She was born on 8/8/80.
On 8/8/88 she turned eight years old.
Today she’s thirty-two.
This third child of ours has always been our humorous one.
She is the trailblazer and a natural born leader.
She’s almost fearless except for opposums lurking in the dark, or manhole covers that are missing in the streets. Even as a young child she was the one who climbed trees the highest, walked the rail fence the longest, and didn’t allow fear to stop her from doing what she wanted to do or believed she should do.
Mimi Jo is not her real name but its what I wanted to name her when she was born and have always wished we could have. For her privacy its what I’ll call her here in this post. Let me paint a picture of her with words:
Mimi Jo has soft brown eyes that are full of compassion toward others, especially those who hurt. She has never married but mothers many children whose biological mothers cannot, or will not, care for them. She lives in a third world country among the poor, not according to American standards and culture, but as one of them, showing them the love of Christ through acts of kindness and the Gospel.
Our third child has medium brown hair that she dyed one time in what we called rooster-red and lived with that mistake a long time. She combs it neatly so that it looks sleek and straight until the humidity messes it up. Then it becomes curly and frizzy. She arranges it into a bun at the base of her head and covers it modestly with a veil. Her other favorite “head covering” is a cute pink bill cap for riding on the backs of pickup trucks as they often do where she lives, or for working around the house.
Our missionary daughter has kind and gentle hands that have taught many little children how to read, how to bait hooks for fishing, how to bake and cook in the kitchen, how to bathe and care for their pets, how to can tomatoes, cut up pineapples, keep things looking neat, and even to pick up sticks in the yard. She is constantly teaching as she interacts with them, inviting everyone, children and adults alike, to join her in her world as she learns from them in their world.
Mimi Jo has a ready smile and laughs a lot. She has an amazing sense of what’s really important and can shrug off what’s not. Recently she and her (almost) adopted daughter had nearly everything they owned stolen from them and they both said it wasn’t the worst thing in the world and went right to work cleaning up the mess the robbers had left behind and counted their blessings as they worked. Just yesterday she wrote to our family that because the adoption is going so slowly she’s tempted to be discouraged, but she said, “I found a verse in Isaiah 61:3 that I’ve posted on my ‘fridge that says, ‘….a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…’ I want to always keep a spirit of praise with me! I just want to say that God is good even though we many not get the adoption done this year, or even though we were robbed, even though my ‘fridge went out and our shower doesn’t work, even though I’ve had to change my roof twice this year, etc…. God is super good to us!! And I’m not just saying that, I feel it deep down!”
Our daughter turns 32 today. She has packed twice that many years of fun, faith, prayers and sacrifice into those years. She inspires our entire family to stretch our wings of faith toward Heaven like she does, to reach out to others too, and to love people as Jesus taught us to love no matter the cost. We are so proud of her and our precious granddaughter whom she has cared for since 2004.
“Dear Jesus, thank You for giving us the children that You did. Thank you for each one of our grandchildren. Thank You for the grace that You’ve given Mimi Jo, for enabling her to live this life that You have chosen for her, even though it’s so far from home. Thank You for the people that You’ve brought into her life, especially her little girl whom You rescued from the streets. We ask that all the forces of evil and darkness be defeated in their lives, and instead, bring in the “Sonshine” of peace and love in their neighborhood and community. May all the windows of Your Heaven be opened to them in a huge birthday present today and we will glorify Your Blessed Name, for it is only from You that blessings come. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.”