We’ve been getting together at Waycross Camp in southern Indiana for four years now. We are only a few (7 this year), but then the Tudor Hall class of ’69 was only 32 and that counts Inez, the foreign exchange student. We weren’t particularly friends in high school. Some of us rarely spoke. We were threatened by the academic achievements or coolness factor of others, but the passage of forty-plus years has mellowed all that. We are who we are, and that's OK.
[Whew! I haven't been blogging regularly and just found this in my draft box. I think the question is worth asking even now, so I will go ahead and post it.]
I recently opened my e-mail to find a newsletter from an old friend from our Mozambique days whose husband had recently returned from consulting for a Bible translation team in Nigeria. You’ve heard the news stories about Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic group that kidnaps schoolgirls to serve as slaves and slaughters Christian villagers. Boko Haram is active in the northern part of Nigeria and pushing aggressively south in hopes of turning Nigeria into a fundamentalist Islamic state. (Not all Muslims agree with them by any means, and those who disagree are likely to be slaughtered as quickly as Christians.)
Francis Schaeffer and the shaping of Evangelical America by Barry Hankins is not a new book. It was published by Eerdmans in 2008, but I’m just now getting to it. It was a hard book to read. Schaeffer profoundly shaped my thinking as a young adult. The love with which the Schaefers received both European and American young people at L’Abri (“the Shelter”) in Huemoz, Switzerland, was as powerful an apologetic for his conservative Christian faith as his tireless teaching. Although I visited L’Abri only briefly in 1976 (and that at a time when the by-then-retired Schaeffers were away), I heard him speak several times, most notably at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Hankins’ summary of the contents of Schaeffer’s trilogy (The God Who is There, Escape From Reason, and He is There and He is not Silent) brought me back to the roots of much of my thinking that I have taken for granted for many years—the importance of worldview; the upper and lower stories that divorce faith and reason; the mannishness of man, separating us from the animal kingdom; the need to engage culture if we are going to win a world for Christ.
We recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of my home church, Faith Missionary Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was a charter member at age thirteen, and FMC has been our largest supporting church over the years so there were lots of old friends to see. Saturday night was a picnic. Most fun for me were <!--more-->conversations with one of my former Pioneer Girls, now an oncology nurse, and with a thirteen-year-old budding writer who grew up in West Africa.
We were in Florida last week for the purpose of babysitting while our daughter ran the Disney Marathon. Actually, she did more than that. Way more! Here are a few pictures.
The summer of 1976 my husband and I arrived in Ethiopia to teach at the Good Shepherd School for missionary children. Not only was that year the two hundredth anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence; it was also a time of major political upheaval in Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie had been deposed in 1974. The new government was a militaristic version of Marxism ruled by “the Derg,” or committee. Three coups occurred the year we were there. The last brought Lt. Col. Mongistu Haile Mariam to sole power. His government patterned itself after early Chinese Communism.
“Bring him home!” Jean Valjean prays in Les Miserables of the young man his foster daughter loves. My daughter loves a young man too, and God has just brought him home from nine months in Afghanistan. We are grateful and rejoicing.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.