I have not finished telling you all of the wonderful things that God did on our trip to India. Some of you will remember that we had to come home early because my sweet mother-in-law went to be with Jesus. God has the sweetest way of working out all the details in our ministry and in our lives. The state of Tamil Nadu cancelled school for all of the remaining days that we were to be in Inida, thus cancelling our shows. None of us could have known that Mom was going to go to be with the Lord. Because these shows cancelled I felt the freedom to leave Inida early and go home, except for one problem.
I did not want to leave until all of our work was finished. I wanted to keep all of our promises. We had already trained and equipped our new team, but we still needed to train and equip 25 Sunday school teachers. God was so kind to us. Through the hard work of our dear friend Hanson, we rescheduled the Sunday school training. I wish you could have been with us that night and seen the enthusiasm of these dear ladies who volunteered to teach Sunday school. They are willing to walk long distances to reach village children with the hope of Jesus. Please hold these sisters in your prayers and ask God to bless their ministries.
I am especially grateful to our good friends at Hephzibah Baptist Church who caught a vision for how equipping these ladies could make a difference in the lives of many children. They sacrificially made 75 robes (important storytelling props) so that I could give them the tools they needed. They even bought the fabric for the project. I praise God for their faithfulness.
We finished training the Sunday school teachers and left to drive to the airport about two hours later. Again I saw the Father’s care for us as He enabled us to make our flight. I have often been in unbelievable traffic, but the traffic jam that night was epic. The other side of the highway had experienced a traffic jam, so they just decidecd to start driving down our side of the highway. You can imagine as the two groups of traffic met that it became quite congested. There was absolutely nowhere to go. I am still amazed that God enabled our driver and dear friend Steven to find a way to get us to the airport. They were closing the flight as we checked in. If I had missed that flight I would not have made it home for Mom’s funeral.
While at home, I have had the greatest adventures telling children about Jesus. I have done many chapel shows and some street puppet shows, but my favorite was for my little grandaughter’s school. It made me so happy that she could point to me and say, "That’s my grandma!" We also had an especially dear time working with our friends at Shiloh Baptist in Tennessee. Though their church is way out in the country, they still had 600 people at their Fall Festival! Their church was full of visitors. I loved the way one little child prayed out loud, asking Jesus to be their Savior.
This fall I spoke at many churches, in Sunday schools and small groups. I shared at Wednesday night dinners and brought mission reports on Sunday mornings. Everywhere I went, I tried to tell people about the wonderful things that we have seen God do this year. I am so in awe of our Father. It is difficult to find the words I need to communicate how awesome He is, but I sincerely tried to share the wonders we had seen.
Sometimes, I have the opportunity to speak at women’s conferences. The ladies at Chestnut Mountain PCA invited me to be their fall retreat speaker. They did such a beautiful job organizing this event. As always when I am teaching, I feel like I am the one who is the most convicted and learns the most. As I studied Scripture, I was reminded of my own failings in so many areas. I was challenged to trust God more and let Him change my heart. Please pray for me to consistently heed the Father’s instruction. The ladies made for me 120 storytelling bags that I can give away around the world. It was one of the nicest thank you gifts I have ever received. It gives me great joy for children to hear about God’s rescue plan for them and the ladies saw my heart. I can place these tools in the hands of teachers all over the world and more children will have an opportunity to hear God’s wonderful stories because of their gift.
Last Saturday, friends from several churches gathered together with a group of orphans for a Christmas puppet show. Because of exams at their universities, only one of my puppeteers could go with me to do this show. You would have really laughed to see me wearing the big bear suit and dancing during the puppet song. This experience reminded Mykayla and I that our strength is in the Lord and not in us. We were exhausted and full of joy as we drove home.
During December I always open my home for Christmas tours. I will have almost 400 children, mostly from public schools come and see the Christmas trees. I do this so that I will have an opportuntiy to share with them the real meaning of Christmas. At each tour, I have seen God do the sweetest things as He opened the children’s hearts to the love of the Baby in the manger. The other day, a little boy raised his hand and asked me a question in front of 50 children. He said, "Please Mrs. Summer, where is your husband?" The children had seen all the beautiful wooden toys that Mike had made for me and they wanted to meet the toymaker. I smiled and answered his question. I told all of them how Mike was with Jesus and shared with them how he discovered the hope of heaven. At every tour, I have been getting questions like this.
Children are constantly asking me to be their grandma or mom. They ask me to adopt them. They want to live with me. I have been doing these tours for over 25 years, but I have never seen so many, many children asking me to give them a home. I believe that this speaks to the breakdown that’s happening in our families in America. I beg you to pray for all the children this Christmas. Please ask God to draw their parents to faith in Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart to see the sadness and pain in these little ones as I look into their eyes. I have hope for them because I know that God sees and God knows. I am confident that He will take care of them and I know your prayers will make a difference.
The Middle East
In January, I will be traveling to the Middle East to work with refugee children. This is a sweet and wonderful opportunity to share Jesus with Muslim children. I will be working with Pastor Shadday, a national pastor who is heroic for the Gospel. Together we expect to have great adventures as we follow God together. Please begin to pray for this trip and for the children that we will be speaking with about the Gospel.