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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

On the Wings of a Dove

     The dove has long been an enduring symbol of God’s spirit and divine authority and to show the hand and presence of God in the world. As a child (about forty years ago), I heard many Bible stories in Sunday School and sermons at a small missionary church on Boone Ford Road about doves. One brought an olive branch in its beak to Noah in the ark, and at the baptism of Jesus a dove descended to proclaim God’s pleasure in His son. In David’s distress (Psalms 55:6-8), he wished that he had the wings of a dove, that he might fly away and be at rest. Above all the stories, I recall the sweet bluegrass sound of guitars as they strummed to the lyrics of an old country song, On the Wings of a Snow White Dove.

     I am excited to share that my children's book, Baby Birds, has flown on the wings of a dove into the hands of a special group of children in Nigeria, thanks to an extraordinary young lady named Joanna Foley, who is blessed with a gift for ministry.

(Photo from Joanna's blog, His Precious Daughter Missions)

     Joanna's life is spirit-led. She has a sun-shiny disposition, and she is the sister of Rebecca, who has Cerebral Palsy. Rebecca’s condition prevents her from walking, talking or communicating like most people, and requires around-the-clock care.

     It's no surprise that Joanna’s big heart for special needs kids and adults has taken her on a mission trip to Jesus Kids Home in Nigeria, which is an evangelical non-profit, non-government organization that provides hope and rehabilitation for children with a broad spectrum of issues. It is not unusual in Nigeria for physically challenged children to be abandoned by their families, leaving the innocent to wander the streets and become the target of harm. Even though disabled children may be viewed as not being perfect, we know they are fearfully and wonderfully made. For a brief time this summer, Joanna’s beautiful heart and smile will brighten their days.

     Please visit her blog, His Precious Daughter Missions, at the following link and join me in praying for her and others as they minister.

     Joanna’s feet have landed all over the world (one of her goals is to visit all of the continents, by the way). She has been to Switzerland, on a mission trip to Nicaragua, London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Amsterdam, Costa Rica, Nassau Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk. She will also visit Alaska later this summer. Joanna has been to all but five of the states in America. In 2014, she toured the United States with her dad, Jack, and Rebecca to promote the Treasured Tyrtle Project—an effort to honor and celebrate Rebecca’s life, raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy and to raise scholarship funds to help children and their families affected by the disorder.

     I suspect there will be many more opportunities for mission and ministry in Joanna’s life as she spreads her wings this fall to fly to Augusta University to pursue a degree in chemistry. She really is His precious daughter.

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