Tear Brimmed Eyes
One of my favorite memories of this summer (and oh there are so many) is Pastor Desmond and Pastor John’s first trip to America. We had the privilege of being their “guides/companions” those first 12+ days.
The week prior to their arrival, our family was able to relax together with my parents and brothers (+ families) in the Outer Banks (blog to come). On the Sunday when we all parted, we drove Darron to the airport (yet another blog story) and he flew to Chicago to meet our Indonesian friends and we continued on driving back to Tennessee. By Wednesday night we all met in Texas at our dear Uncle Buz and Aunt Kathy’s home and cousin, Michaele.
What a treat to not only be together again, but to see the farm they live on. Petting all the horses that they board and train. Michaele is in the top 5 horse trainers in the USA and Canada, and the only female at that!!! Her specialty is miniature horses. What fun we had when she hitched them to carts and allowed us to be pulled by them.
The most special moment came later that night. We were all eating together. When Pastor Desmond came up to Uncle Buz (Vernon Starrett) and asked him if he used to be in the group, “Heritage Singers”? Pastor Desmond had been looking at all the family pictures on the wall and he recognized Uncle Buz and Aunt Kathy. Indeed the Heritage Singers group was directed by Uncle Buz and was called the HS New Creation. The album title was, “This is the Time I Must Sing”. Recorded in 1976!!!! The album is on itunes. Well this all created a flurry of activity. Uncle Buz pulled out the BOSE speakers and the music filled every inch of their home. Aunt Kathy found more pictures of the whole Heritage Singer group. And this is the part I will ALWAYS treasure in my heart. Tears. Tears brimmed Pastor Desmond and Pastor John’s eyes. These songs meant so much to both of them. And here we were with THE HERITAGE SINGERS themselves. It was a private meeting with super hero’s. It was divine and God ordained. Angel wings brushed that room…..I’m sure of it.
Hearing newcomer’s excitement and amazement of America is fun. What we take for granted, they see through fresh eyes. The incredible road system. Laundry mats. Fast food. Grocery stores. Even the UPS system blew them away……that a package could be tracked to such detail and it all be TRUE with no bribe fees needed. Both Pastors were so gracious with my cooking. They worked hard to keep the dishes washed and always said, “Thank you” a million times. We joked that Pastor John could be my house helper upon our return to Papua.
Another treasured moment was being at the General Conference session with them. Oh it wasn’t all fun…..the hours were long and we worked hard and it was very tiring. We rambled through city streets of Downtown San Antonio and ate under bridges and on sidewalks. We slept in a church and bathed outside in a camping shower tent. Yet, it was worth it and it was good. Being with Pastor Desmond and Pastor John when 30+ thousand people sang “We have this hope….” was priceless. We all had tears brimming our eyes. We sing that song every week here. I always get extra passionate when we come to the line………”we believe the time is near, when the Nations far and near, will awake and SHOUT and sing, Hallelujah CHRIST IS KING….” But to hear it sang with all those voices and with the Indonesian Pastors……half the time we could not sing. Just swallow hard and allow our hearts to rejoice in the common purpose we share. Telling others about JESUS. No other purpose on earth swells the heart and brings tears to the brim of the eye, than others accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What an awesome God we serve.