Saturday, June 7, 2014

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness; a tender look which becomes a habit.” ― Peter Ustinov

Thursday, June 5th, was our 49th wedding anniversary, and it was very special indeed.  We were at Pete O’Neal’s in Arusha, and he put together quite a gala for us.  The “Red Onion” was decorated and festooned with balloons, banners, ribbons, and hearts.  We had special chairs and two cakes—one for Karen’s birthday on June 2nd and one for our anniversary on the 5th.  Most importantly, we were entertained and celebrated by all of the “Leaders of Tomorrow” which is what Pete calls the 25 orphans he has been raising for the last seven years with no end in sight.  They danced to tribal drums and then about ten of them serenaded us with Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me” in English.  To hear those young children singing to us that we could count on them was almost more than we could bear.  Tears were shed.  They did such a good job and Pete had trained and directed them well.  Later that night, Pete prepared a feast of barbecued chicken, beef, lamb, and sausage along with a salad, spinach, and real wine for the old folks, and alcohol-free sparkling juice with no sugar for the diabetic old man in the picture at the right.  If you go check out our post on Facebook today, you will see our wedding picture from 49 years ago in Abilene, Texas, and our 49th anniversary picture in Arusha, Tanzania.  A lot of water has passed beneath our wedding bridge which spans all those years.  We have three wonderful sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and three delightful grandchildren (two girls and a boy).  Perhaps the most important thing is that we do not see our anniversary as an end of a long relationship but the beginning of new and exciting things in our ministry and mission.  There are many people our age who are mellowing and waiting to die in retirement homes, but we don’t know how to quit.  Our Woodstock keeps adding new acts and we are looking to the future, not longing for the past—as wonderful as it was.  We have experienced quite a lot together, but we are far from finished.  Watch this space—more is coming.
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