Memorial Box Monday (On Tuesday) – An Africa Story

If my friends thought I was a tad behind before, well the world of two in diapers (again!) and little people who are discovering new things and afraid of many things….”behind” is all relative I guess.
Our little log home is completely buried in snow as it snowed and snowed all day yesterday. We are trusting that someone will come dig us out at some point today. The long lane leading to our home is filled with drifted snow that has come across the pastures…..trees loaded with snow……picture perfect gorgeous!

Dw did just say to me, “Well it’s not a question of ‘will we have a white Christmas?….it’s a question of will there be any presents for Christmas?” We were going to head out to do some much needed Christmas present shopping….so we’ll see….

But I am dying to tell the stories of Africa – God’s mighty faithfulness and power and how He provided over and over and over for our needs!! He is worthy of praise!!

Anyway, before heading to Africa I had got to thinking…..I needed some way to keep track of time. Here at home I usually just rely on my cell phone, but Verizon is not a possibility in Africa.
I decided to buy an inexpensive watch to take with me. When JoJo came to visit she and I did some Africa shopping and I found a watch to take. I was relieved that that was all set.

I decided to just leave the watch on the counter till actual day of departure. That morning of December 1st we had to be at the airport at 4:30am so I hurriedly went to clip the little plasticky thingys but just as I was doing that I noticed that my brand new little watch had lost time. Not a couple of minutes, but actually about 8 hours. UGH! Stupid watch!

No point in taking that dumb watch!! I said, “Lord what am I going to do about a watch? You have to provide some way for me to know the time while there. After all I will have meetings at the attorney’s office, court appointments, etc.” We grabbed all 11 of our suitcases and carry-ons and were off.

The flight to Denver was bumpy, going over those mountains. We had a couple of hours in Denver and headed to the gate for our next flight to Detroit. Each leg of the journey to Africa our tickets showed that the kids and I were separted in seats. I was rather troubled by that. Long flights with the kids in other rows, just not so much fun to this mama.

When I went to sit in the seat for the Denver to Detroit flight I sat between two older ladies. I thought at first they knew each other, but it turns out that they didn’t. The lady on my left immediately said, “hi”. I know there are people out there who just don’t want to chat on their flights, but I am not one of them. I love getting to know people, hearing their stories and where life has taken them. I also love to tell people about the how faithful the Lord has been in my life, even they will pause even for a moment, I am waiting to tell them about the Lord.

So this sweet lady, who I eventually found out was soon to turn 85 and I struck up a conversation. And truly, we had a great time chatting. We talked about all kinds of things: her kids, her grandkids, her husband’s death, and eventually I told her why I was on the flight – heading to Africa to bring home my sweet babies.

We showed each other pictures of our loved ones. We chatted freely about all kinds of things, she was just so fun to talk to! I felt like I had known her for years and it made the flight pass quickly. In the midst of our conversation I said, “Do you have the time? I had a watch I had bought to bring, but when I went to put it on this morning it had not kept time at all. It must be almost time to land.” She checked her watch and told me the time. She went on to tell me that her son (whom she had just been visiting in the Denver area) had just bought the watch for her. I told her how much her son must love her!

We went on talking and she asked me all kinds of questions about the adoptions, about ministry, about my other kids.

Before long they told us that we were descending toward Detroit and we needed to buckle up and prepare for landing. This sweet lady then said, “Ummm, I really want to give you something.” I’m sure my eyes popped out! I turned to her and said, “What?” She said, “I am so happy for what you are doing for these children, I would like you to have my watch to take to Africa with you.” I about fell over!! I told her that there was no way I could take her watch. I reminded her that her son had just given her the watch. She said her son would want me to have it too. I told her over and over that I could not take her watch – BUT she was completely insistant.

Of course, when I had mentioned my watch problem, there was no ulterior motive or desire for manipulation in my heart. I was merely chatting with my new friend and not once in a bazillion years would I have thought that my comment would prompt her to give me her watch.

We argued back and forth. Those who know me closest know that I don’t even ask my close friends to borrow things, it’s just not in my DNA. Eventually though, this sweet lady would not hear of a ‘no’. She got out her camera and took a picture of me. When we landed and were taxing to the gate she phoned her daughter from her cell. She said, “I have just met the nicest lady who is going to Africa to adopt TWO children, we have had the best visit.”
I hugged her and promised I would write her when I returned from Africa and that I would also send her a picture of my Elizabeth and Elijah.
I rejoiced with the Lord’s provision and each time I used my new watch I was reminded of God’s provision, His blessings and His complete faithfulness.
Now there is an old watch of mine sitting in our Memorial Box which symbolizes this whole watch story!! How God longs to remind us of His faithfulness and in turn have us tell these stories to our children and our children’s children.

11 thoughts on “Memorial Box Monday (On Tuesday) – An Africa Story

  1. Linn,

    What a precious story about a dear soul the Lord used to minister to you. (In my home state–Michigan!) Kind of gives “God’s perfect timing” a whole new twist, doesn’t it? He was certainly “watching” out for you . . . sorry, couldn’t resist! Go God!

    He is so faithful! Love hearing of His daily miracles as you unfold your Uganda story for all of us. Thank you!

    Christmas blessings . . . praying someone is digging you out as I type!

    Love from Texas~


  2. Maybe one of those angels you entertained unaware? 🙂

    God is surely in the details (and must be chuckling often!)

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the Africa stories.

    And we’re buried in snow too 🙂

  3. Linn and family,
    Isn't God's gift of time AMAZING!!! E & E (as well as ALL your children) are sooo adorable! Merry Christmas from our family to yours………..

  4. May this be THE best Christmas ever for the Saunders family wherever they all are! Your blog blesses me so!

    I can't wait for Garrett & Makenna to get their after-Christmas surprise and for them to tell you about it!


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