Remembering Mike Riddering

Mike Riddering - Image Via Hollywood Community Church
Mike Riddering – Image Via Hollywood Community Church

 

It was just one week ago that missionary Mike Riddering left Les Ailes de Refuge Orphanage to travel to the capital of Burkina Faso to meet up with a visiting short term team. He was first having a meeting with a local pastor at the Cappuccino Café.

When we lived in Nairobi, Java House was where missionaries coming in from the bush would indulge in good coffee–their office in the city.

It’s easy for me to imagine… walking past sidewalk café tables, finding a seat near a businessman working on his Mac, waving at the waitress who knows that I like an extra large water with my latte.

I remember Hubby scanning the seating, looking for anything suspicious, choosing a seat away from the entrance, scoping out an escape route if necessary.  It wasn’t just his former Army hyper-vigilance kicking in — Nairobi is rated “critical crime, critical terrorism,” and the Westgate Mall terrorist attack sadly proved that valid.

Though Kenya has seen quite a bit of violence from Islamic terrorists, it seems like Burkina Faso was caught off guard by the attack from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).   Mike and Pastor Valentin wouldn’t have been scanning the crowd, wouldn’t have prepped their families on emergency protocols in case of attacks.

This has hit close to home to me, even though I didn’t know Mike and Amy Riddering.  I have been mourning for them. Praying for their four children. Imagining the shock of their community of orphans and vulnerable people with whom they work in Yako. What does the future hold?

Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes are often considered the first Evangelical martyrs, burned at the stake in 1523.  When he heard of their deaths for the cause of Christ, Martin Luther wrote what was possibly his first hymn.

Flung to the heedless winds,
Or on the waters cast,
The martyrs’ ashes, watched,
Shall gathered be at last.

And from that scattered dust,
Around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed,
Of witnesses for God.

The Father hath received,
Their latest living breath,
And vain is Satan’s boast,
Of victory in their death.

Still, still, though dead, they speak,
And, trumpet tongued, proclaim,
To many a wakening land,
The one availing name.

 

I mourn the death of Mike and other Christians around the world, yet I maintain hope that “vain is Satan’s boast of victory in their death.”  

Jesus was crucified — yet he rose again.  In Him, we have life and will have life even after death. His Gospel of grace is truly good news, and continues to be carried around the world.

Please pray for the Riddering family–the immediate family, their orphanage community, and their church home.

Please pray for missionaries around the world who are serving in sensitive locations.

Please pray we each are ready to show God’s love where we are.

 

If you want to give to support Amy Riddering and their children, you can donate to the Michael Riddering Memorial Fund.  The memorial service will be held February 6, at Hollywood Community Church, Florida.

 

 

 

Move It!

Look what came in the mail!

Look who is excited about Diastasis Recti!

Thanks to the usual postal delays we have living overseas, I’m not the first to have Katy Bowman’s new book … but I didn’t have to wait long!

My womb has held in firm embrace six children, from zygote to full term.  My body has marathoned through the intense forces of childbirth.  My babies have been nourished at my breasts.  My body has served me well.

It’s time to use the movement and forces of daily life to better support my body.

 

Up in the Air So Blue

One of my most vivid memories from childhood is my mother pushing me on the swing and reciting Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem.  We had a “little pink house on the corner” in Waveland, Mississippi. The house was on about an acre with tall pines. I remember watching my mother mow the lawn. I remember the smell of the pine needles and grass. I remember my mother telling me that it was good that the pine trees would bend and sway with the strong winds that scared me — the trees that bent in the wind wouldn’t break.

The playground was about a block from our house. I have memories of walking there alone, and sometimes stopping at the Tiger Mart across the street for a slushy. I remember hearing sounds carry through the warm, humid nights–the crackling speakers from the baseball diamond at that park in the distance and the cicadas nearby.

But the best times were when my mother came with me, and pushed me on the swing. Rhythmic pushing. Rhythmic recitation.  Oh, how I love (push) to go up in a swing (push), up in the sky so blue (push). . .

The Swing
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

How do you like to go up in a swing,

   Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

   Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,

   Till I can see so wide,

Rivers and trees and cattle and all

   Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,

   Down on the roof so brown—

Up in the air I go flying again,

   Up in the air and down!

I can’t believe Baby H is 7 mos already! And A is 3yo!

 

Martin Luther Musings

Look what came in the mail today!

Look what came in the mail!

 

It’s my Martin Luther figure from Playmobil. A3 was amused by “mommy’s toy”…
I’ve been reading lots of Luther lately… On Reformation Day (October 31), I realized that soon it would be the 500th celebration of the one of the pivotal times in Christian history.

I realized I had only a cursory understanding of Martin Luther and his contributions to Chrsitianity, in spite of having a decent grasp of Reformed and Biblical thought.

I’ve been reading. Reflecting. Scribbling out my growing understanding of Christ, as I see Luther ponder the Gospel.

And, I’m excited. Well, excited is too energetic a word for me these days. It’s been good to feel my growth in the Lord, feel my brain used in this way again…

Peeking Around the Corner

Way back in 2004 (twelve years ago!?), Hubby bought me my very own URL. . . I started blogging.  It was a beautiful outlet for me — a place to ponder, a place to keep a family journal, photos. . . a soapbox!

And then a move and change of life rhythm — me at work, Hubby in grad school and homeschooling the kids — and writing and blogging became more infrequent.

Another move. . . and another, and another, and another. . . some posts and pics along the way, but nothing like the routine of writing I had been in before.

I miss it.  I really do.

Ironically, it’s harder now with teens to make the time than it was for me with a lot of littles running around. Now we have teens and littles and I love it — and am still trying to find the rhythm when I can write.

I’ve also been discouraged along the way with stupid behind the scenes crud with spam and wordpress not working as it should. We thought we had that all straightened out last year, but nope.  It took the wind out of my sails.  I can write here, but I miss my own URL.

Here I am again, feeling the need to write.  Feeling the need to reflect.  This medium “works” for me in a different way than pen and black & white composition books do.

So here I am again. Feeling a bit vulnerable starting again after fits and spurts in the past several years. Sad I have those years not documented, those thoughts not captured.  Ready to press on.