May 2008: Mothers Matter

"Mingalarbar!" from the Golden Land; do you know which nation's greeting this is?
It is Myanmar (formerly called Burma), vulnerable right now with much of its goldenness gone after the Cyclone hit early this month. Stop for a moment and pray for these precious people who have suffered so much ~ and for the ones who are trying to send aid.


. . . 'eTouch' is designed for anyone who has been 'YWAM-touched', anyone who has ever served in Youth With A Mission, or anyone who just kinda likes to hang out with us . . . We want to be a blessing and an encouragement. This is our way of saying "thank you" for your part in missions.

Please send us names, cities & email addresses of people you know who would like to receive this little monthly communiqué. Peter Jordan, Editor

1. Matters that Matter ~ Mothers Matter

2. Profound & Pithy ~ Is That Really God's Voice?

3. This 'n That 'n Letters Drawn from the Hat

4. Donna's Corner ~ Missing

5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Get Ready for Israel 2009



1. Matters that Matter ~ Mothers Matter

Here I go again, getting personal. Well I can't help it despite one reader's objections last year after I had told one of my kids' love stories.

Even though Mother's Day just passed a couple of weeks ago, each of us needs to be daily grateful for the woman who carried around a protuberant lump within her for almost a year; who propelled that lump out into the world amid much pain (miracle of miracles, it wasn't a lump ~ it was a baby!); and who then nurtured that infant all the way through to the time when her 'baby' sprouted wings and flew away.

For a few of us, memories of a Mother may bring pain and I'm sorry to be a reminder of difficult times. Nevertheless, for better or worse, our Mothers gave us life ˆ with of course ˆ a little help from Dad. My Dad, a pioneer missionary to China for 43 years, traveled a lot, so Mom did most of the raising of us four kids. I was the baby.

I left the nest when was 11 to go to boarding school and when I was 17 I started a new life in a new city in a new country (you may remember from an old eTouch that my first job was as a stripper; if you'd like that story, drop me a note). After I'd been gone from home about a year, I received my last letter from my Mother, in which she told me for the first time of being sick (no details were given since as the baby of the family I was evidently not able to handle bad news). I have kept that letter which oozed with love and gentle reproof and was spiced with sage advice . . .

723 Honeypot Lane,
Stanmore, England

My Darling Peter,
So glad to get your letter, but so very short . . . do tell me what your hours at work are (if she only knew ~ I worked nights!) . . . I am glad you are happy ~ would I be happy if I could see you? . . .
Remember all your Christian ideals ˆ you still want to work for the Lord, don't you? (No Mom) . . . You're not thinking too much about girls, are you? (Yes Mom).
Very, very much love dearest boy,
Mother

There was a lot more, but you get the picture. I was forging a life for myself and parental influence in my opinion was no longer necessary, if it ever was. All six in our family sort of loved each other ~ but from a distance. I guess you'd say we were pretty dysfunctional when it came to familyness. We just didn't know how to do family.

Less than two weeks after receiving my Mom's letter, she died. I heard the news after the funeral; I received a registered letter from a brother-in-law. Of such were our family dynamics. I grieved, as much as I knew how, alone.

A couple of weeks ago I came across another old letter that I had written to my Mom. Fast forward 35 years after she went to heaven; I was at 35,000 feet, high above China, having just introduced Donna and our son Peter to my birthplace, a city which was now rapidly receding behind us. Full of nostalgia and happy memories of growing up in China, I took out my trusty digital typewriter with a one-page memory (no laptops then), and wrote a letter to Mom. I wasn't sure how to mail it but I figured she'd get it somehow, perhaps by AngelicAir.
Here's some of what I one-fingered . . .

My Dear Mother,

Two days ago, I returned to Temple Hill Hospital, after an absence of 52 years. You'll remember our sojourn there, the time you presented me to the rest of the family. I wonder what it was like for you ~ did I give you a difficult time? (I certainly did later.)
I have walked the streets and beaches of Chefoo (now called Yantai) these past two days, recapturing memories of picnics (your specialty), hiking up the mountains, fishing with Dad, falling off my bike. Those were the good days. Then came the war.

Now I look down and we're flying smoothly seven miles above Shanghai whose streets I also walked recently. Shanghai, the city where our family and many other foreigners were locked up for 3 1/2 years during World War 2. Those were not good days, especially for you. It was
there that you fell ill with the sickness with which you would eventually die. Without adequate medical care there was little hope.
As an 11 year old I was blithely unaware of the seriousness or consequences of your illness.

When you went to China I suppose there were those who thought you were crazy to go half way around the world to marry a man you hardly knew and then to pour out your life for heathen Chinese, people who in their thinking, didn't care anyway. Well Mom, lots of them did care and I for one am glad you went ~ I wouldn't around if you hadn't gone! You obeyed God; you prized his will for your life more than the comforts of home in England.

Your life was not wasted. Today the church in China is thriving ~ with persecution ~ in part because of you and others who were willing to stay the course and pay the price; the course of obedience and the price of life itself. I know that your heart-cry for me was to serve
and obey God. How am I doing?

I have a great regret besides losing you so early in life; and that is that you never got to meet my life partner or your great grandchildren. Donna is very much like you and you have given our kids a great heritage. As you will know, one is named after you.

With love from your youngest,

Peter


If your Mom is still on this planet, tell her you love her every opportunity you get. Don't wait until she is gone to express your appreciation to the woman who carried you when you were helpless.

Till next time ~ be blessed,

Peter


2. Profound & Pithy ~ Is That Really God's Voice?

It's certainly God's voice if he's asking you to . . .

Humble yourself,
or
Serve someone,
or
Encourage someone,
or
Give something away.

Bill Hybels



3. This 'n That 'n Letters Drawn from the Hat

Hallo! In Kenya we say, "Mtoto wa nyoka ni Nyoka"; a child of a snake is always a snake. What I mean is that we have been groomed by YWAM in missions andYWAM has been like a mother to us; so regardless of the past we are still YWAMers deep down. Andrew Itote, Kenya
*
I loved your story on begging. What a big subject. We too saw the ones who had been maimed and the ones who were under the control of a syndicate but I clearly remember a little lady with three small children, one in her arms and two little boys. As soon as the children spotted the fruit I was carrying, they started crying; not begging, crying. I handed over the bag of bananas and I can remember the way they peeled them and actually pushed the whole banana into their mouth, crying as they were eating it. After that, I would follow my heart, deliberately taking biscuits and fruit out with me. The genuine ones smiled and said thank you, the others were like the little girl who scorned the peanuts you offered her. Yes, we too have to be careful not to get in that 'begging attitude' as missionaries. Anne Grimmond, Australia

*

P.S. Another Dean Sherman-ism: when approached by married men saying they had fallen in love with another woman, Dean would say one word . . . DON'T!
*
I remember a particular begging instance at a railway station (in an Asian city). Being a nurse, I couldn't help but be drawn to a man crawling along the platform dragging the remains of his plaster cast. His right shin was boggy with infection and rot. We got him
antibiotics and hopefully a trip to the hospital, but I'll never forget the apathy of the people around me. I felt a righteous anger rise up in me. It struck me to the heart that no one really cared. Such was the core of the (the local religious) philosophy that it was better for him to continue to suffer, so that he would achieve a better life next time round. Thank God that the Christian philosophy is based on love for your fellow man. Debbie Zanetti, Australia
*
I am "fruit" from YWAM's coffeehouse ministry in West Germany in December 1972. A couple from San Jose, CA named Mike and Connie Meltzer shared their faith with me. I believe that Mike was a computer programmer. I am now in full time ministry and would like to thank them but have been unable to find them. Roger Sapp [Anyone know the Melzers? Let me know, Ed]
*
I am still pastoring the church that Sue and I started in 1979 (Sue passed away on
Jan 21st, 2007, after a 12 year battle with breast cancer).  Last month I re-married.  Anita and I went to Bible school together 44 years ago! Life is different, but wonderful with her. I am grateful to the Lord for His blessings in the aftermath of all the pain and suffering. His ways are not our ways, and His blessings are always undeserved. Dan (and Anita) Secrist, USA (Dan & Sue were YWAM pioneers in Spain.)
*
Donna, I wonder how many times you have faithfully spoken God‚s word to us all with those scriptures that He keeps encouraging us all with. I recall that on most occasions God‚s message is the same: we need to get ready for his coming, serve him faithfully and walk in obedience. Today more than ever before, those words really spoke to me,
especially the encouragement to use our gifts to serve Him. Liz Angel, Australia
*
Len Holmquist of California is looking for anyone who lived on The Ark behind Central train station, Amsterdam, in the 70s & 80s. len@eurotraveler.biz


4. Donna's Corner ~ Missing

A wonderful woman named Donna

Always writes words from God in this Corner

She's been down with a bad flu

Slept, coughed, slept some more and blew

She's getting a 'touch'; but needs time in a sauna

(Donna's on the mend, but this is a long, hard bout with something she picked up in her travels. We expect she'll be back with her Corner in June. She sends her love.)



5. Renewal Gatherings ~ Get Ready for Israel 2009

But first . . .

Europe 2008: get in touch with Roy Jones via the contact page at www.intouchcamps.com for full details on all European Camps.

July 6-12, Norway does a double . . .

      *Grimerud, Speaker Dan Sneed ˆ with Peter & Donna Jordan
       (You can contact Lidvard Andreasson directly: Lidvard@online.no)
      *Land of the Midnight Sun Camp, Borgen, Speaker Al Akimoff
*
July 13-19, Restenas, Sweden, speakers Derek and Trich Dodd, YWAM Ireland
*
Aug 2-9, Paris, France, speakers Jeff & Romkje Fountain, YWAM Europe leaders
*
Aug 24-30, Chatel, Switzerland with Gary & Bev Killingsworth from YWAM Scotland
*
Sep 26-28, Franklin, NC right by the Smoky Mountains; speakers Bob &
Kelly Parr Contact Dave McPherson: ywamassociatesus@aol.com
*
2009
Jan 11-17, near Sydney, Australia with Jeff & Diane Littleton, "Father Heart of God"
Contact: Peter West westfolk@ozemail.com.au
*
Mar 8-14, Israel; with David Demian of Watchmen for the Nations, Canada; and with Peter & Donna Jordan
Info:  e-mail Roy Jones for details via the Contact Page at www.intouchcamps.com


With the Olympics coming up, here's an event you won't want to miss . . .

Decafalon (n) The grueling event of getting through the day consuming onlyfoods that are good for you.

Many Blessings,

Peter

Feel free to use anything from 'eTouch,' in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.