Write This Down

Good morning all,

I mentioned the other day about trying to put together our memoirs. Yeah, that sounds kind of arrogant, I know. But I’m thinking this is a good thing for anybody to do, if for nothing else then for our own sakes. As the years go by, we tend to forget things; in this exercise alone, Tony and I have lost whole Christmases that we can’t for the life of us remember where we were that year. And it’s only going to get worse, I’m afraid.

So for our own sakes, and for trying to keep the history, we want to get our stories down on paper (or in digital, as it were). But also for the sake of those who come after us. I’m being realistic; I doubt seriously that our kids will ever read it (although they of all people should be encouraged to do so, since we spend a lot of time talking about them!) But maybe their kids will take a look at our ramblings. Think about it: what would you give to be able to read the story of the everyday life of your great great great grandfather? When Tony’s Dad passed away, we came across Mom’s diary from back when she was a teenager. Dad had kept it on his bedside table (Oh great, now I have to stop and cry a bit!). Looking through it, we can see that she was a typical teen during an untypical time (WWII), and to see the pages come alive makes it so precious to us.

Without writing it down, we might miss some of those memories that took many years and lots of miles to come together. Here’s an example:

One year while on furlough, we were at a missions fair in Chattanooga, Tennessee, working alongside Tony’s Dad, who by now was known far and wide as “Uncle Buddy”. It was a great time, and we had fun trying to “outdo” Dad’s Africa stories with our own experiences in Japan. Didn’t come close.
Now fast forward several years. One of the young couples we met at the fair had felt called to missions, and we wrote back and forth. Eventually, it all came together, and they were appointed as missionaries to Japan. That was wonderful, but I kept wondering about where they were being sent. They are American citizens, but both were born in Thailand, and Thai is their heart language. But we figured the Lord and the Board knew what they were doing by sending them to Japan where they would have to go to language school for two years just like the rest of us.
They settled in, did what was required and finally were posted to southern Japan. Keep in mind that we were living in Sendai, way up in NORTHERN Japan, so we didn’t get to see them very often.

Then one day we got a letter from the couple (whose names are Jack and Prinna). They had been hosting an event at their church, and ended up sitting at a table across from someone they didn’t know. As they spoke together, the newcomer mentioned that he came from northern Japan, in a town called Sendai, and were members of Taitomi Baptist Church there.

“What a coincidence!” Jack exclaimed. “We know the couple who started that church, Tony and Marsha Woods. In fact, Tony’s father, who goes by Uncle Buddy was the one who led us into mission work.”

“Oh yes,” the man (whose name is Shinkichi) said. “I know Uncle Buddy very well. I’ve been to his house in Texas a couple of times, and his wise counsel brought me through more than one crisis in my life.”

Isn’t God Great!  From Tennessee to Texas, from the far north of Japan to the far south, He just keeps selecting, calling and using His children, weaving the fabric of their lives into the awesome work of art that we won’t be able to see in its completeness until we ourselves are made complete in Him. Once in awhile the threads come together, and we manage to get a glimpse of the Weaver’s work.

Forget that old adage about “six degrees of separation”. For God’s family, we are never farther away than our prayers for each other. We are bound, not by random choices in life, but by the One Who made us all, Who built us for a purpose, and Who guides our efforts, drawing us into all that we were made to be.

Back to the “memoir” theme: on at least two occasions, God has spoken to His people, revealing to them those things they or someone near them will be needing down the track. Consider the Apostle John in Revelation 1:19, and to the prophet Habakkuk in 2:1. They were told, “Write this down.”

Good idea.

Marsha

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