Thursday, December 15th, 2005
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been several weeks since I have last written, but this past month after our return to America has been a very full one. Memorial services, spending time with family and friends, traveling from Chicago to Wisconsin, to Oklahoma and back to our farm have kept things busy for us.
One month ago yesterday, we left Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to take some time with family and friends back in the States. Arriving in Chicago the evening of November 14th after over 24 hours of traveling, we were greeted at the airport by a group of staff from IBLP headquarters. Eager hands helped load our luggage into a trailer as the weary travelers climbed into the waiting vans.
After a special meeting and words of encouragement from Dr. Gothard (Director of IBLP), we were ushered into one of the IBLP staff houses. Tears again filled our eyes as we saw a turkey dinner prepared for us by loving friends, and stacks of groceries provided for our few days in Chicago.
I remember staring at the white floor and walls, and feeling the soft carpet under my feet. I hadn’t seen a microwave in months, and when you turned on the hot water, hot water actually came out. Experiencing jet lag for his first time in his seven years of age, I heard Matthew bounce out of bed at 3 AM the next morning and run up the stairs. For the next several hours we heard him doing summersaults across the carpet above us.
Even with such short notice, many friends joined us the following evening for a time of sharing and fellowship together. Staff from IBLP graciously allowed us to use their staff dining room, even preparing refreshments and working with us to design a simple program honoring Isaac’s service to the Lord.
Greatly blessed by the continued outpouring of love and generosity, our family drove a few days later to our farm in Grantsburg, Wisconsin to prepare for the memorial services scheduled to take place the week following.
Having closed down the house for winter, we were not sure what to expect, but God again went before us in the way of a kind neighbor. Tom Quimby started up the heating system in our house so that we could come out of the cold, snowy night into a warm house. Loving neighbors and friends brought meals and firewood as we worked to settle back in to our farmhouse and get the septic system back into operation.
Holding the memorial services in the church where Isaac and I had come to Christ at the age of five, we were again greatly blessed by the love of family and friends that came to be with us, and to witness the testimony of a life lived for the Lord. The singing, sharing, testimonies and message continued for over two hours. I don’t think any person that attended could miss how special Isaac was to so many, or the grace that God has given us to trust Him through this time. There is a reason behind the hope that lies within us!
Since our return home, Derrick has been encouraging me to write an article for our local newspaper, sharing the testimony of Isaac’s life. With the memorial services behind us, I turned my focus to this new project. Isaac’s homegoing has brought many opportunities to give witness for Christ, and when God brings these opportunities, I don’t want to hide my light under a bushel, but place it on a candlestick where it might bring glory to God.
The project would have been easier, had I known a little more of God’s incredible providence in raising up a man for such a time as this. Byron Higgin, the editor of our local newspaper is a strong Christian and has often taken bold stands in acknowledging the Lord through his work.
Yesterday afternoon I saw my first copy of the newspaper, and found that the article was not just tucked away somewhere, but a color picture on the front page leading to my article, complete with pictures, on the second page! Byron had written another article about our family, and included a third story, condensed from one of my updates, filling the entire page. Only God could have worked out something like that.
Traveling to Oklahoma City early in December, we spent a few days at the Training Center where Isaac had worked for the year and a half prior to our time in Mongolia. Again welcomed by many friends, we took an evening to watch the slide show of pictures from Isaac’s life and talk with many that have known us over the past several years.
One of the families had offered the use of their cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and our family was able to spend several days there by ourselves. This was a much needed time to be together as a family. Almost a year ago, this had been the last location where we were all together before going to Mongolia.
There were more tears as we sat down to dinner as a family without Isaac, and later as we watched video clips of Isaac talking, leading music and playing his harmonicas and trombone in Oklahoma City.
But there were happy times as well. The Fahrenbrucks had left a fishing rod at the cabin, so the younger ones were excited to get some tackle and a can of corn to take to the park. While the older ones played volleyball, I watched Lydia, Rebecca and Matthew at the lake as they worked together putting corn on the hook and taking turns with the rod.
I decided not to spend the $25 to buy a license for a few hours of fishing, so the three youngest were on their own. Words can hardly describe the moments of suspense, everyone leaning forward and holding their breath as the bobber began dipping into the water. Matthew’s arms were almost shaking with excitement as he earnestly looked over at me. “Should I pull yet?”
“No, not yet,” I said, my eyes fixed on the bobber. “Wait till the bobber goes all the way under… Wait… Get ready… And… Wait… Go!” Matthew’s muscles flexed as all the minutes of restrained suspense were unleashed in a single reflex that sent the bobber, hook and line all flying clear out of the water onto the shore. Needless to say, there was no fish, or corn, remaining on the hook.
After we all had a good laugh, Rebecca put some more corn on the hook and Matthew coiled for another cast. With a little practice, all three of them managed to catch some small panfish. I was really glad that none of the fish swallowed the hook. Step-by-step tonsillectomy lessons are not usually on the list of most popular topics for beginning fishermen.
Spending the weekend with friends in Guthrie, Oklahoma, we saw others that remembered Isaac teaching at a children’s seminar the year before. One man from the church there told us in tears that he has been praying for us every day since he heard of Isaac’s death.
The sun rose on Monday morning to find our van already several hours underway on the trip back up to the farm. Thirteen hours is a long drive, but we were all relieved to arrive home that evening. A warm crackling fire in the wood stove was a welcome sight as we worked to carry in the luggage from our trip.
This week Rachelle and I have been working on a database of contacts and friends. This is a project that we have been thinking and planning toward for the past several years, but the many details in connection with Isaac’s passing have made it more of a necessity.
I am hoping and planning to set up a simple Web site with my past updates, so that people who may have just gotten a few forwarded e-mails can read the rest of the story. I plan to send out an e-mail with a link and a few more details as soon as I am able.
I also wanted to express my gratefulness to each of you that have written to us in the past month. With so many other things going on, I have not yet been able to respond to most of these e-mails, but please know that each one has been a special encouragement to us through this time.
- We are so grateful for the overwhelming love and care of family and friends through this time. God continues to pour out His grace upon our family, and we know that this is a result of so many that are praying for us.
- Praise the Lord for health and safety through all of the trips, meetings, and events of the past month. It has been a very meaningful time of seeing many friends and loved ones of years gone by.
- We have been able to book tickets for our return to Mongolia on January 20th. We are all looking forward to returning to the work in Mongolia. God is opening up many new opportunities for ministry in the months ahead.
- Please pray that the Lord would continue to pour out His grace as we celebrate Christmas this year without Isaac. We are so grateful for the twenty-five years that God allowed us to enjoy his presence in our family, but we still miss him.
- Pray for the team in Mongolia as Tim, Angie, and Carissa head back to the States for Christmas. Our Mongolian staff will be doing some light remodeling in the main apartment, and carrying on the office responsibilities for us.
During our stay at the IBLP Headquarters, we were graciously allowed to stay in one of the staff houses. It was an ideal setting to adjust to the 14 hour time difference from Mongolia.
Matthew was pretty excited to see some of the food that had been left for our family. – And the pile on the counter was just for our ride back home!
My Grandfather drove an hour and a half from his home to hang this sign to our garage door, welcoming us back from Mongolia.
In our travels we have had the opportunity to share at several churches that have been praying for our family during this time. Here my Dad shares a testimony at Western Hills Church in Oklahoma City before our family sings “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.
The fishing rod flexes as Matthew’s left-handed cast sends the line into the water.
Rebecca giggles and squeals in her first experience taking a fish off the hook.
The Waller family, smaller in size, but deeper in message.
Words cannot express how grateful we are for your prayers through these days! God continues to show Himself faithful as He leads us each day.
Adam Waller ~ MyAllForChrist@CadLinx.com
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9