Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Rejoice!

I just received this email from Kirsten and Stephen's area supervisor in Africa. I join him in giving thanks for their safety.

"I say it again, REJOICE!

The Mckenzies and their compound mates were picked up by the French military at 10:30 AM. Praise God! He is worthy!

I am so grateful that the Lord answered our prayers for their safety and deliverance, as we prayed from Psalm 34:

'For the angel of the LORD guards all who fear him, and he rescues them.'

It was a bit of a harrowing rescue by the French military including two helicopters.

'Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy.'

I had the pleasure, er, rather, joyful dread, of being on the phone when the troops arrived. While on a call to Stephen he said that a helicopter was circling overhead. It then began hovering but then backed off, and came back moments later, with a second chopper. He said, "I'll call you back in a minute."

'I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears.'

He called me back three minutes later saying, "a helicopter just landed behind the house." I could barely hear him through the blades chopping up the air. "Man, they are heavily armed." I wondered who "they" were.

'Those who honor him will have all they need.'

"I gotta go." Click. Incredulous, I screamed back into my Siemens silver and gray, "can you say that again?" No chance.

My mind was racing and wondering what was really happening. Surely I thought the French military had finally arrived after two days of promises! But what if...

The next 20 minutes for me were a complex mixture of fear and joy, dread contrasted with elation. It must have been the French...but I couldn't be sure. My extreme emotions, simultaneously held, were sprinkled with prayers for their protection. Images ran through my mind ranging from seeing these servants of God soaring into the sky praising the Lord and a hostile hostage situation.

'Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD.'

I wasn't sure which of the two contrasting emotions to give in to, nor did I know to which sensation to attach my tears.

Then I snapped out of it and called the State Department again to confirm their rescue. They could not confirm anything beyond the standing evacuation request, but did reassure me that this event surely was the French military.

Ninety minutes after Stephen said, "I gotta go," he called me safely from the military base at the airport. He and Kirsten were so elated and for the next 15 minutes told me of the harrowing rescue, the fear the children experienced when the troops barged in, and the thrilling 10 minute ride in the sky under His everlasting arms.

'The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one.'

My heart was praying for a secure ending but I was resigned to God's will. Once leaving their compound, the Mckenzies began to realize what an absolute disaster N'jdamena is now with prospects of continued fighting and regional destabilization.

They are scheduled to leave today on a flight to Gabon then anticipate a quick changeover to a plane heading to Paris. The Chad Team is preparing to pick them up and have a joyful and teary reunion. We are arranging debriefing for them soon after their arrival and then I anticipate heading to France within the week to see them and help them and the team sort through their next steps.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP IN COMMUNICATION, STRATEGIZING, CREATIVE THINKING, AND STANDING WITH THIS PRECIOUS FAMILY. Fall to your knees and give thanks.

PRAISE GOD ALONG WITH ME FOR HIS PROVISION AND...REJOICE! I say it again, rejoice!

'The LORD will redeem those who serve him.'

Grateful,"

4 comments:

Lane said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jewlsntexas said...

I am so glad - I am sure you are breathing so much easier now. We are all thankful and rejoicing with you!

Emily said...

That gave me chills.

Just yesterday I was asking my husband why he thought missionaries are SO continually challenged. Why doesn't God just bless them continually 'cause they're devoting their life to him?

We had a missionary come to our church whose little daughter had to have her foot amputed. (bad medical care where they were) Another missionary had his preteen son die in a car bomb. I get so sad and wonder what it's all about. Why isn't HE protecting these awesome folks?

Jim's answer was that it brought HIM glory. He'll always be glorified. And ya know what....that's so true. He takes those moments and turns them into something beautiful and mysterious and powerful.

How can a dad praise God when his son just died? 'Cause his faith was secure and it most likely brought others to their knees.

powerful stuff.

And I'm happy to play a small part w/ my little prayers in Flagstaff Arizona for your daughter.

Perri said...

Kate, I'm so glad that they are safe and sound. What an exciting exit. I'm sure the whole family will remember it forever.