Sunday, November 12, 2006
Pray for Helen.
I went to a ministry to take pictures of children receiving food from Children's Hunger Fund. There I met Helen. She's 74 years old and the primary caretaker of her two ailing, adult children. Her daughter Diana has severe fibromyalgia leaving her in pain all day and unable to work. Helen's son David is suffering from a heart disease that keeps him in bed. David isn't expected to live long. Helen herself has severe valve problems in her heart and, with a smile through tears, said, "I'm making it."
She comes to the church to receive free groceries and encouragement from God's Word.
Helen said, "When I was young, I prayed that God would let me live long enough to raise my children, so they could make it on their own. Now, I pray that he will let me live long enough to comfort them through their pain."
Helen reminded me of a woman Dreefee and I met in Belarus. She was the sole caretaker of her mentally handicapped granddaughter, Dascha. The woman had severe cancer and knew she would die soon. She begged us to take sweet Dascha with us to Amercia so she wouldn't be put into a Soviet era institution upon her death. Only then, could she die in peace knowing Dascha was lovingly cared for.
Helen's story is unique and yet so common. Each of us has a world of sorrow to fight through and endure. And for many, the hope for heaven's healing is the only hope they have.
Pray for Helen. Hope for heaven.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Although we do have a real gripe with the pirates at Knott's Berry Farm, I can't help but love their authentic (though shabby at times) attempts at recreating a Ghost Town of the 1800s. This man, the Marshall of Ghost Town, has done everything in his power to keep Ghost Town authentic and appealing to pioneers of all ages since 1982. In fact, in recent years he campaigned to open up the famed gambling hall ("Me think someone cheat") to visitors. It now doubles as his Marshall's office where he keeps a cool collection of period guns, lawman badges and wanted posters.
He even reopened up the long shuttered schoolhouse, a real pioneer schoolhouse moved to California from Kansas, where kids can sit in the desks and experience a few moments of schooling from an authentic school marm. TallGirl probably could have been expelled for the length of her skirts, but they let her off with a warning.
This path behind Ghost Town to Boot Hill still remains as it was when I was a boy. And yes, there is still one grave that you can feel the heart of it's resident corpse beating eternally.
Of all the "Old Time Adventures" at Knott's, my favorite is still the first and greatest log flume in the world, The Timber Mountain Log Ride. The taxidermal animals and pitch black first drop make this the only thing I never miss. It's wonderful to see my little adventurers enjoying it as much as I did.