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Forgetting But Not Forgotten

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Call me a hypochondriac, but in the last year or so, probably as a result of frequent late nights and/or sleep interruptions from our beautiful little Selah (now 13 months old), my mind has often felt cloudy to the point that I’ve honestly wondered about my present and future mental health. Some of you may have even heard me talking about Dr. Wes Youngberg’s book Memory Makeover, which our friends Tony and Nina shared with us this summer during our furlough and I found to be very helpful. At my last physical exam at Wildwood Lifestyle Center, I requested a cognitive health test. I did get 30 questions right out of 30, which was very reassuring!

I mention this here because, as we traveled up and down the east coast speaking in many churches and venues, we were sad to learn that some of you who have been our faithful supporters and prayer warriors since the beginning and are now in your 80s or 90s are experiencing some serious health challenges. Such realities make me long for Heaven even more! But I guess after 17 years of partnership in missions, none of us is as strong or sharp as we used to be. At 43 years old, I am already feeling new aches and pains, but I know these pale compared to what many of you are experiencing every day.

It was a gray, drizzly October day in Michigan when my family and I, along with our friend Sheri, tried to track down a longtime friend and prayer warrior named Mrs. Stephan who had reportedly moved into a beautiful new assisted-living center. After getting somewhat lost in the facility’s labyrinth of hallways, we at last found her room. Her roommate was there watching TV, but Mrs. Stephen’s bed was empty. It was about lunch time, so we asked a few staff members for directions to the cafeteria. Among the residents eating their meals, we spotted a lady in a wheelchair. Even with her long gray hair, she appeared too young to be a resident. She looked up as we approached, and the first words out of her mouth broke my heart: “I thought you had forgotten me.”

“Oh no, Mrs. Stephan!” I said, putting my arm around her shoulders. “How could we forget you? You’ve been one of our prayer warriors, loving and praying for us for years!”

She nodded. Reaching out to take my daughter Alina’s hand in hers, she said, “And you know, I still do! I still pray for you all every day!”

Amazing! I’m ashamed to admit that in the busyness of life and ministry, I’ve often been a poor communicator, to the point that some of you also may justifiably feel that you’ve been forgotten. And yet through it all, even in the silent times when you’ve perhaps felt forgotten, you haven’t forgotten us! You have continued to believe in, support and pray for us and for the Thai people we are trying to reach for Christ. Thank you! Thank you so much! I believe with all my heart that the reason we have been able to minister to the Thai for 17 years is because of your prayers and support and the love and encouragement you shower on us each furlough. Thank you!

And dear Mr. Dorman, though you couldn’t speak to us the last time we called because, as your wife explained, you were having a hard time remembering, we want to say that, though you may not remember who we are or how you began your mission partnership with us years ago, we remember you, and we thank you. And infinitely greater yet, God remembers! “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them” (Heb. 6:10).

Mr. Dorman, I can’t wait to hug you again and introduce you to all the Thai people you have helped to bring into God’s kingdom as you have supported and prayed for our work so faithfully. Though now, for a moment, you may be forgetting, you are not forgotten. You will never be forgotten!

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