Right Now, a dedication

You've read that I've been working on some Audibibles for the Arop-Lokep
language from previous blogs. The fruition of this multi-month project
for me was going to be to attend the printed New Testament and audio New
Testament dedication which is happening as I write this.

I'm not there.

The dedication promises to be remarkable! A once in a lifetime memory.
All the variables are there. The people are excited, the project was
completed, it's a beach culture (like to sing and dance a lot in
cultural costumes), and the people have been preparing for a long time
for this.

I'm not there.

A lot of my friends are going. Some are staying multiple days and going
on hikes. I had picked up a few gifts to give my friends that I've
worked with and was looking forward to meeting their families and seeing
their 'as ples' (their homes).

I'm not there, but I don't regret the decision. Yes I'm sad that I'm
going to miss it. It was going to be our family's BIG THING before we
left. That thing that symbolized and earmarked this term's ministry.
That thing that said 'Your 3 1/2 year term is over, and this is what you
accomplished! Celebrate." It was going to be cool.

But I'm not there, and here's why.

After Kendal had to be quickly flown to the U.S. before I was home 10
minutes from that adventure drive, my son asked 'Dad when you go to the
dedication who will take care of us?'

Now my son is 13, and spending an entire day home alone is well within
his realm of possibility.

Not long after that, maybe an hour, my daughter also came up to me and
said "Dad, when you're gone in 2 weeks, who will be with us?"

They both approached me several weeks away from the event. Both
approached privately, and both brought this up as their first concern
and thought.

I'm not the most perceptive man, but I realized quickly that for
teenagers to be planning 2 weeks out, was significant. And the way
their queries came to me told me, that being left alone, was not
something they wanted to be.

I did a little research into the grieving process. I found out that
when someone loses a family member to death, they feel like their entire
world is unstable. If it's a close male that passes, then they start to
wonder about the other close males in their lives.

Husband, father, me.

So it hits me, not only am I risking a little bit (flying around in this
country, being away, etc) but I'm not giving my kids that sense of
stability that they need right now to help them grieve the loss of their

Without hesitation, as soon as I realize what was going on, I called and
cancelled my trip. I knew it may mean losing the non-refundable
air-fare but it seemed the right choice. (fyi, I was able to get the
funds back)

The place of the dedication is a gorgeous place, I've heard. I can't
wait to see video and pics and to share them with you.

I was hoping to share a story when I was in the U.S. of the remarkable
thing that God is doing in these people. To show you video and photos
of me being there, and sharing in the celebration. To experience a
totally awesome and wonderful fruition of years of labor by many people.

And I'll still be sharing those stories, but they will have to be second
hand, because I opted to care for the emotional needs of my kids.

It is Sunday morning, across the country there are people beginning a
massive celebration.
Praise God with me.

I gotta go finish making pancakes for the kids.

(actually they're dutch babies, but that isn't as poetic to write on a

I'll post pictures later.

From one 'not there' person to another (you)... (we're in the same
boat!) let's celebrate wherever we are, in our hearts... that the Arop
Lokep people today, receive, feel see, read and HEAR God's Word in their
heart language for the very first time! That is awesome!