I'm about to brag on my grandma a bit, which might make her feel a little uncomfortable, but I want to praise Jesus for shaping a servant's heart in her and a desire to love others.
This is my grandma. I call her Naana, but her real name is Dianne.
My Naana has inspired me in many ways. She is a prayer warrior. Her devoted faith in the Lord has encouraged me on many days when I have faltered.
My Naana and Pa will have been married fifty years this summer. Can you imagine? About twenty-one years ago, my Pa was in an accident and fell thirty feet. He broke his back and nearly lost his life, but my Naana stayed faithfully at his side, praying daily for healing. And my Pa can walk again, despite everything the doctors ever said. God has been so good to our family.
Last summer, Naana discovered she had breast cancer. The day I found out, I drove to her house to offer comfort, but instead, she comforted me! She said, "I am thankful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to be a survivor." And Christ did bring healing. Naana survived and is now cancer-free.
There were so many people praying daily for the complete healing of my Naana, even my beloved sponsored daughter from Kenya, Lavin.
When I first started high school, Naana would pick me up from school once a week and take me to an inner city mission to serve and love on the kids of our city. My sophomore year, after I got my driver's license and could take myself, Naana still picked me up. She encouraged my heart for missions and loving on needy children.
One day, I got a call from my Naana. She had heard that a refugee family from a small country in Africa called Burundi had moved to our town. There were ten children of varying ages in the very poor family and no one could speak English. That same week, Naana picked me up from school, drove me to the family's house and picked up their children in her minivan. We took them to the shoe store and my grandma made sure every single child in that household had a sturdy pair of shoes. And every week for the rest of the school year, we picked up these kids, helped them with their homework, and took them to the inner city mission to learn about Jesus.
When I began my journey to raise money to return to Kenya this June, Naana said a few times, "If you raise an extra $3,200, be sure to take me with you!" And I'd smile and say, "Of course!" We share a passion, and I did want to share a journey to Africa with her. But as much as I wished she could go, I wasn't even sure if I could raise enough money for my own plane tickets, let alone the money for two people.
When my sister Ali came to visit a couple of weeks ago, we both expressed a desire for Naana to go to Kenya this summer. We felt like the Lord was clearly saying, "I want to send my daughter to Africa." Although we were certain at the time that we couldn't raise $3,200 on top of what I was already trying to raise in less than a month, Ali and I agreed to commit to praying every day until the plane tickets were bought for the Lord to provide in His good, perfect way.
On Monday, I got a phone call from my mom. The Lord has recently laid on her heart the same desire, to send her own mom to Kenya, although she was unaware of Ali's and my commitment to prayer. So my mom and another of my sweet grandmas, Nawnie, have been raising money to send my Naana to Africa.
Naana has always wanted to go on a mission trip to Africa, but it has never been possible. Now is her chance.
And with complete confidence in the Lord's provision, our plane tickets were bought on Tuesday.
If you would like to donate to Naana's trip to Kenya, you can do so directly through the Christian Relief Fund website. Just be sure to specify that your donation is for "Dianne's Trip to Kenya."
I can hardly wait to share my African experience with my Naana. The Lord is faithful.
Two years ago: Is the Trinity Biblical? and Crazy Memories and Good Times
One year ago: She has a servant's heart.