Monday, July 29, 2013

legacy

I come from a long line of believers. On my mother's side of the family I have had aunts and uncles and great-aunts and great-uncles that have been missionaries to places all over Africa, the middle east, and various countries in South America.

My mother spent the first portion of her memorable life in Liberia, Africa where my grandparents were a big part of setting up a Christian radio station. This station is still broadcasting today.

One set of great-grandparents spent over 50 years in French West Guinea, (currently Sierra Leone) ministering the to the muslim Fula tribes people.

My other great-grandpa was born in Syria, living in Egypt, when he became a believer through some Presbyterian missionaries. It seems to me a conversion that must have been rare and unusual in the early 1900s. Sometime during his young adult years, after his father abandoned the family and his mother and two siblings died, he emigrated to the United States where he married Great-Grandma and spent the latter part of his life as a pastor.

It is this set of great-grandparents, Charles and Mildred, that stand out in my mind as the patriarchs for a legacy of prayer that has been left to our family. Great-Grandpa had his faults, of course. He was known for being a somewhat opinionated male, and for giving long-winded blessings for the food while it got cold. But he and his wife began a legacy of prayer that is still living on today.

I am told this godly couple made it a priority to get down on their knees every morning and pray together. They prayed for a number of things, but it is said that they consistently prayed for their family, all 7 of their children, and all 30-something of their grandchildren by name. And although they passed on when I was around the age of 6, I imagine that they prayed for me too.

You may not believe it, but all 7 of their children became passionate Christ-followers. They each raised their families to believe and follow Jesus, and an incredibly high percentage of those 30-something cousins have raised their families to believe and follow Jesus too. It beats all of the church statistics. Out of this line came the numerous missionaries to countries all over the world that I mentioned above, as well as many others who are living out their beliefs on a daily basis.

My Grandma Grace is the 2nd in line of the 7 children, former missionary to Liberia, and is the first person I think of when I am in desperate need of prayers. This is a woman who knows how to talk to God.
Grandma Grace with 5 of her 7 great-grandchildren.

We had the privilege of celebrating her 86th birthday with her a few weeks ago. She is "retired" but still living out a life long passion to see others encouraged and exhorted as they walk with the Lord.

We timed Grandma Grace's birthday celebration to include a visit from my cousins and their 3 delightful children.


This precious family makes their home in the middle east and are traveling stateside for the summer only. We felt extremely privileged that their busy summer schedule allowed them a few restful days with us, to connect, to fellowship, to pray, to listen, to encourage, and to simply stop and enjoy the sounds of our giggling children while they played together. I wish I could say more about their daily lives, where each day they are confronted with tough choices about how to love people best and how to live believing in a counter-American culture. They are in the process of making some big life decisions that will affect the future of their family. Will you consider joining me to pray alongside them?



Spending time with my extended family often causes me to feel a convicting sort of humility as I realize what an undeserved blessing my family has passed down in the form of prayers. This rich and unusual legacy, begun four generations ago, has produced changed lives.

There are not very many wealthy people in the family, or any second homes or great vacation cabins we will visit with our kids, or valuable antiques that were handed down. But I would not trade the legacy of prayer for anything else I could have inherited.

I feel a strong calling upon my life to ensure that this legacy continues, so that my children, and my children's children, and my nieces and nephews and great grandchildren can identify the beginning of the powerful effect that the prayers of others have had in their lives.

Perhaps you desire a similar legacy for your own family? Don't think when you read this that it is ever too late. You choose the legacy you leave. You have the power to begin it.

3 comments:

  1. love this. you are a blessed woman! You are leaving a legacy!

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  2. What a great post! I love stories like this.

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  3. A legacy of prayer, beautiful AND inspiring!

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