Monday, February 17, 2014
“True friends are always together in spirit.” ― L.M. Montgomery
Like Martha McCandless whom I wrote about yesterday, there have been many people who were crucial to this mission existing. One such couple is David and Ginny Poulter. We have been friends since the first days of our moving from Boston to Gravette, Arkansas, in 1992 (my first full-time pastorate). David (who can fix anything) came over to hook up the ice maker in our refrigerator. I remember calling him excitedly when I heard the first row of ice cubes fall into the hopper (it was a small town, so that was a big deal). David and Ginny didn’t go to our church, they were leaders in another church in town, but we were and always have been friends. David (pictured at the right) and Ginny were in the group of eighteen I led to the Peruvian Amazon to build a church in the jungle overlooking that mighty river in a village of Christian indians. Ginny learned how to inject novocaine and helped the dentist with us do dental work on the hundreds of villagers who came for help while David helped build the church (still standing) and helped the whole team as we washed the feet of the villagers as they entered their new church for the first service. David and Ginny were with us on our first trip to Africa in 2003 to help build churches and have returned another four times to help build our mission, help build shelves for the library, and to help with a medical mission. The picture was taken in 2009 which was the last trip they were able to make. We used to have three or four groups from the U.S. every year up until 2008 when the U.S. economy went south. David and Ginny still raised the money for another trip when everybody else had stopped coming. Since that trip in 2009, we have only had one group from the U.S. in 2010 and then nothing since. Still, David and Ginny are the board of the One Book Foundation and have recently agreed to help support one student a year at the Bunda Teacher’s College. They pray for us often and Ginny, who works at Teasley Drug in Gravette, helps John and I get medications from the States that are not available here. They are both a huge part of our hearts and we could never put our thanks or our gratitude or our love in adequate words to convey how important they are to us. Unlike others who have helped us here, they have no buildings named after them but that is the way they would have it. They are here every single day in their spirit and in our hearts. Every one of our staff remember their gentle love and unconditional help. We are only some of those whose lives they have blessed, and we are truly blessed to call them friends.