Thursday, October 8, 2015

Just a Can of Yams

Sometimes it is difficult for us to express exactly how we feel. But somehow, when several BMWs put their heads together to try to show you our hearts, it seems to flow so much easier.

I guess that's why I love these picture compilation blog posts. It gives us an opportunity to open our hearts and show you how we see things.

This time I asked a group of BMWs to submit a picture of something they received that really touched their hearts and brought them to tears. (Unfortunately I had to limit them on the number of pictures or this post would go on for miles.) You would be surprised at what they sent in. I am sure my writing will never be grand enough to put into words all that they shared. I can promise you, tears of gratitude were shed again as they told their story.

Please join us, and once again see things through our eyes...

because it's more than just a can of yams.


I can see it, though I wasn't there.

It may have seemed like a normal trip to WalMart,
but since I have no Walmart to go to, I imagine it.

I can see her walk in the store and grab a grocery cart.

She walks carefully down each aisle, double-checking her list.

The children grab things off the shelf, "Get this! They will like this!"

I can see the smile on her face as the children toss the items in the cart.

You may see just a candy bar, but she sees something more.

I see something more.

Let me help you see what we see...

It's more than a candy bar.

It's the excitement on faces when they see their favorite Canadian candy bars.

It's a gift to mom of a quiet, refreshing moment of tranquility, soothing the stress away.

I see another person walking around the store, and down the seasoning aisle.

Carefully selecting.

And a favorite coffee.


And peanut butter. Heavenly, wonderful...
peanut butter.

Can you see past the packaging?

Can you see past the price tag?

Can you see past the cost of postage?

If not, all you will ever see is a bag of MASA HARINA. But if you can see what they see...

You will see tacos and tamales enjoyed over FaceTime with family in Mexico. Laughing and eating as if we were sitting right there at the same table. Miles apart yet together.

It's so easy to see a fast food meal, but if you close your eyes and imagine...
You can see what I see...

I see memories...memories of a meal with Mom who is now in Heaven.
Memories of our children's younger years.
Memories of conversations with friends and splurges on deputation.

If memories had a taste, I suspect they would taste like this...

Because this is what I remember home tasting like.

Some may see baby dolls...

And pacifiers...

and gummy bears.

But try a little harder. You will see that the people who sent this saw so much more. They saw each of my children. They wanted them to know they were loved.

A gift left at a church. A bicycle at a missions house.

If love had a flavor, I think it might be captured in a Kool Aid packet or hot cocoa mix, or maybe it would taste like beef jerky. But love is definitely spelled C-R-A-Y-O-L-A.

And sometimes they saw more than just my children. They saw the children we minister to as well. Oh yes, these are more than just school supplies.

Sometimes it's what they didn't see that really amazes me.
They didn't see that my child desperately needed clothes.

They didn't see my children feeling left out of our home church's VBS.

But God knew... and God nudged hearts. Those precious, tender hearts listened and obeyed and sent VBS shirts to help my children remember they are still part of the team.

It's not that I NEED brown sugar, chocolate chips, and Easter candy...

But somehow... when I am feeling overwhelmed and alone... yes, I really NEED brown sugar, chocolate chips, and Easter candy.

Sometimes we just need a familiar holiday. 

Sometimes I just need to see the word California on a package.

It's not just a package... It's a connection.

A connection that communicates loudly. Clearly. Tenderly.

And they are not just DVDs, Mio waters, oil defusers, and kids' scribbles...

It's being remembered by grand babies.

It's being...


Remembered on my first birthday on the field...

It's being wrapped up in unseen arms and hugged tightly.

Like in a jacket, cozy and warm... protected...


But I saw something else, too.

I saw the sender's name on the box. I think that's what I needed to see the most.
And I wept.

They remembered me.

So if all you see is just a can of yams...

Then you will never understand the depths of my thankfulness.
Thankfulness that cannot be expressed in words.
Thankfulness that wells up in the eyes and leaks down the cheeks.

But if you see past the can of yams and you see a family sitting around a Thanksgiving Day table with a roasted chicken substituted for a turkey... but a REAL sweet potato casserole for the first time in three years... smiling, cheerful, blessed...

Then you truly understand.


To all those who have sacrificed so greatly just to be a blessing to their missionaries, we just want to say... Thank you.

2 Corinthians 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

by Charity, Southern Asia
(Thank you for those BMWs who were able to send in pictures...
I cried right along with you. Blessed!)



Joyful said...

Wonderful, caring hearts who listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. x

Anonymous said...

I literally teared up at this. Thanks so much for reminding us here at home that what we send even the tiny stuff is still meaningful!

Debbi said...

27 years in Argentina. This made me cry. Seems we all miss the same things and want the same be remembered.

Marsha McCoy said...

We love to hear from our missionaries,and we are interested in knowing where our money goes and what it is doing. Better than that we love to know that those yams we picked up at the store are so appreciated! It encourages us to give more and send more. Thank you for going and sharing the gospel of Christ. Thank you for letting us know through such a beautifully written letter just how much these simple things mean to a missionary family. We love you and are praying for your family and work there in Napel. Marsha McCoy

Samantha said...

I remember our first Thanksgiving On the field like it was yesterday. Traditional Items were no where to be found, in our location. I was so shocked! The only American familiar food we found were Oreos. They were our one flavor of home and eaten with pure delight.

African Queen said...

Wow! You truly expressed how we all feel, I cried all the way through reading this because I also know how much receiving a box or a barrrel is like receiving a visit from home. I had to chuckle at alot of the pictures, because many things shown are many things I hope for. I truly hope this communivcates the need for others to hold the ropes in prayer and giving for missionaries.

Myra Wright said...

Just wonderful!!! I hope this will encourage others to be led by God to DO something amazing to be a blessing!

Anonymous said...

We run a warehouse for missionaries when they are home from the field. We would love it if missionaries would communicate with us some of the things they and their children miss so we could send them. Most don't mention them, but we would love to know so we could provide the blessing these boxes can bring.

Nicole Hayes said...

Tears. Flowing. God has been working on my heart for a missions conference at our church and I have been fighting it. I give to missions but your post has made me realize it's not nearly enough. I feel like God had you post this for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️