March 2021

   ”The Lord is my  Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth
my soul.”

The Good Shepherd

Sheep need a shepherd. They are rather naive animals and are prone to wander and land themselves in danger. They walk nonchalantly to the slaughter without fear. Our lives are not to be guided by fear, but there are things we should desperately fear. Never in my life have I wanted the Good Shepherd to “shepherd” us more than now. I am so thankful that He is the “Good” Shepherd. I can trust Him to do all things well for my good and His glory.

No want or lack

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is in me, bless His holy Name.” Our blessings are so many; we try to count them every day. We have scores of praying friends and churches who have lifted us up before the throne for these over 60 years. That support allowed us the blessed privilege to follow our Shepherd to foreign fields where little of the Gospel was known or proclaimed. 

I lost my driver’s license 31 years ago, Kathleen took on the task until 7 years ago. The Shepherd gave us a loving church that established a “Hester Transportation Ministry.” We have a loving daughter next door, grandchildren and a caring daughter overseas to fill the gaps and more. Australia’s Aged Care provides a multitude of services that are unspeakably helpful for a very reasonable subsidised price that facilitate our remaining in our home.We are overwhelmed by His grace and goodness! Pastor Elie inspects our cam. (see image)

The Green Pastures

For many Christians in this world, that doesn’t necessarily mean financial abundance, good health and few problems. Still, these “green pastures (plural),” are indeed many and are very green. When I was a boy out on an Oklahoma ranch, we longed to see the rain bring out the green pastures. Frankly, we do struggle with the lack of memory, sight, hearing and other maladies. But the “other green pastures” bring happiness and serenity. The focus is all-important. Focus on the negative and the “still waters” will be troubled; focus on the positive and your soul will be satisfied and restored with perfect peace.

My Wants at the 89 year Point

We should not “want” or “lack” as we follow the Good Shepherd, but we should “want” or “desire” the things that might please Him. My daughter here kept hinting at what I wanted for my birthday. My answer was always that I didn’t need or want anything. She pressed harder, so I said, “Give me 2 or 3 hours of your precious time for making calls to brethren in Lebanon.” I can understand little on the phone. It was the gift of a lifetime! My soul was blessed and thrilled to talk to these precious friends and spiritual family inspired us as we heard their comments about the depressing situation in Lebanon that has turned their lives upside down. Because of the currency collapse, a retired teacher’s income value fell 80%. Small business lost similarly if not closure. All are suffering financially, fear and uncertainty are on every hand. Yet, I heard so many sweet testimonies of thanksgiving to the love and care of the Good Shepherd. A 66 year-old pastor friend with no issues died with COVID this week. 

Another of my burning “wants” is the completion of the Arabic Bible History book projects.  The New Testament book is frozen in the printers due to the COVID lockdown. The Old   Testament book is translated, formatted and is now being proofed. We have spent considerable time following these projects with monitoring and advice to the development of these projects. An   y reading requires large text, an almost letter-by-letter, word-by-word analysis, all of which is laborious and time-consuming. A dear lady in our church has also made a big contribution to the proofing work. We can hardly wait to see everything completed and see the books being an encouragement and blessing in countries of the Middle East  as well as in other countries with Arabic residents. Finally, Thank you for standing with us. It is a great encouragement!

Other Wants Needing Prayer

*Contradictory advice about having a hernia operation with general anaesthetic. My doctor says no, the specialist yes.

*The resignation of the pastor our Lebanon church just outside of Tripoli. It doesn’t make sense to me. Pray.

*For God’s grace as we face new challenges with Alzheimer’s and our limitations

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