Saturday, April 21, 2012

20 Years Ago

20 years ago
A young woman dreamed of joining the Peace Corps.
When the application asked if she had a country preference,
She checked, “No preference.”
When her assignment came as a teacher trainer on the island of Grenada
She immediately headed to the public library
To see where the heck they were sending her.
20 years ago
That young woman found her new home
In a place with warm, friendly people,
Adorable, curious children,
The sweet nectar of mangoes, dripping from every tree,
And a cute young teacher named Ryan.
And a church in Kingwood, Texas prayed for her.
They sent notes of encouragement
And care packages with things like Oreos and Pace picante sauce.

20 years ago,
She was placed in a small country school
at the north end of a tropical island
that is only 12x22 miles wide.
Placed by whom?
No question about that.
Of all the schools on that island,
Of all the islands in the Caribbean,
Of all the countries in the world,
God placed her there.
And over two years, that nice young teacher named Ryan became a friend,
then a boyfriend and then a fiancée to the young woman.

And Ryan made a choice: to give up that life in order to start a new one with her

He came to America and became a husband, and then a father.
He became a friend, a faithful church worker and a citizen of the United States.

And the church in Kingwood, Texas,
Opened its arms and its heart to this Grenadian son.

Fast forward twenty years.

One month ago, 17 of us carried the prayers,
and energy,
and hope,
and love,
and financial support,
of Kingwood Christian Church,
across the ocean
to our brothers and sisters in Grenada.

One month ago I had the honor of sharing Grenada with my church family.
One month ago I had the honor of sharing my church family with Grenada.
One month ago, standing in the very spot where Ryan asked me to marry him,
We renewed our marriage vows in the presence of our dear friends.

One month ago I saw nine months of planning bear beautiful fruit.
One month ago I saw an 18 year dream come true - a dream to help, to give back.
God’s perfect plan,
20 years in the making.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Questions for Reflection: 

 Looking back on your life, can you think of a time when God was at work, long before you were  aware of it? Thank God for that time. How would you describe that time?

Do you have any pictures of yourself during this time period? What do you notice when you look at yourself in those pictures? What could you say today, knowing what you know, to that person back then? What words could you use to encourage her?

How does it make you feel to realize that God is ever-present, even when we aren’t aware or tuned in?

Are you in the midst of a struggle now that seems hopeless? Imagine the best possible outcome and write about that. How long might it take? Share this desire of your heart with God, asking for the patience needed to wait.


  1. Beautifully written, Lindy. Will give some thought to your questions. Wes and I feel privileged to be on the faith journey with people like youand Ryan.

  2. What Gods has planned for you, you followed. Yes you followed the Lord's instructions, and guidance to my land, and I want to thank you for sacrificing a part of your young life for the people of my country. I know that you touched many hearts, and in particular that of Ryann. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family.

    God Bless.


  3. The Lord has a way of planning it all out......

  4. What a perfect way to tell a very complicated story of God's profound work--in simplicity and beauty.