For two decades, it has been our prayer that God would
"establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:17)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Open Hearts, Open Home (Part II)
Whenever I see the Naatz family, I can expect to see a little Nigerian baby in the midst of them. In fact, that’s how I first met Lily four years ago. They had the honor of naming Lily and taking care of her for most of her first nine months.
Rick and Brenda Naatz have five children of their own; four are now back in the U.S. going to college and settling into their independent adult lives. Now their last-born is a junior. And as usual, they have a little Nigerian baby that they are fostering. And then recently some missionaries went on furlough and asked the Naatz family to care for their 10-year-old Nigerian foster son until they can be reunited. All of this is pretty typical for the Naatz family.
Well, then Brenda had to quickly travel to the U.S. for three weeks to attend to her mother’s urgent health needs. What did Rick do with his three boys (ages 3 months, 10 years, and 17 years)? Did he farm them out to other families? I doubt that the thought even crossed his mind. He appeared to take it all in stride--night feedings, diaper changes, and all.
During the few times that our paths have crossed, Rick and his 17-year-old son appeared to have everything under control.
By the way, Rick and Brenda are missionaries in Jos. Rick works as a clinical laboratory technologist and also teaches at the international school. Brenda works in their mission’s office as travel coordinator and takes care of her family as well as the extras that they always welcome.
Hats off to the Naatz family for their open hearts and open home.
Life has taken me from the Midwest to Africa. Africa was firmly planted in my heart at age 17. I realized that dream when I landed in Nigeria at the age of 26. Currently I am doing the hardest work I have ever done, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Every day is full of challenges. At times life is too painfully raw, but God reaches down to us in those times of great need and helps us to press on and offer hope.