The photo above has been on my refrigerator for the past three years. It's Dalton and I ringing the old farm bell that had been at my Grandma Beckner's house for years and now stands at my mom and dad's. It was my reminder to never give up hope. It's slightly fading in the middle but there was always a ray of sunshine coming down from the top to the bottom.
This past Sunday, September 25 at around 10:30 a.m., I received one of the most important calls of my life, and I almost missed it. It was a FaceTime call and I didn't recognize the little bling bling sound. I was in the process of putting my laptop to sleep to get to the kitchen. Just as I was closing the lid, there was this little message line over the window that was opened to Facebook - message from Dalton...
I opened the window and saw another message - missed call...
We exchanged a couple of quick messages and he called back.
Are you at home?
Are you sitting down?
Is Papa there?
Byron wasn't here and I was sitting down. Dalton said he would go ahead and tell me but that he needed to talk to Papa right away. I froze. Someone is dead. Someone is really sick. Something awful has happened. What could it be?
Dalton began to tell me about how he had spent his Saturday night.
Then he told me that he got saved.
Byron got home quickly when I called him just a few minutes later and said that he needed
to come home immediately because Dalton needed to talk to him.
It was an incredible moment for father and son when Dalton told about asking God for forgiveness of his own sins and asked for forgiveness from Byron.
Three years ago this September we all started down a long haul as a family. There were lost hopes and dreams. There was confusion for each one in our family. Byron and I questioned our parenting, our beliefs, our missionary call. There were hard choices. Dalton's life seemed out of control and we seemed helpless to change anything.
And there were hundreds of people all over the world praying for Dalton every day. On Saturday night, September 24th, 2016 those prayers were answered. Angels were singing. Friends were rejoicing. Little old ladies were jumping up and down and dancing around their living rooms.
Today's post is not to tell the whole story. It's just to rejoice that the prodigal son has come home.
Would you please keep praying for our boy? It's not easy to live a clean, decent life in America these days or anywhere else. This world is a broken place. Pray as he looks to do right and serve God. Pray for his family - Destinie and Chase and soon to come baby Mariya. Pray as they look to changes, as they start to read the Bible together and strive to do well for God.
This Wednesday the folks at church here in Sobradinho helped us enjoy some "fatted calf" and rejoice the return of this prodigal son to God and family. We anticipate our reunion in person with great joy.
There are a lot of stories that could be recounted about all that has transpired over the last three years. Many lessons, many mistakes, many blessings. Dalton has stories that he will want to tell as he begins to share his testimony. I have stories that little by little I might share. So do Byron, William and Greyson. I'm certain Destinie will have much to tell someday. Right now all that has passed is shadowed by the praise and joy that we have all experienced this week since that phone call. Aren't we glad that the Bible tells us that when God forgives our sins - He remembers them NO more!
This post is to thank many of you readers, friends and family, who have prayed and prayed and prayed. It's to give God ALL the glory for HIS work in Dalton's life. Join us in this praise and worship of a GREAT GOD. This is the song that has been running through my head all week ...