March 31, 2021
If you are reading this on this date, I am, Lord willing, in a moving truck somewhere between North Carolina and Michigan. Our daughter (Rebecca), her husband (Stephen), son (Judah) and another child on the way (!!) are moving back to Michigan and, of course, we are thrilled. Stephen’s job is moving him up here, and they will be on the west side of the Detroit metro area. Thankfully, 45 minutes away is way closer than 10 hours. The plan is for Stephen and I to drive the truck first to Louisville, KY where we will drop off a piano and then continue on home. Want to hear the story behind the story of moving the piano?
My dad played the piano very well. He really wanted me to play it well also. I took lessons. I practiced (sort of). I was not the teacher’s favorite student. I would rather eat broccoli than practice, and I would rather get my teeth pulled out than eat broccoli. Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Finally, my dad and I declared a truce when I was 12. He stopped wasting money on lessons, and I didn’t have to come home from school and practice when I just wanted to play ball. I know that was a disappointment to him, but I really did not have my heart in it.
So, when my kids all took piano, and did well, my dad was thrilled. Bobby was the oldest and had his name, so my dad promised my son that he could get my dad’s piano. Well, Bobby was not in a place to have a piano, and it became clear that he and his family were going to Africa, so the piano ended up with Rebecca in TN. Yes, we put it on a trailer and hauled it to TN where it went from a rental home to an apartment and then to N.C. where she lived, until today. Then Bobby came back from Africa and is in KY and has a house. Now, we are moving this piano for the umpteenth time.
It must be an awesome piano – right? Not really. It is a basic upright piano that people end up trying to give away when no one in the family wants it anymore. So, why are we moving it again? I’ve asked this question many times. The answer is, because my dad promised it to Bobby, and he wants it. In fact, he said that he is going to start teaching his son piano. So, now the sentimental factor is even higher. Will that be special? I may be trying to tell myself that as you read this, but I’m afraid my grandson may prefer broccoli over practicing – but who knows?
Lord willing, I will be home tonight. I may walk a little crooked for a couple of days, but if the piano gets moved, it will be worth it. But, there is another story behind the story I want you to know about.
A few days ago, international news showed pictures of a devasting fire in the Rohingya refugee camp on the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Our brother Shakil has a ministry in that camp where 700,000 – 1,000,000 refugees live and have nowhere else to go. The fire killed at least 15, injured another 500, and upwards of 400 are feared dead. The fire spread over 250 acres in the camp, leaving tens of thousands homeless. You can google Rohingya refugee camp fire and see the footage. But here is the story behind the story.
The gospel has been making an impact among the Rohingya people. The people in these camps are Muslim, who were forced out of Myanmar, which is Buddhist. In this massive camp, outreach efforts with the gospel have made some inroads. This has resulted in some intentional persecution. Last week, the home (shelter) of one of the believers in the camp was targeted by some Muslim extremists and set on fire. The fire got out of control, and while the news reported on the effects of the fire, not much has been said about the cause. There are two ways we need to respond to this: 1) Pray for our brothers and sisters who are directly in harm’s way. Persecution is very real and personal. Specific people are targeted for their faith in Christ, are being extorted, and in some cases having prices placed on their heads. 2) Rejoice! Rejoice because the gospel is spreading like the fire. We may be able to respond with some specific financial help as we learn more about this, but now you know the story behind the story. Intercede and rejoice!
Grace and peace,