A Story of Redeeming Love

Gary&Amy-8577

– Our Story – 

This is a love story written by God about two friends who met in September 2008 and were awakened by deep love for each other in November 2013. Turn these pages to find devotion, encouragement, transparency, and love between a man and a woman who reflect Christ to each other. This is the first volume in a romance series that has yet to be completed. God, the author, has already written the final chapter in this story but revealed just enough to the two main characters as they prayerfully, patiently turned each page together.

O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life (Lamentations 3:58).

– A Friendship Partners Together Again –

{email} 4/15/2013
G: Thank you for being the back bone of support for this. It means a lot to me that you are so diligent to do this.
Thank you dearest.

{text} 4/15/2013
G: Thank you for taking care of my stuff. It means a lot to me that you are on top of it
A: I want to help out again like I used to as I have had confirmation I’m staying in SD! Let’s talk about your mail/stuff when you visit so you have peace knowing things taken care of…want your focus to be in Haiti J
G: You have no idea. My heart started going into a tail spin today realizing I am leaving next week. I’m so not ready to leave. Thank you for everything. You have been a life saver in so many ways.

The Visit

{text} 4/27/2013
G: I would still like to see you tomorrow. I’ve not seen anyone since I got back yesterday.
A: Okay! You’re welcome to come to church with me at 11 (I’d pick you up)…it’s a very small very simple service that’s a church plant. Or, let me know when best to hang – afternoon or evening?
G: Wow I am going to see you. Yay! That sounds good. I can go with you.

4/28/2013
G: Hi. It was encouraging to see you today. Thank you for taking me to church and for lunch.
A: So good to see ya! It’s a joy to help missionaries!

{email} 5/2/2013
G: Ok, my dear friend.  Pray for my heart.
Gary

{email} 5/9/2013
G: Pray for favor with my flight.  I want to change it to June 1 without the change fee.  Still have some things I would like to do here before i leave for a year.  Days are moving fast!

GOD’S DIVINE HAND: the change flight to 5/29 instead of 6/1 just barely qualified for tax exemption (exactly 330 days for the requirement to be in Haiti)…even arriving back in Haiti by 1 day later would have prevented this exemption…God knew this in ways Gary & I didn’t.

5/10/2013
G: Just bought some more time here.  I leave the 29th.

{text} 5/11/2013
A: Hi…still brain storming ur taxes for 2012…what date did you leave Haiti last month?
G: Do you have any idea how awesome you are to me?

{text} 5/18/2013
G: Hello.
A: Hi : ) How was family time?
G: It was good. Came home and crashed. Just woke up. Wanted to see how you were doing.

5/21/2013
G: How are you doing?
The Lord will guide you continually. And satisfy your soul in drought. And strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
A: I’m hanging in there : ) The verse you sent helped : )

{text} 5/24/2013
G: Good morning. Have a great day!
A: Good morning! Thanks, you too : )
G: Mesi.
A: Please pray for energy and focus for me at work today…didn’t sleep well and feeling it.
G: Ok praying. How come you didn’t sleep
A: Variety of reasons…I’m a processor and analytical by nature. Lots of triggers since Sunday to keep that “processor” overly-active. Just pray as the spirit leads…won’t burden you with details so that should be enough to get the intercession going, ha!
G: You’re never a burden to me. There is nothing you can do or say that is. I prayed and will continue.
A: Thanks, should have said I didn’t want to distract you in prepping for Haiti-focus. Burden, I know it’s not that for you : )
G: Ok just know He is looking upon you with loving kindness and will grant you strength in due time.
—-
G: How you doing?
A: Been able to stay focused : ) My “processor” is always active but it’s just mildly in the background so I can give good attention to my work.
G: Good.

{text} 5/27/2013
G: Hi. How are you?
A: Had a nice relaxing morning : ) I’m well. How you feeling?
G: Good. There is a new song called Oceans by Hillsong. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. Speaks volumes.
A: Just listened to it…think it’s a song we sang during worship night…loved it then but hadn’t heard it since. Thanks for sharing.

5/29/2013
G: Thank you for taking care of me. Getting on the plane. Love you
A: God wants you to know how worthy of being taken care of you are…now go show that love to those in Haiti who don’t know about it! Love you.

 

– A Friendship Separated by Oceans Again –

{text} 5/30/2013
G: Made it.

{email} 5/30/2013
A: SO glad you arrived to Haiti safe…thanks for letting me know! Gary, go deeper than your feet could ever wander : )
G: Hi. Good to hear from you. And thank you for the note. You know it’s interesting Isaiah 58:11. Took me to read more of the chapter. Then vs 10 speaks volumes. I woke up earlier from a nap and was just asking God to wreck me. vs 10 talks about extending your soul. It’s interesting.

5/31/2013
G: Hi, This address is for the card.  Thank you!
love you always.

{email} 6/2/2013
A: Hi…wanted to share this, trusting God will use it at the perfect time to minister to you whatever you are up to when you get this:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21

I received these verses in an email update from a couple who lives in Haiti…my group partnered up with them when I was in Haiti 3 years ago. Let me know how I can be praying for you. I want to pray specifically as you update me with requests/praises.
G: Thank you. Be praying for the right housing. In short I only have until the 24th in the current place. So pray for God’s guidance for this. I want to find a family to live with. But not sure what that is to be yet.

{email} 6/5/2013
A: When I think about praying for your housing to become clear before 6/24, I kept getting the verse “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” So, I thought I would pass on this part of Ephesians and see how God wants to minister to you through Paul’s words (I high-lighted my favorite points).  Remember, Paul’s home was a prison cell when he wrote this…surely, God has a safe dwelling place for you to live while you carry out His work with His love.

“… of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power….,” “…according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him….,” “… that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…,” “… Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” Ephesians 3:1-21

G: Yes thank you. It did speak.  I know God can do beyond anything I can ask or imagine. I will wait and seek.  A big thing is that my heart just feels dry right now as in Isaiah 58:11. That’s been my prayer the last few days in a bigger way.
Thank you dear.
Gary
A: …about Isaiah 58, when I read it I hear great encouragement from verses before and after 11…and trust you are CALLING out to the Lord about your dry heart. Gary, listen for our Father’s words “Here I am” Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

{email} 6/11/2013
A: Hello!
Any updates with how you’re doing, prayer requests? I am well though – very stable…just extra busy at work because I was given add’l duties last week and haven’t adjusted yet to the extra workload. Blessed to have a job, health insurance, etc!!!
G: Hi,
Yea, pray for housing still.  The house I am looking at is double of what I had planned to pay in rent. But it’s a small house connected to a bigger house on a property with a family.  I would be able to have people over there is space, unlike where I am at now. To know language.  I start some more lessons tomorrow.
Glad things are going well for you.
me

{email} 6/15/2013
G: Hi, please pray for me as I have discovered some fears that I have.  I will be searching the scriptures about the subject but some things have hit me. Anyway, hope you are doing well.
Pray….thank you.
Gary

6/19/2013
A: Hi dear friend. Just know I intercede for you as it’s put on my heart.  I will continue to lift you up and appreciate the updates as you are able.  I am doing well on my end.  Have a few months left with the girls in my Sunday Bible study…
Bye for now,
Amy

{email} 6/25/2013
A: Just checking in with my friend in Haiti to see how I can be praying…you last said you had discovered some fears you have so I hope there was victory in identifying those only to experience God’s faithfulness in helping you overcome!

I was VERY encouraged by your latest blog update!  Hope things are settling in for you – and if not, that you are seeking counsel about that so community can step in to support.

I was reading out of Ephesians today and was reminded about our very real battle…and the importance of being in regular communication with the One who has the best information for our daily lives, trials, decisions… I’m trying to be more mindful about checking in with the Great Commander (God!) every morning before I get started on my day.
Joyfully,
Amy

7/1/2013
G: Hi,
Yes I am doing good. God did minister to me in the fear in that He is a good God.

{email} 8/1/2013
A: Hi Gary!
Been reading your updates with joy about what is coming about after years of prayer and concern over the precious children in the orphanage. Let me know if you need me to help with something.
Take care of yourself!!! amy
G: Hi,
Good to hear from you. I still see you walking away at the airport. I hope all is well with you. Miss your smile.
Yes please keep praying. Thank you. Love ya!
Gary

{email} 8/13/2013
A: Encouraged by this dear friend!!!
I just had supported you online over the weekend and believe you are doing great things with what you have been entrusted with. Please, keep taking care of your whole self – spiritual, physical, emotional, mental.  May you be blessed with good health and favor so you can be used well for these children : )
In prayer,
Amy

G: Thank you.  I saw that and was quite encouraged.  It’s been a bit unstable in some ways here, but I see now how God has been working and how things are coming together.
Thank you for your message.
Gary

A: “a bit unstable” – are you trying to worry me across the miles and ocean here in San Diego?! You don’t need to tell me everything, but please tell me how to pray…is there anything specific to intercede for you?

8/14/2013
G: Oh….no just meant that some things were in limbo.  Place to live, my heart, things like that.  I am good.
Thank you for praying, need it.  Mesi.

{email} 9/8/2013
A: Gary!
Just wanted to say hi, see how you’re doing…let you know you got prayed for this morning!!! One of the songs we sang at worship this morning was ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong. I remembered this song’s lyrics are powerful to you so it prompted me to really pray for you during worship time : ) Hope you are encouraged by these verses:

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Gary&Amy-8597

9/9/2013
G: Yes thank you. Lots of changes going on. I move with a family tomorrow.  The Word has been speaking volumes. Read Isaiah 49 this morning. Such a great love God has for us.

{email} 9/10/2013
G: Hi, thank you so much for sending me a note. Thank you and yes for some reason Psalm 51 has been speaking to me for the last few days.  His “multitude” of “tender mercies”…  i’ll cry so goodbye for now…

9/11/2013
A: Awe, so blessed to hear your update! We have had extremely high temperatures recently with unusual humidity for our location. However, this is a minor inconvenience to the American way of life (which is not necessarily God’s way of life). This has all the more made me think about you and be in prayer for your needs so that your ministry is not hindered. I know you don’t need to hear “thank you” but I want to say it anyway! I am so blessed to know you and witness how your life is being used for God’s good!!!

G: It’s always a delight to hear from you. When being away from it all, and hearing from you and others from time to time is a delight. Our Father continues to provide even when I don’t ask. Sometimes I wonder when people do support and then they stop but then they start again. Perhaps it’s just a way for God to show me I can trust Him. He has always been faithful to provide. But more so to show His heart to me. Ok talk soon…

 

– A Haiti Video Evokes Deeper Conversation –

{text from a friend to Amy} 10/13/2013
Friend: U may wanna check out the service online today – warning: heart may be greatly stirred Hint: video clip on a country that tugs on your heart.
A: Oh no…might as well pack my bags for Haiti.
Friend: You prob will after the message!
A: Lots filling my mind…was feeling guilty, falling short last nt but got to email w/Gary & think I have encouraging clarity for next few years…
Something to pray for…asked another girl to consider a one or two week visit to Jeremie in next few months. I sense it’s a needed step for me to help prepare for future plans (or get confirmation I’m meant to stay put in the future)…but I don’t think wise to go alone.

{email} 10/14/2013
A: Gary, been thinking about you a lot this weekend…just got caught up on your recent blogs (even found one I had missed).  I know you might struggle to receive this, but I really want to say “I am proud of you and honored to call you a dear friend!”

I have been telling people recently I feel directionless.  Then I look at your life and see you with full direction (or so it seems from where I’m sitting) in how God has created you to serve others and reflect Jesus’ love and compassion to them.  I’d be wrong to say I’m jealous of your life, but rather in awe of your life and wanting to seek more for mine than the somewhat comfortable, mundane pattern I’ve fallen into this past year. I don’t believe I’m going in the “wrong” direction, nor in an ungodly disobedient direction.  However, I find myself lacking long-term purpose and know there is something more to this life God has blessed me with. A friend told me to live-stream the church’s sermon today b/c it high-lighted Haiti.  It brought joy to my face and heart to see the video capturing a snip-it of what’s going on with the new (and improved!) orphanage. Also, SO good to see my Gary in a few of the video shots!  Wow, God’s future plans in Haiti are so much greater than any of you had guessed years back : ) Please keep me updated how I can be praying for you…amy

G: Thanks for writing.  Definitely a lot of mixed emotions. You are a jewel and will always be.  God has something great for you either where you are or where you are going. You are a great encourager to me.  You always have something great to tell me. How to pray for me?  I want to go deeper into God’s heart.  Want to know Him in a new more intimate way. Right now I don’t know where to find this.
Love you girl.

{email} 10/14/2013
G: Just wanted to say
I love you dear sister…
A: You have no idea how much you encouraged me this morning…
My love and prayers are being air-mailed to you in Jeremie!!!

10/16/2013
G: I was searching for some more music the other day (I am always looking for new worship). I found and knew the new Kim Walker was coming. She has a song called unstoppable love.  Our Father’s love is unstoppable. It speaks of how God. How YHWH seeks our hearts. He does it relentlessly. I am deeply grateful we know a God that is all powerful to pursue us to take us on a journey of love. It really is a journey. I know Him. He is sweet and pleasant to My taste. He is always (toujou) a good God. He has always been good. And yes Mosquitos still bother me but not as much. Again. You have ways without ceasing to encourage me. I have never known anyone who has always done so. I hope you are having a good day and that you can feel YHWH pursuing our heart.  For this is the chief end of man to know Him and enjoy Him forever.
Your dear friend always.…

{email} 10/18/2013
A: …nothing new…you probably know the song dry bones, but the words struck me as suiting for where you might be at (or were at). As in Ezekiel, God breathes life into us. He can fan the fire of love in our hearts for Him. We love because He first loved us…but our human form of love (and sometimes dryness) is a fraction of that love demonstrated on the cross…even on our best day our love is incomparable to what was first modeled to us : )
G: Thank you. I am always delighted to hear from you.

10/19/2013
G: Beautiful song.  Used to listen to it many times and relate…..  cried…
love you.

 

Some Items are Delivered to Haiti

{email} 10/22/2013
G: Hi, Would you mind picking up some inkjet photo paper for me? Then can you send it to this address: Hanover PA. 17331.
Thank you.

10/23/2013
A: Hiya! Of course I will pick this up for you – can do this Wednesday and get it in the mail to Mark. Anything else you need that I could send to Mark?
G: Can you send yourself?
Mesi…
A: You made me laugh!
Take good care of your special self! Hope your patience level is healthy as you integrate more to Haitian culture…that is, that Jesus is the constant culture we strive to reflect. For me that is on-going process! You better not lose your ability to laugh : )

10/25/2013
G: You might as well give Fredrick the paper too…

GOD’S DIVINE HAND: by giving the paper to Mark, Gary got two of Amy’s cards at just the right time…Fredrick ended up getting delayed so those four cards didn’t get to Gary before Thanksgiving

10/26/2013
A: Hi Gar. I didn’t get this message before going to post office during lunch break Friday…so, the paper is en route to Mark to arrive Monday.  Hope that works out okay!

{email} 10/26/2013
A: Hi! I’ve been leading a girls Bible study at my place and just put together a collection of songs that have really stuck out at me over the 9 months we’ve been meeting.  They mostly fall into the theme of our study which was ‘Breaking Free’ (out of Isaiah).  Since I know worship music is special to you, thought I’d pass this list on to you for your feeding.  They may all be familiar but maybe God wants to speak some words to you again or reinforce what you’ve already heard.  The song Oceans has some words that are very aligned with what I’ve been chatting with God about recently.  I know music doesn’t impact everyone the way it does me, but because I analyze/reflect on spoken words, I don’t spend time listening to secular music rather get deep feeding out of worship lyrics.  Think you are the same, so enjoy!

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)  …I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Oceans by Hillsong
I Breathe You In, God by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Bones by Hillsong
Beautiful by Mercy Me
Always by One Sonic Society
Freedom Reigns by Jesus Culture
Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin
Hello My Name Is by Matthew West
The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North
Lord I Need You by Matt Maher

{email} 10/29/2013
A: Hi Gary!
Sometime I would love an update about what your plans are for next coming months…staying put in Haiti an extended season? Plans to visit U.S.?
I like to know what my friends are up to : )

10/30/2013
G: Hi,
I had planned a year this time.  God does continue to provide and I hope the feeding program will happen on a bigger scale. I should come visit next year but don’t know just when that would be. Would love to see you come visit. I never get tired of hearing from you.  Its always a delight.  I don’t like asking for things though. Gary

{email} 10/30/2013
A: Hi friend : )
PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask me for help…we have that kind of friendship where you should feel comfortable to and not feel bad! I get to share in your ministry by helping you with stuff here in US so just know that I would otherwise be robbed of joy if you needed something and didn’t feel comfortable to reach out.

With this being said, is there anything else you need to help get by until the next time someone visits Haiti? I will have some time to pick up stuff this weekend if you let me know before end of week.
Love,
me

10/31/2013
G: Thank you love, so much.  You have no idea how dear to my heart you are and have always been.

11/1/2013
A: Good to hear what’s on your heart about where you’re at : )
Gary, you are a very unique, special, loved child of God!!!
I will be honest I sometimes get concerned about you and your well-being. It was easier being your friend across the miles when I knew you were connected to a team. I knew that you all were being looked after by each other.  And now, you have developed new friends, co-laborers, a new “team”.  But this team is unfamiliar to me, so I sometimes wonder if you are being looked after well – for spiritual, mental, emotional, physical health. I did happily, faithfully choose to be part of a “sending” team for you back in 2011.  Wow, two years have passed and lots of changes have happened (good, challenging, unknown). Just thought it was time to check in and see if you have what you need with different aspects of support.
–me

{email} 11/2/2013
G: Thinking of how I always feel loved and looked after by you.  You are a Gem to me.

gem |jem|
noun
a precious or semiprecious stone, esp. when cut and polished or engraved.
a person or thing considered to be outstandingly good or special in some respect: this architectural gem of a palace.
: )

A: Awe, thank YOU!
You make it easy to care about and take care of!  I want you to know you are loved and thought of fondly, even if your home is miles away from people who were once in your everyday life.

{email} 11/3/2013
G: Thank you dear…
You have always been a rock, a helper extraordinaire… : )
How is your Sunday, and how is your social life?  Any boys?
A: Your questions below brought a smile and laughter to my face…stay tuned for an update : )

11/4/2013
G: So who is the most blessed man?

11/5/2013
Haha…I unintentionally mislead you!  The reason you brought a smile and laughter to my face was because there are absolutely no prospects on the horizon…so I chuckled at the question!

I’m beginning to wonder if my man doesn’t know how to use GPS and can’t find me?!  I’m also wondering about putting a sign on my balcony (similar to “for rent”, or “for sale”)…one that says “single Christian homeowner seeking a Godly man”???  No?  Okay, not the route I will be taking!

My social life – as it pertains to boys – seems to become more and more non-existent. This is not because I desire or feel called to singleness…I see it more as God’s protection and preparation for the “real-deal” in His perfect time….I want to keep believing God is who He says He is and is capable of all things – including picking out the best husband for me…(insert extended heart felt sentiment)…I’m finding contentment in this season of singleness NOT because I don’t want to be married to a ministry partner who loves God and serves God with a sincere heart ….……but because God is enough in my waiting………..I have learned to be content while I waited for him : ) Can’t wait to partner up with someone for the “where two are better than one!”…

Happy to report that the last of the items you asked me to get for you just came in the mail Monday.  So, I will get a small care package to Fredrick soon for your stuff.
Take care!

{email} 11/5/2013
No sign needed as someone who does know you.  You are Gem beyond the need for a sign.  A man must find God’s heart to find yours.  You’re a sweet, loving, supportive, always caring woman.  It was hard to leave you sitting in the airport that day when I left.

You have always displayed a kind caring nurturing heart towards me.  I can only hope that never changes.  This is an initial response to your message as I just began to read it.

11/8/2013
…just wanted to say your adoration and appreciation of me does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  To have a man like you see my value means a great deal to me…not only to remind me what my standard should be, but to pass on that standard to other girls I minister to.  I take your affirmation seriously because it comes from a man who is serious about who God is and sees me as a treasured daughter of the most High!

And no, I don’t see my kindness toward you changing.  I am honored to share in the ministry you get to do in Haiti, as helping you is helping those who are lost that you reach out to daily.  I’m just glad God lined up our friendship so that I am able to extend some nurturing kindness toward you in hopes of keeping you encouraged across the miles!  You are easy to be kind to!

 Gary&Amy-8529

The Christmas Project and Malaria

{email} 11/16/2013
A: Hello!
How are you?
Hope your care package arrived from Fredrick/Mark : )
I wanted you to be thinking about your ministry needs for 2014.  I’m not sure how you feel about the financial support you have right now to cover the future ministry that’s on your heart.  But with the end of year in mind, thought it could be a good opportunity for me to send out a Christmas card of some sort on your behalf.  This could be similar to what I did two years ago – to help remind people to be praying for you and for those that feel led to give financially. Of course this needs to be what you want – I’m just getting you thinking about it b/c I would want to work on this by the end of November.
Talk soon,
amy

G: Bonswa,
Yes, that sounds wonderful.  Things have been growing.  We will do the feeding on one more day making it three times a week. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  With the feeding comes finding needs, mostly the need for some children to go to school.  The cost is 25-100US to send a child to school, depending on what they need.  I will put together more info on cost of feeding.  It started at 25US a day but I think it is closer to 30US a day now.

There is still uncertainty here as far as housing.  I can’t really give a budget for that right now.  I moved in with a Haitian family and paid all the school for their children and paid to have power hooked up to the house.  A blessing for them in many ways and much culture experience for me in many ways too.

I’m ok.  I am at a friends house for recovery for some quiet time and chill time.  Um….I had….Malaria all week.
Thank you!
Gary

{email} 11/16/2013
Um…I’m having difficulty processing the malaria in an e-mail.  Are you able to talk by phone or skype this weekend?
Gary – we can work on ministry needs later, but ministry is dependent on you being fully healthy…which I need to know how you are being treated medically since there are so many variations of malaria (some serious).  The nurturing girl in me IS coming out so I will try to turn this anxiousness into prayer and trust that God IS looking after you and can heal!
Hope we can talk…
love,
me

11/17/2013
Hi there. Thanks again for calling me yesterday so I didn’t continue to worry.  Guess the malaria scare shows how much I care about you.  I will keep praying for your healthy recovery!

Thinking about what to send out for your Christmas card, I’m wondering what you think about choosing half a dozen of your favorite pictures that capture your ministry heart in Haiti?  You have taken some fabulous pictures that speak stories on their own…I was brain-storming about creating a simple collage on photo paper – like the typical Christmas photo card that so many people send out in the U.S.  On the back of it I would type up something to capture an update of your ministry, any needs, and prayer requests.

If you like this idea (be-honest) the pictures and the # of cards are the first things I would need to get them designed and ordered.  As for what I will type up and attach to the back of them, we have some more time to coordinate that info.
Amy

11/18/2013
Hi, perhaps so…heart….
Sounds great.  I will pick them this week.  I do like the idea.  Maybe it will allow people to re-see some of the photos in a new way.

{email} 11/20/2013
A: Your joy friend in san diego is wondering how you’re feeling?  I think you had the follow up blood work to see if those unwanted parasites have dispersed out of your body?

Been praying for you more often lately – know your health is an important factor of the ministry you are doing.

This was just a quick message but as I was typing, part of these verses came to my mind so I looked them up and sharing in faith…perhaps it’s something you needed to hear today?

“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…” Ephesians 3:14-21

G: Good morning,
I am definitely better.  I did go see the doctor.  He didn’t retest me as I am better but I asked him how long until I am back to normal, he said about 15 days.  I feel sluggish like I got hit by a truck.  It’s a bit discouraging but I realize I had Malaria and not just a common flu. So I just get tired during the day.  He said to rest.  He also gave me some medical grade protein supplements. To be strengthened has always been a prayer here.
: )

A: I am SO glad you’re better – praise the Lord you have improved! I know you still have a bit of recovery…I will continue to pray for you as you keep being on my mind : )

{email} 11/22/2013
G: Thank you…
How many photos did you say you wanted?

A: Prob around 5…the templates I’ve looked at seem to fit no more than that. I can def look this weekend and see.
G: A theme. Um. Maybe the Christmas message of redemption.  Redemption has been something that God has been speaking to me about. Not sure about a signature yet would like to avoid cliche types. : )
G: Lamentations 3:58 O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.

11/25/2013
A: Hi Gary. Before I go further with the Christmas card design, I want to make sure this is still something you like, appreciate, think is appropriate…and not just something your friend in San Diego thought would be a good idea.  Hopefully you know you can be honest with me : )
G: I love the idea and am grateful you are able to do this.  I cried when I read “believe” this morning.  God is eternal, majestic, and our redeemer.  We just need to believe. I will look at photos now and narrow it down to the four I think.
Thank you! Gary
G: I am adding photos.  Take a look.  Trying to find photos that reflect the need but also show some joy!
A: Gary…I love it!  The pictures are precious – well done!!!
I love the slight editing of signature – it was just what was needed to capture “redemption”…thank you for taking time to help with this…I kept running into creative blocks b/c there is so much of your everyday Haiti story I don’t know about.
G: HI, Ok just took a second look.  I think it is good.  Thank you dearly for doing this.

 

Cards Arrive and Hearts Come Alive

{text} 11/26/2013
G: Love you girl!
Oh my gosh sweet girl. I just saw the cards you sent. You are so sweet!
A: And you have always been sweet to me so it was a natural gesture to return that even in simple cards! I have extra joy today knowing it brightened your day : )
G: You really touched my heart today.
A: Mission accomplished! I want you to feel loved/remembered/encouraged! I have 2 weeks off next month…wanted to visit you in person but didn’t work out so sent cards instead with both Mark and Fredrick.

{email} 11/26/2013
G: I am sitting in an overly cluttered sandwich shop thinking of how we have been friends for quite some time as your card stated. It is true. You also have been a Biblical helper to me in so many ways. This is true too. I hope you are having a wonderful day lovely girl.

…the Spirit led a girl in San Diego to pick out a card that had stars on it and send it to a boy in Haiti that just so happened to deeply enjoy stars

 Gary&Amy-8546

Redeeming Love Revealed at Thanksgiving

{text} 11/27/2013
G: Good night. I hope you had a wonderful day.
A: Yes good day…starting to make soup and relax before bed. Glad for 4 days off! You just got prayed for on my drive home about 30 minutes ago : ) Nt nt.

{email} 11/27/2013
A: Hmmm…sent cards with Mark/Fredrick…have they both arrived to Haiti? If so, there should be one for Thanksgiving, Christmas, your bday…and three to open/read whenever you need encouragement!

Redemption is a HUGE message in my life! Thanksgiving is a special time of reflection for me! I almost cried when I saw your edit on the Christmas card to read ‘with redeeming love’. When Arlene lived with me she gave me a Christian book called ‘Redeeming Love’ for Christmas 2011. It was a page turner – couldn’t put it down! Although fiction, the message was very Biblical – based on the book of Hosea. The parallel message was how God loves us with unconditional love and pursues us intentionally even after our continual sin and rejection of Him. So, Gary, go forth with the message of redemption to our Haitian brothers/sisters. And, soak in that message for yourself too!

I still have two weeks off next month and hope I made the right decision not to come visit Haiti. Other than waiting for Samaritan’s Purse to offer dates I can visit their ministry site, there are a couple reasons I delayed the trip until 2014. I couldn’t find another friend who was willing/able to travel with me and also a BIG reason I hesitated to come is that I fear it would be even harder to say good-bye to you than it was at LAX. By staying in SD, I won’t interrupt your ministry flow and won’t have to recover from another difficult departure from you…

So, for now, you get cards instead of Amy in person, ha! It brought me great JOY hearing that they brightened your day : ) –me

11/28/2013
G: I am deeply grateful for you and I can’t imagine my life without you.
A: Morning. I am SO blessed to know you, have you in my life. You’ve been used mightily by God! As I awake to U.S. day of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for you and how much you care about me : )

11/28/2013
G: I wanted to hold you longer at the airport. That was the first time I felt that way. If you came you are right. I would not want you to leave. Only Mark has come Fredrick has been delayed. Thank you for praying for me. I love you and considering that I could never reject you. You have always been a jewel to me. Sometimes I still see you in your office.
Yours always…

{email} 11/28/2013
A: Gary,
We both know God is the author of beautiful stories.

It appears that God has very intricately, deliberately been writing a slow, unique story that involves a friendship that began in 2008. I don’t know the ending of this story – still trying to wrap my head around the current chapter. But I do know there has been an under-tow of redemption that God knew we both needed to experience through another brother/sister. I think I’m correct in saying that God wanted you to experience what it feels like to be sincerely cared for, valued, appreciated, believed in, loved.

I sensed my visiting there would come with a deeper attachment for both of us that would just make it difficult to return from. I too felt something different this last time leaving you at the airport. I prayerfully stuffed it down (perhaps an oxy-moron) b/c it didn’t make sense with the circumstances. I only hope I’m not a distraction to what you were called to do in Haiti. I’ve had many conversations with God recently where I basically remind (as if God needs to be reminded of anything) that I want to be mindful of my role in your life to support your ministry the best I can from back here in US. It’s no surprise my fondness for you, for God’s heart in you, has grown over time.
Thankful for you,
me

11/29/2013 WAITING…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Prov. 3:5-6 (from Nikki)

Love suffers long (is patient) and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…
1 Cor. 13:4 (Amy’s picture frame)

{email} 11/30/2013
G: You’re definitely not a distraction.  You have uplifted me, and encouraged me in so many ways.  I have heard of stories where friends have come together and how each has played a significant role in reflecting Christ (and something significant developed).  You have done this and more.  My heart weeps with undeserved love when I think of you.  You have made me feel sincerely cared for, valued, appreciated, believed in, loved.

I hadn’t wanted to say anything that would hint our relationship growing to something more because I valued your friendship more than anything and didn’t want to create anything awkward between us.

I had a close friend tell me to consider you.  But at the time, you weren’t significantly on my radar.  But then when we drove up…

I asked you recently about your social life in part because I wanted to know where your heart was.  If it was at all looking my way.  And I wanted to check to make sure there were no boys mistreating you.

I feel like emails like this take us out on a limb.  There is the risk of it being fruitful or falling to the ground.

{email} 11/30/2013
A: I am no more deserving than you – God is giving us a very sincere, rare gift that we should probably seriously assess despite the miles between our current residences.  With that being said, nothing has to be decided today…and not tomorrow…but, maybe we will prayerfully tackle this unknown before I qualify for medicare : )

To have a long developed friendship, centered on Christ, tested over time and across the miles, I wouldn’t choose ANY other foundation for our story.

I did have concern (lack of better word) a couple times in the week before we drove up to LAX…had just a few people praying that no conversations about “us” would come up.  Not only did I not see anything good coming of that right before you left for ministry calling in another county, I wasn’t sure of my feelings – just had a couple new awakenings to your being in my life that I hadn’t had before.

One was while we were at walmart (yup, pretty romantic, ha!) you verbally affirmed the worth you saw in me in a bold, confident, and sincere manner and you also said something I had never heard from you (in fact heard the opposite only before that which reinforced my “safe” friendship line with you).  It was to the effect that you realized while being in Haiti the recent months prior that you want to be married and see that in your life.

Does this make sense in our understanding – no…I share your same thoughts on that!  But, I don’t just want what makes sense.  Gary, I want what God wants and knows is best for me (not to mention what brings great joy to my heart as a result!).  I would rather roll our sleeves up together in this and seek God to reveal trust/faith where we have doubt, than go back to what’s “safe”.  One thing I know, I don’t doubt my love for you, just the circumstances of how this would work out.  I’m willing to learn to trust God in a way I never have before – He has already proven faithful, so faithful, in my doubts this week.

For now, a girl in SD is grinning from ear to ear as she is the supporting character to a lead role in an amazing story.  As God is the author, I trust Him for the end.

As for my friendship, don’t you worry Gary.  Our friendship has a foundation on Christ.  Yes, this may shake it…but God is the one who created the friendship and is overseeing it as we keep focused on Him.

I have two sisters and a married couple I am seeking prayer/counsel from during this so want you to know we are not alone in this.  Hopefully, you are able to get that support as well despite the limitations being in another country.  Just know you got some extra prayer support right now…

{email} 11/30/2013
A: Forgot to say…
Before you asked me about “boys” in my life (and NO, no one is mistreating me!), I had just asked you days before that what your future plans were for staying in Haiti another season.  Your response caused me to be cautious in responding about the social life (that’s why you got a very long-winded response that was transparent but not specific toward you).  Then, you got malaria…thought it was a dead giveaway that I care about you more than just a friend would. Hope you’re having a blessed day – if you’re feeling at all like I do (which words can’t express), don’t make any big decisions today or do anything that requires heavy concentration, ha!

G: I envisioned you having a quiet day in your house today.  Thought about that as I slept in. I kind of wondered why you asked about my plans….i only slightly gathered you had some interest. I now have a significant reason to visit the U.S. at the appropriate time. And Yes needless to say today has been a heavy one in a good way.  My spirit and heart has been deeply moved with you. Yes your reaction to Malaria did show there was something significant on your end.  But then we have just been friends…

{text} 11/30/2013
G: Good morning lovely. I think God is writing a story with a significantly happy beginning.
A: Morning : ) Very happy beginning! “Trust” is key…we need to trust God authors stories that also end happy if His story & He chose characters. 1 John 4 came to mind this week…’perfect love casts out fear’
G: God has always proven Himself faithful despite my doubts. From the depths of all that I have come to know I can say He is always faithful. For our hearts to come together doesn’t make any sense to me. We are continents away. But I know the spirit is kindred. Seems it always has been.
G: I have looked up helper in the Greek. Haha. It points to everything you have been to me.
A: I have always loved helping you…just made a transition in last few months of loving helping you as a friend, to loving the one I was helping as much more than just a friend.
G: You wanna know what’s crazy is that it took a while for me to find a printer and when I was setting it up, I opened the paper and then went to put the envelop back where all my stuff was and then your envelop fell out. I thought to myself “what’s that?” It didn’t dawn on me at all that you would send a note. Not to mention a card speaking sentimental thoughts into my heart.
And then I thought to myself. Oh there is a second package in my room. I went and opened it.   Found a prize, read it and then it dawned on me…
A: I’ve not missed the detail that u tried to catch me b4 sending paper to Mark – I got ur request too late to give it to Fredrick instead. God knew Fredrick wld b delayed but wanted u to have at least the two cards in the waiting! Funny thing is I took SO long to write the six cards (let alone pick them out) b/c how do u write lightly when ur heart is feeling more…tried to just be a sisterly encourager, ha!

{email} 11/30/2013
A: Hi there…sharing what God painted 2nt when walking.
Laughed out loud b/c my friend (who lives in East County) was supposed to pick a central spot for her, me and another girl in Mission Valley. So I type in the address and head out to meet at some park on Fanuel St. It got more and more familiar as I recognized the condo you lived in before Haiti.
Get some good sleep : )

 

Our Story Timeline

Sep. 2008
Gary and Amy meet at a staff prayer gathering

Summer 2010
Gary and Amy make separate short-term trips to Haiti

Sep. 2011
Gary moves to Haiti and Amy helps with his personal stuff back home

Spring 2013
Gary visits U.S. and some stirring of hearts begin while they hang out

5/29/2013
Amy drives Gary to LAX and they have a sentimental good-bye

Nov. 2013
God reveals to Gary and Amy that their future is more than just friends

2/20/2014
Amy picks up Gary at LAX and they immediately interlock hands as more than just friends (in fact, they stood holding hands for ten minutes completely unaware they were waiting for his luggage at the wrong baggage claim!)

2/22/2014
First kiss

5/31/2014
Gary proposes in Coronado (Amy says YES!!!) and they spend the entire day celebrating

6/25/2014
Gary and Amy visit Haiti together (they are hopeful for future visits to oversee the feeding ministry)

8/22/2014
Gary and Amy become husband and wife

Gary and Amy George
spinningstill@gmail.com
intimatelyacquainted.smugmug.com

 

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