In the middle of the night, I awoke and couldn’t get back to sleep.  My mind was replaying a few scenes for my WIP (work in progress) and I decided to get up and type them into the trusty laptop (this does NOT happen often–I like to sleep).  My g-mail account flashed on the screen and the first thing I saw was a four-word email sent from my son’s phone:  Are you guys okay?  He’d sent the message at 2:51 in the morning, France time, from his phone in Georgia, USA.

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And I thought, “Why wouldn’t we be okay at 3 in the morning?”  So of course, I clicked on CNN and saw the headline: Paris under Siege.  I spent the next thirty minutes reading of the horror.  And praying.  I didn’t get much sleep after that.  I called Paul in Lyon (it is no fun to be far apart at times like this) and woke him up.  He assured me he had already talked with our workers in Paris and that they were safe.

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But so many were not.

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This is the world as we know it now.  Terrorists massacring hundreds of innocent people.

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On a much smaller scale internationally, yet on an important individual scale, yesterday, a precious family who has been part of our mission agency for years left the country where they serve.  Burnout?  Lack of finances?  Family problems?  Nope, none of those.  They were expelled; they learned in September that their visas had not been renewed, and they were given 60 days to leave the country.

The day before yesterday, a seventy-year-old widow with more energy that most twenty-year-olds wrote to confirm her ‘retirement’ from her country of service after almost 20 years of truly amazing work among refugees at a Christian Coffee House called ‘The Oasis’.  Even as she wrote, she was heading to another European country to visit some of the refugees who had come to Christ through The Oasis over the past 20 years.

This is our world.  A world of uncertainty, a world of terror, a world of refugees seeking somewhere to call home.  A world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the midst of this world.

One worker in Paris told us that his daughter had performed last year at the venue where over 100 people were killed last night.  He will be out in his neighborhood today, doing what he does so well, loving people.  Scared, shocked, lonely, afraid people.

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But it costs them something–all of our workers, all of us who call ourselves Christ-followers.

It costs us love, 24/7, with open hands to God’s plans in the midst of uncertainty.

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As we love, during terrorists attacks and refugee crises and expulsion from a beloved country of service prematurely, and going about whatever God has given us to do this day, we reaffirm that, even as the world as we know it implodes, we trust in the One who not only knows the world, but created it and is at work in it and assures us that He will never leave us.   The One who says, “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

We continue on, certain of His love for us so that we can pour out His love on an oh-so-needy world.

Elizabeth’s website




25 Comments on “The World as We Know It

  1. Yes… this world today. So grateful He makes us know Him as the one who has overcome, to carry the name above all names… Amazing how He wakes us up in such moments to pray, isn’t it? Blessed to learn of your blog – looking forward to reading more! Thanks, Elizabeth, for bringing face to what seems far away here… His angels (PS 91) surround us all and His Glory manifest in and through us in a dark world that needs His light …


  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. I shared this with my Facebook friends and had a number of ‘Likes’.


  3. Elizabeth, I am so glad you have started this blog. Your writing at all times inspires me. I immediately thought of you and your love for all things French, especially their people when I heard of the tragic events of Friday. Where are you now? I though you and Paul were in Lyon. bunches of love to you, your #1 fan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear Carol! I’m actually at the beach, finishing up my sabbatical. I head home on Thurs to do life after sabbatical. This has been soooo good and I am feeling renewed, although greatly saddened of course by all that is going on in our country.

      Hope you are well. It seems you were sick for a long time. Paul actually has shingles and is down here since Sat, trying to get a little rest.

      Blessings on you! Thanks for always encouraging me.


  4. Love the phrase that Linda posted too. Read it and re-read it! Trusting in that statement everyday. We have a awesome and faithful God! You have been on my heart and mind too. Prayers and blessings to all of you in France. “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous; be strong. And do everything in love” 1 Corth. 16:13


    • Thanks so much, Sally. I honestly feel pretty helpless to help, but it is wonderful to know that the Lord prompts us to act in His timing. Thank you for your ministry at Bradbury, too. Please tell all the girls bonjour and tell Sherry that the photos she took of me in the summer of 2011 are still making their way around.


  5. Thank you for posting this, Elizabeth. Our hearts are hurting for those impacted by the violence around the world. We plan to be in Paris in three weeks and then on to Strasbourg and Colmar. We continue to pray for you as you share God’s love in difficult times.


    • Merci, Anita! as I said to Sally, there is a feeling of helplessness and yet, assurance and the Spirit prompting us to do what we can do. Blessings on you as you pour out His love in your neck of the woods!


  6. Thank you for posting this Elizabeth. Uncertainty, fear, insane cruelty abound, thankfully the Lord never changes. His promises, His love, His grace and peace still available to us, His children. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes fixed on Him through all of this…


  7. “e reaffirm that, even as the world as we know it implodes, we trust in the One who not only knows the world, but created it and is at work in it and assures us that He will never leave us. “


    • Argh… Posted the comment before I finished it! That statement is what keeps us getting up on mornings like this. Thanks for your testimony and faithfulness.

      You’ve been on my heart and my mind during all the news from Paris. Sending you a hug!


      • Merci, Linda! I am so thankful that He gifts His people to be His hands and feet in times like this. I’m especially praying for all our dear brothers and sisters in Christ in Paris as they love those around them.


  8. Thank you elizabeth. The Lord has control. At church to day we were again reminded about when the Lord is coming in rev. But for know we should not stop praying for the work of the Lord.


  9. I needed to read these encouraging words this morning. I know your Atlanta family feels a great sense of relief now that they know you and yours are safe. Saw your sweet parents at precious Irvin’s wedding. He was best man in our wedding and my son’s (now deceased) godfather. Your cousin Allene lives near me in Athens. She is such a dear and keeps up with me. In Dec. I will be ninety-two so it is wonderful to have such a young friend. Love your books. Blessings to you and yours. Annette Ransom Mitchell


    • Oh, Annette, you are such an inspiration! It was hard not to be there for Uncle Irvin’s funeral. What a special man. I’m thankful that Paul and I will be home for Christmas. Blessings to you!


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