Wednesday, November 4, 2009

a letter to my peeps - past, present, and future

Dear senders, sponsors and prayer warriors,

It is 3:23pm, cst, right now on a Wednesday in Nashville, TN. Today I had breakfast with a friend, took Asher to a park, took Shawn to the health department for his H1N1 nasal mist vaccine and returned home. Life as usual. Along the way, I’ve had many beverages, and 2 filling meals. I took a shower under a brushed nickel faucet with clean running water, and I got dressed in a grotesque 11x11 closet, after I walked my bare feet across lovely tile floors. I opened my trendy stainless steel refrigerator and gave my children the beverages of their choice, and sliced apples and cheese for their breakfast. Most importantly….I snuggled up with my Asher Tate in a soft oversized chair, overlooking a nice flower garden, and bundled under a warm blanket while we chatted about how much we love each other, and shared too many hugs to count. When Shawn awoke, he was greeted by ME at the top of the stairs with arms open wide and the parade of kisses that begins each morning, and almost never stops. Like I said, a usual day. A day with choices. A day with luxuries. A day with comforts. A day overflowing with a mommas’ love for her children.

I am really writing to just share with each of you that I leave in 3 days (on Saturday) to fly back to Zimbabwe. Many of you helped me go last year. Many of you are helping me to go this year. Many are praying for me. And even more, so many of you have generously sponsored some teenagers in Zimbabwe to go to a 1 week Christian camp this December….an event that should no doubt increase their hope & faith, and in turn, improve their lives. For those of you new to this news…..most of these kids are outgrowing their orphanage (age 18) and will be put on the streets. The week long Christian camp which is something they could NEVER afford, is intended to be a wonderful experience of growing in Christ and increasing their faith for survival. When I asked for some sponsorships, I could never have imagined the outpouring of support. I was initially thinking I might be able to get about 10 children sponsored, and instead, you have sponsored 20 children. Joe and I will be sponsoring additional kids, so this is a HUGE success and praise in God’s name. I am overjoyed and cannot wait to share this news with them. Thank you.

Thank you senders and sponsors. Thank you friends and family. Thank you friends and family of friends and family. Your faith in giving means so much. Even if you gave LAST year but were not able to give THIS year, I am still thanking you because THIS year has everything to do with LAST year, and I am still counting your gift as a blessing to me. I am touched and humbled. Whether you were the first domino or the last, your placement on this journey has been critical.

In 3 days I board an airplane for 2 days, where when I land, the paragraph of choices, luxuries and comforts all but fade away. But thankfully, the love and the snuggles are traveling with me. They may not be MY children, but truly in a way I feel like they are. When a little one has lost his parents to AIDS, any hug will do. And if I have pride about anything, I like to think that I have incredible hugs….and my purpose is to pass them out. Snuggle tight. Kiss those dirty little faces. Talk about life with struggling teenagers. Seriously y’all, this is my gift to give. I cannot wait. Your contributions, small and large, put me on a plane and deliver me straight into the orphanage homes of children who are starving for food and starving for love. YOU are to be celebrated and commended for your willingness to give. I cannot tell you how much I want and hope that each of you will be blessed by your giving and by your prayers. I mean that with all of my heart. Some people believe that traveling in missions is a waste of money. I see it differently, very differently. God says that we are to care for the poor, the orphans and the widows. Money certainly overcomes a lot of troubles, and it would be great if more would be done with our resources to fix the problems. But to date, there is still starvation, war, sickness, death, etc. And there is no amount of money that can stand in for a hug and a kiss. There is no amount of money that can substitute for a one on one conversation with someone who needs hope, or someone who wants to understand who God is and how we are to worship Him (real questions I got last year). A bag of food will feed their tummies (and they do need this) but 2 weeks of loving fellowship can heal a lifetime of hurt and fear. Trust me…..last year they healed me completely.

In Zimbabwe the average life expectance is 27.

I will blog while I am away, but only a couple of times as the internet café is not a daily stop. Please feel free to read about my experiences at

If you desire to email me while I am away (11/7 – 11/21)…please do so at my alternate email address: (I cannot retrieve mail from my main account). I can receive text messages on my phone 615-497-4598 but there is a long delay (about a day I think).

I am committed to serving in Africa for the rest of my life. Annually or twice annually, God willing. Please consider future assistance.

May all the praise be to my king and may the glory be for God alone. I am just a traveling servant.

Please remember me in your prayers and please please pray for the children. My safety is not my goal. My service is. Their hearts are.

I love you.

Humbly yours,



Jenn said...

Praying for you Melissa! May God bless you and those you reach out to.

I'm sorry, I completely forgot to email you after you said you didn't get the other email. We would love to get together and play when you get back. Most any day, except Tuesday and Wednesday.

Praying! Jenn

Sarah said...

I'm so excited to hear about your trip already! You are in my prayers.