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Friday, September 28, 2012

A Legacy

She was quiet and unassuming, but if you knew her and were alone with her you could laugh till the tears ran down your face.  Her smile was beautiful and her caring heart amazing.  She gave everything she had and even more sometimes for those she loved. 
Waterman and L
I first met L when I had three little boys under the age of 3.  My family had just moved to the island of Borneo from the capital city, Jakarta, Indonesia.  I had a three-month old, a 20-month old and one who was one month shy of three.  I was trying to learn the language and learn how to live in a culture so foreign to my own, and I was trying to care for three little boys.  The leadership advised that we get some help.

Since we were considering and fairly confident that we would move to her tribal group and eventually learn the language that was her heart language, it was suggest that L come to town and move in with us.  There were some bumps that first month or two as I learned how to adjust to having someone in my home.  She was so gracious and there were even a few tears as we went over these bumps. 

I've learned over the years that some of the bumpiest starts end up being the best of friendships.  She was with us when we moved into the tribal location where we would spend the next three years.  She cooked, cleaned, loved on my boys, helped me with language, and stayed with me while my husband went on trips.

She was a lifeline - God's provision to us in time of great need.  He knew what it would take for us to get through language study - it was L.  During my times of struggling with worry over my husband being on a motorcycle on narrow slippery roads, she was there to give me a hug or distract me with conversation and helping me with the boys.

She was thrilled when Bugaboo was born.  Ecstatic over each addition to our crowd.  When Jules was born, she came with us, so that she could meet her before we took off for America.  My babies don't remember her much, just the older two, but I can tell them without a doubt that this woman adored them.

She was there when Waterman drowned in the fish pond.  She was helping me with the other two when Waterman got lost in the shuffle and ended up in the pond, and she was as devastated as we were.  It was her "nephew", and she loved him so much.

She was a part of us.  She was family.  There were times when we had to make decisions that were hard for her to understand and my language skills were so poor that I couldn't communicate properly what was happening.  But she took them all in stride and was so gracious with us silly white people. 

She was a part of us.  She was family.  And eventually, within their culture, I was adopted by her parents.  But I told her nothing would change - she was already my sister.  When my husband was gone on trips, she and I would have a slumber party and stay awake talking and laughing.  She grew as a woman of God and I grew as a mother and wife and friend.  We learned together and became close as sisters.

We left Indonesia and had very little contact with her. She married and adopted a little girl.  She had many miscarriages, and still longed for a baby.  Just two weeks ago, I was able to chat with her on Facebook.  It was such a precious time, though I can't communicate even as well as I once could.  She was pregnant again and hoping that this time it would last. 

Two days I ago I received word that she was in the hospital - her right side was paralyzed and she couldn't talk.  Yesterday, she joined heaven's throng and now is worshipping at Jesus' feet.  Her last words to me were in response to my comment that at least we'll be together in heaven.  She said, "I know and I'm glad but I sure hope that we can still see each other on this earth once more."  Her wish was not granted, because God had a different plan for her. 

I'm so thankful that I will see her again.  Thank you for letting me share her story from our perspective.  This was only one part of her ministry.  She worked in many other aspects of missions.  She gave freely and loved deeply.  She blessed our lives so much.  And whether or not  my babies remember her, she left them a legacy - during their early years she loved them so much and they are who they are partly because of her.  For that matter, I am who I am because of her too.


  1. So heartbreaking. Thanks for posting this beautiful story of your life together. I can't wait to meet her one day!

  2. Won't that be a glorious day!!! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

  3. Very touching Steph. I'm sad she left you so quickly. Glad to know you had a sister in Indonisia who brought happiness to your heart. Thinking of you these days, I know you miss her.

  4. Thanks, Toni. I so appreciate the prayers and support these days. It's so hard sometimes to be so far away from the others who are grieving as well, but friends and family have been so supportive and the burden is so much lighter because of it. Thank you.