It’s a silver moment!

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Al Dean, Dominican Republic

25 years ago, my dear Ami, took a risk of faith and love to become Amarilis De La Paz Melo de Thompson, and launched out on an unconventional path of following Jesus with me, in a call to the least reached, the places where other Christians don’t want to go, and to do work that others do not want to do.

As she has followed me (and Jesus!), and follows me still, living out of an unseen treasury, in numerous countries and in many ‘homes’, she has bravely and repeatedly faced ridiculous and impossible missionary (and other) challenges with grace and charm, lived in physical war zones, and many spiritual war zones, with quiet trust in God, and often challenged me to integrity and trust in God, and graciously submitted to my leadership in the family as I have tried to love her like Jesus loves the Church and bring up daughters who love, fear and follow their Lord and Creator.

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She has stepped out with trust and abandon to God in all the risk and unknown of following Jesus into the battlefields of life and mission, leaving aside frequently what many wives and mothers would desire in a stable “nest”, and when “settling down” could have so easily been chosen and yet also, she knew, would divert us from our charted course.

And … there is no woman who can prepare filling meals so creatively out of nothing in the cupboards like my wife! We have some stories, don’t we?

Her forgiveness is quick. Her love … unbelievably committed and steady. Her amazing, self-sacrifice for me and for her children, especially during these latter years of health challenge, have been exemplary and constantly stun me for their depth of commitment and the deep living out of her life for others.

Many people, even those who know her, and even those in her family (me included) have no clue as to the burden and difficulty her health has given her day after day for so long.

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Operation Mobilisation European HQ in 1977

This boy married late – ten years later than most of his peers – and I think it was to allow me time to get to the place (of maturity?!?) where I would recognise that the choice of Amarilis De La Paz Melo as my wife was the second best decision I ever made (after deciding to follow Jesus as Ruler of my life).

There were many who were used of God in my early twenties to keep me from pursuing others and from what could have been lesser unions – I am eternally in debt to you John Hymus and Dennis Wright for your courageous leadership of this lovesick teen – and a powerful sermon entitled “Relinquishing your right to marriage” that helped me at that time to deal with an unhealthy push as a single (for marriage), and to discover incredible peace and trust in waiting. Thank you Loren Cunningham for that teaching that brought me such freedom and to George Verwer for your moral purity talks, your integrity and the challenge to live a focused life.

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Our living room in Gran Canaria, Spain (Grand Canary) in 1996

I love you Ami and I am coming out to say it publicly that I do not deserve your love, nor someone like you by my side. I know you will probably kill me now for saying this on here, but at least I’ll die happy. I just hope this extrovert’s craziness will again charm your heart deeply and encourage you today to know that you are loved deeply by me and your daughters Alexandra, Jessica and Vania. We could not hope for a better wife nor mother than you. (And I hope that makes you cry today!). 😎

I hope that in reading this, if you are married, that you will love more, because this mad world needs to see it so much more clearly now: God-pleasing, biblical, godly marriages that are unshakeable because of a choice to love, and … if you are single, I hope that you will know that waiting His timing for marriage will be richly rewarded, and rushing on the marriage decision is unwise, even foolish! He is faithful and will do it!

The journey continues Ami and there is more adventure ahead! Here’s to the next 25!

Family together in Perth

 
 It was three years ago that we last managed to be together. This was certainly an impossible trip for us. (See previous posts for more details). Twenty-four hours before we were supposed to leave we had no tickets. We had nothing but a promise that it was His plan. 
As we now cross the country together on a train to Adelaide – another example of His faithfulness to us – after a wonderful week in Perth, I have many take-aways from this trip so far. Here are just a few:

  • Watching my three girls minister the Word through prophecy and art and prayer all evening to a missionary Friend and colleague who is working in an unreached people group in Asia
  • Seeing 12 people from six nations impacted by the Word of God as we taught them storytelling through STS
  • Watching a nine year old girl lead two old men into applications for today after telling them a complicated story about God, Pharaoh and Moses
  • Watching a Singaporean young man grasp the training well and then lead others to understanding
  • At last seeing my oldest daughter dance ‘live’ with her Island Breeze team at the luau they held at YWAM Perth
  • Hanging out with a dear old friend from Kansas City days, and seeing some of the incredible animals in Australia as a family
  • Meeting up with a Perth couple whom I last saw in the 70s when I worked with them in Senegal
  • Just getting lots of family time, which we hope to continue for the next ten days we have together

Blessed of our Father.

Legacy

Photos

One of the things that the Lord laid on our hearts for this time in Ireland was the documenting of a legacy. Digitally organising the story of our family and lives for future generations of our family and for those who would care to hear it told.

The “story” will come in many different facets. My Dad’s amazing Prisoner of War diary. Other documents and awards hanging round from bygone days.

Also my own diary (journal). I have kept a diary since I was six years old. Some of it is a bit of a mess and it all needs collating and organising. Another aspect is video interviews with my mother that I have been gathering and recording for the past ten years.

And then there are the photos.

Several years ago our girls, among other things, helped me by scanning loads of old photographs. Those photographs remain in piles in my office and there are digital folders all over the place with the electronic format of most of our family snaps, dating back from before my parents were born (in some cases).

The problem has been getting the time to sort through it all, and, up until Christmas, having a decently functioning computer that could handle the workload and space needed to organise and files.

Finally, the system on the Mac, using the cloud services, for filing everything and for photographic storage was both slow and inefficient.

Until recently.

Apple released Photos with its powerful ability to store things well in the cloud and also be easily searched, edited, organised and accessed from mobile devices as well as from a desktop.

Don McAllister (of http://www.screencastsonline.com) and David Sparks have produced some practical tutorials to work you through setting this all up and I spent the first part of today immersed in studying it all and planning my use of Photos. David Sparks’ helpful tutorial comes in the shape of a “video field guide” about Photos, an all-encompassing screencast available at http://macsparky.com/photos

So the work has finally begun and Photos, as I get the time, will slowly reflect the story I have been longing to get organised in a way that can be told visually and shared easily.

To be continued …