“Grace note: an extra note as an embellishment and not essential to the harmony or melody.” Instead of applying the concept in the musical world, for us a grace note is seeing Jesus give an extra measure of undeserved grace and help in daily life. Despite surgery, water leaks, costly vehicle repairs, disappointing ministry income, and failed commitments on ministry projects the past few months, the Lord has lovingly dropped grace notes along the way.
Verlin arrived in Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday,grace notes in evidence. When departing, he received Homeland Security Pre-Checked boarding status without asking or paying for it, eliminating the need to even open his backpack filled with electronic items. When arriving, he left his new cell phone on the flight that arrived in Abidjan, and —grace note—the airport police and airline officials managed to retrieve it before the flight continued on to Ethiopia. Add in some notes sounding for an auto repair shop owner who gave hundreds of dollars of free labor and bumped two of our vehicles to the front of the line. We also had an extended family member who lives one road down from us offered to pick up our mail and help in other ways during our absence, if needed. Verlin also managed two days of meetings and appointments in Abidjan without extra rest before returning home to Bondoukou for some more.
One of the grace notesin his meetings was a report from Professor Gombleu whom we trained in Community Health Evangelism (CHE) several years ago. During our absence, Prof. Gombleu trained around 20 pastoral students and/or their wives by himself(truly a grace note that he accomplished 30+ hours of intense training and kept his sanity and vocal cords intact!). Now, the CHE curriculum will begin to be integrated into the denomination’s training process.
On the U.S. side, Debbie received numerous grace notes, as well. The hospital sent us a small check for expenses beyond our out-of-pocket costs. A kind friend sent wellness products that Deb would never have splurged-on for herself, as well as a check to help buy supplies that are absent or costly in Africa. Friends and family provided a cane, walker, and shower chair for use after surgery. Other friends have offered to help her since Verlin is gone, a true grace note since her knee still limits some activities and she will have numerous tasks to finish at our home before leaving.
PRAYER & PRAISE:
Pray that the pastors and others recently trained by Professor Gombleu will effectively implement CHE into their ministries and see communities transformed.Ask for a great CHE training at our mission headquarters in east Texas on August 20-24. Debbie will fly down to participate during that week.Pray for wisdom and strength as Verlin’s responsibilities will take him through much of eastern Cote d’Ivoire in the next month, as well as final preparations for the university training in September.
Your partners in the Gospel,
VERLIN and DEBBIE