I am honored to have been a member of the IM team of His servants.
August 1-4 found me at the offices of the National Association of FWB's in Nashville. The trip enabled me to tie up loose ends at IM. The IM ladies treated me to sweet fellowship and a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, The Olive Garden. I was also able to take care of business with the Board of Retirement and the FWB Foundation. Then, I spent several hours "shopping" in WNAC's Missionary Provision Closet. I drove back to WV with many wonderful items which will be greatly needed and appreciated as I set up my first home Stateside. May God bless our ladies who give so generously in order to help missionaries.
In the days to come, I look forward to: the coming of the Lord Jesus; the end of my Mom's difficulty in breathing the moment He calls her Home; continuing in my effort to visit each of my supporters and saying "thank you"; returning to Côte d'Ivoire so that the Ivorian church can have me a proper sendoff; returning to C.I. for short term missionary work; endeavoring to be a bold witness to the lost in all places, at all times; being free to respond to invitations to speak, etc.
As I close, let me share some words written by the late Erma Bombeck: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single talent left and could say 'I used everything you gave me'". This is also my hope.
Love and prayers,
Always your missionary,
Alice F. Smith