1our dear friend returns home to South AfricaBy Amanda Shaheen
This update is for you who, we have found, really care for us. Some of you we may have met once, others, we have known our entire lifetime. We understand that we could just as easily use facebook, twitter, or email to write you individually. However, we want to offer a more personal touch in updating you about how our lives together, by the will of God, are progressing.
In January, Jiryis and I were able to spend some wonderful quality time with a dear friend of ours who has been studying in South Africa for the last two years. Leah M iller, from St. Charles, MO, is a childhood friend of Jiryis and the very first friend he introduced me to when we first started dating. Not soon after our relationship began, Leah followed the Lords calling to study and live in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The last two years Jiryis and I have been praying for her, and keeping her in our hearts from afar.
We had the wonderful blessing of having her fly from South Africa to Nazareth, Israel to be apart of our wedding this past summer. What a wonderful gift to us. The few short days
we spent together were treasured moments. Leah only has the opportunity to fly back to America once a year, and thus, when we she came home for the holidays this year we were MORE than excited to get to see her.
We spent a lot of time hanging out and catching up, and eating lots of food together. We threw a Going Back to South Africa party for her, where we enjoyed some delicious Israeli food and dancing at a local St.Louis restaurant, called Sahara. The pictures above are from the evening at Sahara, as well as Leah and I at our wedding in Israel.
Leah is studying graphic design and is a skilled photographer and artist. We were sad to see her go this past week, but...she is always reminding us that its
not goodbye...its until I see you next time.
Please pray for Leah, as she transitions back to her home in South Africa, and gets ready for her FINAL year of study at the Stellenbosch Academy.
We miss you and love you, Leah!
2I'm ok, and so is ryan and nora.we worked all night trying to help people, and are still working today. it's like being in hell... people dying on your doorstep, limbs falling off, gashes and paralysis and everything you'd see in war. all the missionaries here are ok.-Teresa Price (pictured with me below), missionary to Christianville, Haiti. Email she sent out the day following the 7.0 Earth quake.
There is a phrase that the Haitian people put on t-shirts and bags that describes the love of their country. Mwen Fou Pou Ou. In Creole, it means Haiti: Im crazy for you. In the summer of 2007, when I spent 3.5 months living in Haiti, I began to understand the feeling behind that statement. I was crazy about Haiti, and the people of that country, missionaries and nationals alike.
I learned so much about global ministry and the missionarys inner life from my dear friend Teresa Price, whom I lived with while I was there. I learned the art of surviving marriage while on the mission field from my other friends Danny and Leann Pye, who run the Haitian Childrens Home. 20 plus kids, 4 Nannys, and 7 years later, they have a love that is solid and a light to the orphans they care for. I have learned so much from them, and although I havent been able to personally see them over the last two years, our relationships
has been growing via the use of technology, blogs, and emails. Sometimes, I feel as though I never left.
Last Tuesday, when I heard of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, my heart sank. Those are my friends..whom I love...that were suffering. The images of my time there came racing through my head...the people, the families, the ministries that I knew would be forever changed. First, it is with a incredibly joyful heart that I praise God that none of the missionaries that I worked with were killed or injured. Praise the Lord! However, their facilities were badly damaged, leaving them sleeping outside, opening their already cramped quarters to over 200+people. And yet, in the days that have followed I began to see God use them. I would receive small updates from the field, and be in awe of what God was doing in their lives, even in this time of chaos.
HAITI:mwen fou pou ouBy Amanda Shaheen