This past week has been filled with beautiful moments. Just to name a few...

I looked with pity on the well dressed women lying on the dental chair. Her hands shook and she cried in utter panic as she explained how traumatic her former experience with the dentist had been. We prayed and I reached for her hand. She pulled me down until I was nearly on top of her and held me with  death grip. I held her too, as Luke gave her the anesthesia. Slowly her grip relaxed as he began the extraction. We met and conquered her fears... together.

I held the darling baby in my arms. Only two days old. I looked from the concerned faces of her family back down to her little face. A cleft lip. Could we fix it? We fixed other things in the mouth. Luke explained that this was beyond our scope, while discussing options for treatment with them. I cradled her and though of all the precious children born into the world like this. So many of them unable to get the needed surgery. In my heart I began to devise a plan to help this little one, and others I can find in this corner of the globe...

In the midst of a busy day at an outreach clinic, a cellphone blared "We wish you a Merry Christmas". Its owner hastily dug it out of his pocket to silence it, and I smiled. I was suddenly transported in memory to cold winter evenings, when with red cheeks and armloads of baked goodies, we caroled to one neighbor after another. The highlight of our holiday season. We always ended with that song. I look out of the window at the banana trees rippling in the tropical breeze. The calendar says that the holidays are near, but they seem so far away from this land of heat and sun. Still my heart was gladdened by sweet memories and the knowledge that I am where God wants me to be right now. My mind returned to the present and I handed Luke a pair of lower forceps. Still smiling.

After a long day, we gathered around the guitar and sang hymns we all love. Everyone sang in his own language, and the harmonies joined to create the sweetest music. In a lull between songs, our friends asked us if we had ever seen the bugs that come out of teeth. Bugs that come out of teeth?? They assured us that is was a phenomenon quite common to sick teeth. Though Luke concurred that perhaps a maggot might take up residence in a large food-filled cavity, he explained that it could only happen if a fly laid the egg in the mouth first. I leaned back my head to look up at the stars and thought of Louis Pasteur and micro class while Luke tried to explain the impossibility of spontaneous generation. They were respectfully skeptical. :) We all had a good laugh and returned to our singing under the African stars...

Today I was lying down for a moment after a busy morning. In the midst of an equally busy train of thought I was suddenly interrupted. I felt the baby move! For the first time! What a wonder of an experience.

All of these moments are like pearls stringing the days together. Thank God for the privilege of living this life.

P.S. The lady in the first story came back today for another extraction. Not a tear or a squirm. She only smiled and squeezed my hand knowlingly when I passed though and greeted her.
Uncle George and Aunt Ella
11/27/2013 19:22:01

You are two wonderful people, doing the ministry that Christ would do. Your Mom, Luke, forwards your e-mails to us. We enjoy them so much. We forward them to Helton, to Mary and to Elizabeth.
We are so happy for you to be expecting your first baby! How well we remember ours!! Much love from both of us.

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Mary Williams
11/27/2013 20:48:47

We do enjoy hearing of all your experiences there. They bring back a lot of memories past. God bless you and your new little one now just letting her presence be known. Yes, it is a great experience!!!!! Happy for the two of you. Aunt Mary

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Elizabeth Yeagley
12/1/2013 22:13:24

Thanks so much for writing and sharing stories of your life. It is fun to read and refreshing to hear your joy in the Lord! Can't wait to see pictures of your little one when he/she is born!

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12/3/2013 11:21:52

You two are my heroes. End of story.
(Barely beginning of story.)

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Alexsis
12/5/2013 15:41:20

I love to watch your videos and to see any new updates. As you both may I am the 12 year old who posted a comment a couple of weeks ago. And I am happy for the announcement of the new baby. I would someday want to meet you both and the baby.

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Jenni Allen
12/11/2013 13:27:19

So excited for you and Luke! I remember the first time I felt the baby move in my womb too! And Wyatt felt it for the first time on Thanksgiving day! We are due in April. Being pregnant through the holiday and Christmas season makes this time of year seem even more meaningful...thinking of Mary and baby Jesus. Blessing to you as you minister to others, including your baby!

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Sandra
2/5/2014 11:55:26

Anxiously awaiting for new post that is way overdue!

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Marcia
2/19/2014 11:34:18

Always great to see your posts. I am living the experience of your mission trips vicariously through you. Since my early teens I have always known I wanted to be a missionary but life's circumstances have prohibited that....for now. I am glad I get to somewhat experience it through your blog. Continue to be a blessing all over the world and may God continue to bless you. Congrats on the new addition coming soon.

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4/27/2014 23:49:08

Wonderful couple! May God bless you more and your little one inside your tummy..!:) It's such a wonderful experience to be parents!

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