The Bare Bones of Me
If I started this conversation with—born 1950, Kewanee, IL. Married Bob Baird 1970, became a Christian 1973, committed to Missions 1974, first began to serve in Democratic Republic of the Congo 1982. Oh, and mother of three children, Elizabeth, Rachel and Joshua, and proud lover of eight grandkids, would you be bored? I hope not, because there’s much more to come!
The Democratic Republic of the Congo—the place I gave my heart to for 35 years! Allowing for wars, rebel activity, and furloughs, I actually lived on the African continent for 23 of those years. My primary duties were Teaching English as Another Language; working with Juvenile boys in Bukavu Central Prison, and teaching Women’s Seminars in Swahili. On varying 3-year terms, I homed schooled one or more of our three children and served as buyer for out-station missionaries.
I kept journals during those 35 years of African history—lessons learned in the jungles of Ituri Rain Forest and later, in big-city Bukavu, a mile high in the mountains around Lake Kivu. God was ever-present in my friendships, languages and living conditions. Oh how he grew my faith! He helped me understand startling cultural realities that wove Christianity together with a false worship called Animism (belief in the animation of things and of the dead by evil forces). At times, with my heart torn to pieces, I learned to rely on, to have faith in, the only source of true healing and wisdom. And that “All in for Extravagant, Fabulous Faith” continues!
In 2010, Bob was diagnosed with a debilitating illness called Meige Syndrome. By 2016, forced to retire earlier than we had ever planned to, we returned permanently to the US. God dramatically changed not just the “where” of my life, rather, he drastically altered my life’s whole purpose. Writing, speaking, and taking care of Bob and Elizabeth have become my new focus.
I currently live in Vancouver, WA together with Bob and Elizabeth, and our son Joshua and his family live right across the river. On a fair day, when crossing the Columbia River into Portland, OR, both Mt Hood and Mt St Helen’s are visible, and it’s only an hour and a half to the Pacific Ocean! While my heart beats fast for the people of Congo, and I miss my Midwest friends and family like crazy, I’m coming to love this great Northwest.
Three Very Different Women Deborah (a prophetess and judge) Jael (most blessed of women) Sisera’s Mother (wailing through the lattice)Jael finishes the battle that Deborah began. In between the actions of these two women, God empowers Barak to defeat Israel’s enemy....
“She sent and summoned Barak . . . and said to him, “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 of the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulon. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to...
“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.We know much about this amazing...
Come along on a young boy’s grand adventure in Congo, Africa.
- Joshua sees a little girl about his size. Will she be his new best friend?
- He cannot understand what people are saying, but he listens and learns to speak.
- Each day is filled with discovery as Joshua learns about the animals, plants, and insects of his new home.
This story of a young boy adjusting to a new culture, making new friends, quickly and easily learning a new language, illustrates how children adapt and how their hearts and minds are open and free of prejudice.