M is for Missionaries

MMy sister and her husband have never been what you’d call traditional. For starters they were married on the Appalacian Trail– during their thru-hike. Heather had real flowers woven into a crown, and the new couple walked under an arch of brightly colored hiking staffs, held up by the many friends they made along the way. I don’t know anyone better at making friends along the way.

Hands down, Heather and Randy are the most generous people I’ve ever known. They love to give. One day I came home to find a Vitamix on my landing, brand new and in the box. See, I’m sort of a smoothy addict. I buy up all the overripe bananas in northeast Ohio and freeze them, and I used to go through a blender every three months. No joke. Frozen bananas burn out the gears. That was before my givingest sister and brother-in-law.

They love to give and they love the Lord. How appropriate they should give the best gift there is: the good news. And Africa has always had a special place in their hearts. Ezra, their second child, was adopted from Rwanda in a three-year odyssey that I doubted would ever yield them a baby. But they didn’t doubt, and in God’s timing they brought home the baby God meant for them.

Lots of people love Jesus and love to give, but Heather and Randy have that don’t-belong-here quality. I say that in the nicest way. They don’t get bogged down in sport craziness (like some people I know…). They don’t covet the American Dream. They love simplicity and good food, taking care of the planet, and taking care of their neighbors. They are truly in love with humankind and show it in tangible, practical ways every chance they get.

Heather and Randy don’t have a specific location as of yet but are diligently testing doors and learning all they can in hopes their missionary road will light up. In February they attended a week-long conference to learn about the opportunities with African Inland Missions, the agency which will ultimately send them, Lord willing. At this point they can’t raise support because they don’t have a destination. So they wait. They pray. They wake at 5:30 AM to study Bible together.

There is a country in Africa that is the Cinderella slipper for Heather and Randy. While they wait to find it, I pray they grow into exactly the couple God wants them to be. Meanwhile, I’m thankful for the time I have my sister living close by.

Heath

The Stahleys L-R Shiloh, Heather, Ezra, Ruby, Randy (Photo Credit: Grayson Stahley)

I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory And they will declare My glory among the nations. – Isaiah 66:19

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