Adopted Grandma/Nov. 19, 2012

So many of you may remember that before I came here, I asked God something
very specific…this is a story of how God provides, and an encouragement
to the older generation! 🙂

I am a highly relational person. I love my relationships with people. Of
all my relationships, one of the most valued relationship-type that I have
is my adopted gramma’s. Besides my already amazing, rockstar Gramma’s who
more than overfill that role in my life to the max and then some, there are
a few older women who I just adore and glean advice from all the time. They
totally live up to this verse: “Teach the older women to live in a way that
honors God…these older women must train the younger women to love their
husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their
homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will
not bring shame on the word of God.” (Titus 2:3) Sally Scammell, Eileen
Davidson, Fran Gram (As I call her), Cle Callihan, Peggy Roberts, Gramma
Dee (Haylee’s Gramma), are just some of the older women that God has
blessed me with, and I love them so much. They are hands down some of the
hardest people to be away from.

Well, before I left, I was very concerned about leaving these
relationships. Proverbs tells us that there is safety in many counselors,
and I didn’t have any counselors going with me…other than the One inside
me. So I asked God very specifically to provide an older woman for me to be
friends with, that I could pour into with enthusiasm, and she could pour
into me with wisdom. I told God I didn’t care what color she was or what
she looked like, I just asked that He provide this woman and that I would
know exactly who she was from the first minute I saw her, and that she
would choose to want to know me, too. I know that God told me that he would
make this happen, and I just needed to wait for his acknowledgement on whom
this person is.

So we have been here for over 2 months now, and I have been ON THE LOOK OUT
for this said woman. Every time we meet a sweet elderly lady – white or
black – I anxiously await that still voice saying “That’s her” …but
nothing. We have met some pretty incredible older women too. In fact just
the other day, I met two 70 year old Gramma’s who totally love Jesus that
ran over to me off the street and gave me huge Gramma hugs. They reminded
me so much of you, Gramma Lou. Same light in their eyes. They had moved to
Burundi for 3 months to teach English. WOW! Surely one of these women must
be her…but no voice. (By the way — for all of you older people reading
this, whoever said that moving to a third world country on a mission is
only for young people is crazy! I have met countless people in their
seventies and eighties that have lived here either for a short time or 40
years and they absolutely love it. So you can do anything! Do not limit God
because of your age! God can use you globally like crazy! And places like
this are in dire need of wisdom from an older generation…mostly because
there just aren’t that many older people alive here.)

ANYWAY – We have a home group that started meeting Thursday nights. It is
mostly functioning as a support group/church for missionaries here because
church is just so different and hard to be at if you are not used to it in
Burundi…more on that some other email. So we planned, together with the
Guillebauds and a few other families, to have a home group. So we walked
into the living room first night of small group…and Allie Blair walks up
to Ladd and shakes his hand. I took one look at her and beyond a shadow of
a doubt heard God say, “There she is.” WOW!!!! I could barely speak, I was
so excited. I sat and talked to her all night. She is amazing!!! She is in
her 60’s. She grew up in England. She loves Jesus so much! She was a
missionary in Cambodia for years, Thailand, Cameroon, Rwanda and now
Burundi. Speaks all those languages. She has lived here 15 years and
started a NGO called BRAVO MINISTRIES that takes in prostitutes and teaches
them how to sew and manage their money with what they make from sales. She
has never been married, but seriously — the amount of life this woman has
lived for Jesus that she shared with me in 1 hour left me totally dumb
founded and inspired. I could write pages and pages about this woman. She
is super spunky and quick witted, super funny, and so small! She must weigh
less than 100 lbs with a short little grey bob hair cut. This woman powers
around Burundi in her Landover and just shares Jesus with people. I promise
I will keep you updated on her crazy stories. She was the one who paid for
the surgeries of John – the burn victim in that email a few weeks ago. If
you want to see a picture of her, I just posted one of FB of her and
another elderly gramma here. She is the one on the left. …

But I had to wait to see if she would pursue me, too. After all, that was
part of the deal. Sure enough, a few days later she called me up and asked
if we could go out to lunch. Bingo!!!! Ladd, myself and Allie went to this
back ally Ethiopian restaurant where you eat everything with your hands,
and talked for like 4 hours about testimonies and Jesus and cool stories!
Anytime she starts talking about Jesus and the things he has done in her
life, she gets all teary eyed and sensitive just like my Gramma Lou… I
love that she has lived here so long, seen the most gruesome, horrific
things, and still a testimony that doesn’t include anything even closely as
powerful as her stories, still makes her cry with joy!

So there it is. I still haven’t told her this story. I probably should 🙂 I
think this week we are going to go to one of the quarters in Buja that is
completely oppressed by witchcraft and just walk the streets and pray with
people. Some seriously crazy “demon stories” come out of this region, so it
is definitely needed. So excited to spend the day with my Buja-gramma!!!

Praise God for Allie Blair. I can’t wait to keep you posted on our
adventures. And seriously — I am not joking — to all of you older people,
please do not stop working for the Kingdom of God just because of your age.
You have been gifted with so much wisdom and so much knowledge. I know that
Satan lies and debilitates you by making you believe that young people just
don’t care about what you think or the things you say, but that is not
true. Of course some do, but there are so many young people that are in
need of a loving Grandparent to come along side them and minister to them.
I know from experience that single handedly, no one has impacted my life
for Jesus like my grandparents. There were totally times when I pushed them
away and didn’t take their advice and thought they were outdated and wrong,
but nearly every time, they were right and demonstrated God’s grace to me.
They even messed up and failed sometimes, but they never gave up on pouring
into me. These older people in my life have been such a blessing. If you
have grand children that do not know Jesus, or even if they do — do not
give up on pouring into them!

Maybe Satan tells you that you better not do anything crazy like that
because you are delicate in your old age and if you were to get sick away
from the medical system in the States, it could be very dangerous. Well, I
promise you that entering into heaven because you were serving God
radically at the cost of a perfect healthcare system is much more exciting
than entering heaven from a long and comfortable 25 years of retirement,
living in the past evangelism that you did when you were young. Jesus
doesn’t want you to serve him only when you are young, and then live your
life now as if you “checked that box” already and now it is time to rest. I
can’t find that philosophy anywhere in the Bible. If anything – as you get
older, you should be more and more radical about serving Jesus because you
are more likely to see Him sooner and you have a lot of life lessons to

Do not get sucked into this lie. Do not let things like age, sickness,
fear, or safety keep you from serving radically. Stop listening to Satan,
and live! God has already planned out crazy things for you to do, you just
have to get up and do them! I know that you are tired, and I know that your
body hurts. I am so sorry, and I will pray for God to give you fresh energy
and good health, but even if it is not easy, please still do something! Do
not get sucked into self-pity. As Oswald Chambers says, “Self pity is from
the devil, and it is impossible for God to use me to impact this world
while I am wallowing in it.”

I know my generation frustrates you, and you think we are far gone. And
yeah, we are far gone in a lot of ways, so help! But we also have tons of
people in my generation that are desperate to live out their lives for
Jesus (and a good chunk of them have tattoos and piercings! They may even
wear skinny jeans with funny hair cuts! Keep your eyes on what matters.
“Man looks at outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” Jesus
never judged the fishermen for looking scraggly, or John the Baptist for
wearing a camel toga). Come along side them and teach them! I am not saying
that every old person needs to move to Africa, wherever God has you is for
a reason, and He can use you radically. I know God is doing crazy things in
CDA right now, and places like the juvenile detention center, the high
schools, and NIC are all opening their arms and begging people to come help
by mentoring and teaching and leading in the name of Jesus! Shoot – you
don’t even have to do anything formal. My grandpa went to coffee shops last
year just to sit in the corner and wait for God to tell him which college
student to talk to. His body hurts all the time, so sitting at Java,
sipping a cup of coffee with his Bible was what he was capable of, and God
bless him for that! He still chose to get up and go do something that
mattered. And the coolest part about it was that he felt better after
going! The girl that God showed him to talk to, he still remembers her and
prays for her. Be like that.

My generation loves you and longs for relationship with you. We appreciate
your advice. We are a highly relational and a communicating generation
(this may require that you get texting, and a facebook account). I promise
you that if you asked a younger person to coffee, or dinner at your house,
and then just asked them life questions and let them open up to you, they
would do it in a heart beat. And you would be blessed, too, because we
would want to repay your love and kindness by shoveling your driveway and
running your errands when you are tired or sick, and inspiring you when
your faith gets tired. It is a win, win and I know it blesses the heart of
Jesus to see his Bride working together like this.

I just think that older people doing missions is one of the most useful
tools in the body of Christ, whether you are on mission in Coeur d’ Alene,
Idaho or Bujumbura, Burundi. So don’t just get old and check out! Enter
into the Kingdom of Heaven fighting for all it’s worth for Jesus!! You have
been commissioned and equipped to do so! Run the race until the end. Not
walk the race or crawl the race or sit on the sidelines and cheer on the

Thank you to all the older people who are active in their faith at all
costs! You are a blessing to everyone who is graced by your presence. Jesus
is proud of you, and I personally cannot wait to watch Him reward you for
your hard work, even when you were sick and tired and old. I will be one of
the ones standing up in thunderous applause of the way you let Jesus use

Keep up your hard work and “do not get tired of doing good. For at the
right time you will receive a harvest of blessing.”


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