God Promises to Care for His Children

Me: I think I’m going to blog

My mom: do you think throwing your voice into the frenzy will make a difference?

Me: I’ll feel better

My first introduction to Christian Aid Ministries was in the mid 90s. My dad took tractor and trailer loads of used clothes to CAM clothing center in Shipshewana, Indiana. Annoyingly, we girls had to take turns going with him, but the adventure was always worth it. We’d return home and compare notes on who had spotted the most barges on the rivers between here and there, what food (or lack of it -because my dad forgets to eat when he’s busy🙄) had been consumed, and all the latest stories from Felty the Amishman. I remember wandering up and down the aisles in the sorting room and staring at the big posters on the walls. The dark eyes of innocent children in a far away land burned themselves into my heart.

And CAM continues to touch my heart as they reach out to the world around them.

And I find them everywhere. I’ve spent countless days in their warehouses in PA sorting clothes and packing food (thanks in part to my job as a van driver). I watched the ladies at sewing circle spending hours assembling layette kits, and new clothing kits.

I’ve spent a number of nights at their base in Nicaragua, and appreciated the carefully organized boxes preparing to head into the mountains to provide for the less fortunate.

I even found them in the boondocks of Cambodia surrounded by water buffalo- helping establish safe water sources for people in desperate need.

If there’s a flood, a fire, or a refugee crisis-you can count on them being among the first responders. I love being a part of being “the hands and feet of Jesus” by supporting this Ministry.

And then all the blogs and posts started filtering into my life. Someone somewhere let the organization down. Satan is leading a huge attack on the work of the church and people are reacting. Sometimes I hate social media. The comments run wild and I finally quit reading. Sin is not ok. This is not an accurate representation of “conservative Anabaptists” or “CAM” as the accusations indicate. None of us would support the heinous things that happened. Trust has been broken.

This makes me so sad.

“This has potential to be big” everyone says, and my heart sinks as I think about the millions of lives touched that would be affected if “BIG” is indeed the foreboding dark cloud on the horizon.

But as I’m praying over the situation, God starts reminding me “don’t you remember my promises to the widows and the fatherless? What about “once I was young, but now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” I care more about the people affected by this then you do. Trust me. I will provide.”

And so I just want to stop for a moment on this beautiful Monday morning to praise our Amazing Heavenly Father for His goodness and grace, and the fact that He holds His Children in the palm of His Almighty Hand.

He will provide 💞

Praise Him,


Bonus Adventures

Have you ever stopped in the middle of something random that’s entered your life and just laughed and thought “I have no idea how I got into this, except God…”

Just when I thought our Jordan adventure was as full of adventure as it possibly could be, the plot thickened: it’s called an 8 hour layover en route.

We landed in Rome at 7 am and thanks to the hours we’d spent previously surfing the web, reading up on how to catch a train from the airport to downtown- it wasn’t long until we were boarded and traveling again.

Our adventure was amazing. We spent €3 on a map that did a decent job of getting us to where we were going. (I discovered later that the map was in Spanish 🤔 maybe that explains why things began to unravel towards the end of our visit🤷🏻‍♀️)

Our main goal was to see the Colosseum and as much ancient history as possible- so we set out, stopping occasionally to take pics of narrow streets and beautiful window boxes.

This is a beautiful City.

And the Colosseum is impressive. We didn’t have time for a tour- and judging from the masses of people who were standing in line waiting for the place to open, I’m glad we weren’t counting on it.

Every thing went off flawlessly until I uttered the infamous words “hey we are near the Trevi Fountain, want to go see that while we are here?” So we took a side road following our supposed trusty map and circled and asked store owners with varying degrees of English and stopped by McDonalds and tried to get info using their WiFi as the battery on my phone dipped down below 10%. 🤔 In the end, we walked around the block at McD’s and met a tour group. We jumped in behind them, following them to the right spot, and joined the throngs attempting to throw coins into the fountain. Not worth it.

So there we were at the Fountain with a Spanish map that had failed. By this time it had been tooo long since any of us had slept, and tooo many miles since anybody had eaten. We would finally find a street name and then guess at what direction we needed to be heading.

I’ve always heard “when you’re in Rome you do like the Romans” so we swung in for Gelato for breakfast while we planned our next attack (don’t judge).

I guess the sugar kicked in because it wasn’t long before we’d made the right connections and were headed back to the trainstation as fast as our shoes would take us.

And some 7.5 miles later, we made our train with about 3 minutes to spare. Why was I worried?

*note for next time: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can it be explored in a day- but it was well worth the adventure.

We learned a lot from round one: so we went back to the drawing board for the grand finale. I downloaded ENGLISH maps for the event. We again hit up google, and asked lots of questions from those who’d visited before. The reports varied: “not enough time” ” you’ll be fine!” “The train is super confusing” “most people speak English, but are stingy with it, preferring for you to speak their language” hmmm

So with a combined amount of trepidation, exhaustion, and excitement- we entered the custom lines in Paris.

In a lot of ways this stop was less stressful than Rome, other than when we almost crashed and burned switching trains near Notre Dame ( why would they list all the stops the train makes excluding the ones on the map🤷🏻‍♀️) but we found an angel who spoke English and pointed us in the right direction.

We were early- like 7 am and the clouds threatened and only the gardeners were out. It was beautiful!

We hiked along the Seine River trying not to get run over by the super ambitious bikers and runners out getting in their morning exercise. There is to much culture along the river.

We checked on the rebuilding efforts at Notre Dame and decided that they really didn’t need our help, and caught the train back to the airport. Thankfully we managed to catch the express train- so in no time, we were back in line at customs, reviewing the pics on our phones to verify that we’d actually been there. This was an easy day- we didn’t even walk 7 miles. But no sleep/ no food/ it felt good to be back in time for the flight. 😅

These ladies are the best adventures. 💞 (this pic is from Wadi Rum because the selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower is not worthy to be posted)

So thankful for God’s blessing on a sense of adventure. I know that He was there carefully supervising as we put each piece into our gigantic travel puzzle.

Only regrets- didn’t have time for Pizza in Rome, or crepes in Paris. Next time?

I hope you can sense God’s input in your adventure too.



Cultural Experiences in Jordan 🇯🇴

I have never visited any of the countries in the Middle East. I love learning about other cultures, and this trip did not disappoint. In fact the learning hit as soon as we stepped out of the airport. Groups of men in their flowing white robes stood there greeting each other with multiple kisses. “This is going to be rich” I thought to myself. And it was.

*Because of different courtesies/guidelines my pics here will not include my friends- but hopefully you can still get a feel for the different experiences regardless. 🙂

We turned off the main road, drove thru miles of junk yard. Turned right beside the herd of camels, and wound our way up the hill to the new mosque and the long line of apartment buildings. Partway along the buildings, we stopped and started the hike up the multiple stairs until we came the right door. (Rach led with confidence- how she picked the right building out of a long kind of identical buildings is beyond me- but I didn’t question, only followed.)

The family’s handicapped son opened the door for us and we were ushered in to sit on mats in the living room. The mom kept up a constant chatter while the daughters came in and out answering WhatsApp video calls, and offering us drink. I focused on not having a heat stroke, keeping my feet tucked properly to the side, and not falling asleep; while Rach kindly interpreted this lady’s story of fleeing her hometown in the middle of the night, carrying her daughters; of her lament over their house being bombed and burnt after their departure; and the change from the lush green of her homeland to the dry brown of Jordan. She showed us pics of her grandchildren and talked excitedly about her desire to see them. Rach disappeared into the kitchen to help with meal prep and she kept up a string of Arabic that had my travel companions and I totally lost.

We sat on the floor to eat and although my feet wanted nothing more than to be pointed straight out in front of me- in a culturally offensive way- my heart was happy. “This is rich” I thought to myself

We arrived in Jordan over the ending of Ramadan (30 days of no food/water during sunlight hours) This brought a unique set of challenges since it’s actually illegal to eat or drink in public. But it also provided lots of educational opportunities for this brief culture study. Every morning at 2:30 the drummer would come by waking the neighborhood, encouraging everyone to eat before the sunrise. we stood out on the porch the one morning as he hurried up the street, and he stopped right beside us to sing. The poor guy’s voice sounded shot.

The ending of Ramadan called for a celebration (called Eid) The Park at the end of our street was buzzing with activity as people hurried to pray in the early morning. The chant went on and on for 2 hours creating so much noise and a basic “no sleep zone” for some of us.

The man paused in his careful layering of tiny stone pieces to show us his work. He is a professional with the Mosaic artwork- a tedious masterpiece that is beautiful when finished. I notice the yellow letter on his shirt (same letter as the 2 wooden pieces on the bottom right of this pic) It’s the sign that was painted on the houses of the Christians in his hometown. When the radicals returned, this sign meant his family was either heavily taxed, or the men killed and the ladies abused. Seeing these people working to pull together the pieces of their broken lives was really heart wrenching.

Our hostess was beautiful and gracious and she spoke English. (Also she had an available brother or cousin to offer for each of our group- but we’ll leave that there.) She was breaking fast to feed us a meal, and was so excited to have foreigners visiting her home. Her family kept calling and asking us to stay for Iftar (the meal after sundown) and she was sure we needed to spend the night… Her husband took us to the Wadi after his evening prayer and we waded in the water and enjoyed drinking in the green surrounding the small creek. She promised to take us to her family farm the next visit. I’m planning to remember that 🙂

The sunset threw some pink hues into the sky and the prayer call echoed all over Amman. I sat up on the roof in the refreshing evening breezes watching the lights turn on all over the city, enjoying the chatter of energetic boys, and the companionship of good friends, while savoring the best grilled hotdogs and French fries I’d had in awhile. “Yes, this is rich” I told myself

A few more random snapshots of life in Jordan:

The Jordan people are Bedouin which means that originally they were nomads living in tents, tending their flocks and herds. There is still a lot of that going on today. And KH felt compelled to comment on every.single.one she saw. Bless the patient ladies who traveled with her.

As we traveled along, and I caught snatches of shepherds sitting in the sun watching their animals. I was amazed at what a boring job that would be. It’s no wonder that David wrote music and became skilled with his sling shot.

It’s wheat harvest in Jordan and I was hoping for a chance to see it firsthand. We traveled to the northern part of the country and missed a road and there it was- in all of its New Holland glory. Rach asked the old farmers sitting under the shade tree if it was ok for me to enter the field and take a pic. They welcomed me. Apparently the wheat is bagged at the clean grain elevator instead of being loaded into the grain bin. Then several workers hoists the big sacks onto the back of a truck and they head for the elevator.

It was also interesting to see the long line of cabover Mercedes loading grain onto a ship at Aqaba. Worlds away from my life in VA, yet so similar to my family’s line of work 🙂

Thank you, people of Jordan for opening your homes to us and for helping me gain a better understanding of your way of life. I pray that the Light within you shines brighter and brighter.

And I hope I get to visit again soon.


Bonus Pics:

Random foods at the open air market.

This man wrote my name on a piece of rice. “You have a very long name” he said. I thought he could just be glad that it was Kendra who hired him instead of Jennifer or Rebecca, but I held my peace 😂

Jordan 🇯🇴

“And another thing I’m discovering about life- is to expect the unexpected” the sound of my voice droning on and on combined with the road noise had both backseat passengers nodding off. The driver- my beautiful friend Rach was nodding too- but I think more in agreement than from sleepiness. The road stretched on and on through the most desolate desert I’d ever seen, and as our little rental car buzzed along- I was listing a series of points that life has taught me. (This point was not the most original- but for the sake of time I’ll spare you the rest of the sermon) The honest truth is- the last week and a half was unexpected for me. I expected to fly to Jordan with 2 friends and catch a glimpse of life there. But the entire experience was so much more than I was expecting. So anyhow- you can expect that I’m trying to be concise here- but chances of me sharing piles of pics are pretty good 🙈 So I present to you- the sightseeing side of Jordan. Proceed at your own risk 🙂

* I overuse desolate and expected in this post. But it’s 3 am and I’m dealing with time change realities so please overlook this 😂

Amman was our home base. This amphitheater was built between 131-161 AD. Our entire trip included so many visits to remains of the ancient world.

Like this citadel that’s visible from Rach’s house. Crazy to stand in the same area where Uriah the Hittite was killed…

Or to stand on Mt Nebo looking out into the Promised Land, where Moses stood and looked before he died and God buried him. Wow. Looking at this place of desolation gave me an entire new understanding of the Children of Israel and the challenges they faced.

The Jordan River where John the Baptist arrived from the wilderness and preached repentance. Jesus came too and was baptized here. While we sat on the shore with our toes in the muddy water- we watched the throngs of people on the Israeli side self baptizing (is that even a term?). And I noted the sound of insects (Locust maybe?) and a white dove flew past. (Rach said they are common here- but it seemed appropriate ref Matt 3:16)

The Dead Sea. Wow- such a fun stop. (Notice the streams of minerals) I was not expecting the Dead Sea to be so beautiful. The rich blue in the water surprised me. I guess I was expecting the Dead Sea to be brown- doesn’t that sound more like a death color? Anyhow- it was beautiful. I think the only thing that I remember from 4th grade Social Studies Class was the pic of a guy floating in the Dead Sea reading a book… so if CLP is looking for a new model for their next Social Studies Project… 💃🏻

The unexpected from this memorable stop was the alternating layers of mud and salt on the bottom of the lake. The mud was rich and smooth and felt like it would cost an arm and a leg if you were buying it as a spa treatment. The salt was rugged and sharp and I pulled a centimeter long shard out of my heel. 😬

The Red Sea. Wooooow. I thought the Dead Sea was beautiful- and it was! But nothing prepared me for the Red Sea’s deep blue and turquoise. We spent hours at this clear water: snorkeling, finding the cutest mini shells, dodging purple jelly fish, and solving the worlds problems.

One evening we took a glass bottom boat out over the corral reef and enjoyed seeing the desolate mountains running into the deep blue Sea from an off shore perspective. The unexpected here was the dry heat. It was like being blasted by a gigantic hair dryer. No humidity- just the most friendly warm you can imagine.

Wadi Rum is a national Park in Jordan. And the desert there goes on unendingly. The only thing that breaks up the vastness is the herds of camels, goats, and sightseeing tourists on the backs of pickups. Our visit there was spectacular.

Here I am trudging through the desert on the back of a camel. The camel kneels down to load and unload passengers and it has to be the funniest thing to watch facial expressions as the mount rocks back and forth lowering his bulk to the ground. (Did you know that a camel has what appears to be both a knee and an elbow on each leg?)

Sunset in the desert is the most beautiful thing. 💞

And then came another of my favorite parts of this visit- staying in a Bedouin camp. The food was good, the stars were amazing and our fellow campers were quite comfortable. I was not expecting the quiet. It woke me up at sunrise and I wandered a little ways from camp and just sat and listened to the stillness- other than one fly buzzing past and a camel chewing sage brush the silence was so loud it made my ears ring. Wow.

And last but not least- Petra. We followed through the narrow rock channel until it opened up and we beheld the grandeur of this ancient city. Buildings were carved out of the rock and its believed that this city housed the Wisemen as they headed to visit the Christ child.

Can I just say that I was not expecting to come across so much Bible history on our adventure? I know everyone says that if you visit the Holy Lands it changes your view of the Bible- I can see how that is so true.

The unexpected from this visit was the miles and miles we hiked (9 according to the Fitbit wearers among us) I kept wishing I had a better understanding of the people who had once called this place home. But the mystery remains (partly because I wasn’t curious enough to hire a tour guide 🤷🏻‍♀️)

And because I can’t help myself- do you know what happens when you forget sunscreen in these parts? You get Petrafried 😂😂

And so there it is- a brief rundown of the touristy stops on our stay in Jordan. But is that it? Nope- you don’t get off with only one blog post on this adventure 😉 Expect another post in the near future.

Be blessed,