Thursday, May 5, 2016

Access Denied

The meeting at Lloyd's was around the end of April 2006 and the Sudanese tour was scheduled to end sometime mid-end of May 2006. Our four new friends, Jeffreys, Stephen, Bullen and Andrew, would be returning home within a couple of weeks. Our family conversations were constantly about our new friends.

Left to Right: Bullen, unknown, Andrew
Standing: Jeffreys

SEM and I decided that we wanted to see Bullen Timo one more time before he returned to South Sudan.  I called the sponsoring ministry to inquire about the location of the last few speaking engagements for the Sudansese.  SEM and I were going to travel to that location and just speak to, see and hug Bullen one more time!  I continued to leave message after message at their office with no response (of course, they were on the road).  Every afternoon SEM would come home from school and ask if I had gotten any information of BUllen's location.  Days later, the director's assistant returned my call and I didn't hear the words that I wanted to hear.  The Sudanese's schedule was too busy and they were moving in many different directions, therefore the ministry would not allow us a time to visit.  A little sadness, but not heartbroken, we understood that God was in control and this wasn't about us.

I encouraged SEM to send an email to his new friend and maybe just maybe he would respond before departing.  Bullen did respond to the email with kind words of encouragement but no place to see him again. 

Bullen and Andrew in New Orleans
Seeing God's Creation of the Ocean

Their time in the USA gave them the opportunity to speak at 35+ churches as well as other events. They met so many people throughout the States (Bullen can remember all of them and every single place he visited in detail). Have I told you that he has an unbelievable memory and his sense of direction is amazing?

God placed this young man in our hearts and minds and unbeknownst to us, our family.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Talk

On Sunday morning, David Platt introduced the four internationals to the congregation and each one shared their story.  The stories were a little unbelievable, a little sad, and very heart grabbing.  I just loved their British English accent and the way they presented their faith in Jesus.

For those of us who wanted to hear more, there would be one more event at Lloyds Restaurant on Highway 280 during the evening.  These men traveled more than 6000 miles in hopes of helping people in their homeland with food and shelter.  During this evening, we learned even more about the starvation and war torn villages of South Sudan.

A friend of mine, Lori, and I had made handkerchiefs for these men with their initials on them.  Don't ask me where that came from because I have no idea.  Each one accepted their gift with graciousness and were so humble in spirit.  Our youngest son, SEM, and I made an instant connection with the youngest young man, whose name was Bullen Timo. We spoke to him after the meeting and then got in line to talk with him again and again.  We stayed way past our welcome, as the missionaries from TN who were traveling with them were ready for everyone to be gone.  Our church raised 10's of thousands of dollars for these families across the globe.  We said our goodbyes with hugs and comments of "see you in heaven one day".

Wow - our paths had crossed for such a short period of time (about 6 hours: 3 hours for dinner at Dreamland; 1 hour in church service; 2 hours at dinner and visit at Lloyds), 360 Minutes.  This will be very significant as this story unfolds..........

SIDENOTE:  A couple of things about this time that I now know 10 yrs later.  Bullen, in the process of traveling, carrying luggage, sleeping on a mattress, etc, had pulled his back out.  He was in extensive pain every time he moved.  He hurt when he stood, moved or lay down, but he was required by the director to get up and get sharing.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A new time A new place

Today.......A new month -- a new week -- a new normal -- a new time -- a new place -- an empty nest.

The feelings,  the empty chair at dinner,  the happiness,  the thankfulness,  the empty bedroom,  the unknown,  the letting go,  the goodbyes,  the love we shared,  the time together, and I could go on and on and on.

Exactly 10 years ago last week, our family met a young man from the other side of the world who would change our lives forever, but we had no idea.  We simply accepted an offer to host four international men for dinner.  On this night, we decided to take them to Dreamland BBQ and its was a hit.  After dinner it was back to our house for a little more fun and fellowship, which included many questions about their life and playing drums with our youngest son.

An early night was closed with hugs and hand-shakes and we knew we would hear them speak at our church on the coming Sunday

to be continued..........

Sunday, November 8, 2015

True or False

Leaving dinner at the Colonade, a white car with driver window down stopped as if going to ask for directions.   A lady in her twenties asked for gas money (first sign of scam).  Talking very fast she continued to tell a story of being kicked out of her house by her mother and needing gas to get to the Pinson area to stay with her father (second questions mark).  None of us spoke, so she proceeded to tell us her mother beat her and she really could not return home. With our minds thinking this is a false story and our hearts feeling sorry for her, no money, but you can follow us to the gas station and some gas will be put in your car.  We were not sure if she would follow us, but as you can see from the picture, she did.   Asked to see her DL, she showed it; asked where she lived, she answered; asked if she was hurt, bruised but will be ok; asked for her phone number; she gave it; asked if she knew Jesus, she said I do; asked if she wanted my phone number in case of an emergency; she did.  A few gallons of gas and she was off with a hug and many thanks.  

........(2 days later), I read a story on Facebook about a young lady in a white car begging for money around the Colonade and areas in the near vicinity.  Is it the same person?  I have no idea. 
I do know that God's Word says:

"Give to him who asks of you, 
and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."  
Matthew 5:42 

Friday, November 6, 2015

VIEWS views!

Twenty Eight THOUSAND Four Hundred Eight!  
Is this number large or small?
That depends on what you are comparing.

This is the number of page views on Scatter Christ since 2008.  

Based on this information this number is very small in the world, 
but very large considering Scatter Christ has never advertised or officially published this blog. 
Because cluster maps has changed their format - the number is back to zero.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I met this homeless lady in the green jacket in 2005 during The Church at Brookhills Extreme Graceover. She had been sober and at a shelter 55 days.  During this weekend, she ate at Pizza Hut and Fish Market, got new PJs, received a new haircut and new clothes. She was very funny and quick witted.  I posted about DEllis (HERE). 

Tonight as I had dinner with another one of the homeless women almost 10 years later, we discussed DEllis and her whereabouts. WB asked me if I still had the necklace for her.  I DO, let's find her.   I pulled out my smart phone and googled for a phone number, knowing she left Birmingham for Pensacola, Florida to live with her father.  My heart sank when what appeared was her obituary!  She passed away several years ago.

The above picture also appeared in an advertisement for Help for the Homeless!  Christ, family, church and friends are such a blessing that so many of us take for granted each day!