Monday, December 17, 2018

When the Preacher Became Great

When I first met Mack's family, all I heard was, Dr. Keen is a great Preacher. He is one of a kind. He is a godly man. Well, my expectations of Dr. Keen where very high. So I finally got to hear him preach.  Again, I was expecting hell fire and brimstone preaching. My expectations fell short. When the service was over, I was like, that's it? That was Dr. Keen? Those where my expectations.  I am ashamed at that now. I was immature and didn't know greatness when I saw it. I never really got to know Dr. Keen, after all I was just visiting. When I did get to hear him preach, he was in an out of the service before you could even greet him. Then a few years later when he was transitioning from being Pastor to becoming Pastor Emeritus and beginning a new ministry, my view of Dr. Keen changed.

We were attending First Baptist's Missions Conference. Dr. Keen was transitioning from Pastor to Pastor Emeritus. Dr. Keen and his wife Mary, sat right in front of us. That year for missions they were doing a coin offering each night. Mack and I were gathering up our change and Dr. Keen turns around and asks us for some change, so we give him all that we dug out for ourselves to give. (When Dr. Keen asks you, you do it. I think he new that.) The next night, I tapped Dr. Keen on the shoulder and asked him if he had any change? He looked at Mary and said, "They're trying to take all my money." I know that doesn't seem so great, but that's when Dr. Keen became great in my eyes. He wasn't preaching or didn't really have a part in the service, just sitting in the pew, just like the rest of us. He really was human.

Dr. Keen is a godly man. When he enters the room, you feel God's presence. I've heard testimony of his prayer closest and he CAN get a hold of God.  When you talk to Dr. Keen he never takes the glory for himself, he always gives it back to God. I still don't know him well, but I can spot a true man of God a lot easier these days. My husband is a product of his ministry and teaching. Things I see modeled in my husbands life and ministry are a result of Dr. Keen teaching him. My husband always says, "My preacher used to say...."

A great preacher is not someone who rattles off a lot of hot air, but can rightly divide the word of God. Who teaches you and counsels you from the word of God. Over the years you see it modeled in their life. They have a relationship with God.

I've gotten to know Preacher a little better over the 22 years, I've been a Siekbert.  We've had lunch a time or two, treated to ice cream and been in a few meetings with him.  It is an honor to know him and Mary. If you get a chance to rub shoulder with some of the greats don't miss the opportunity.

"It's because of yielded people being used of God. You just took the counsel and obeyed it." Dr. Keen


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ryan's Journey

While still in Ghana, two weeks before we left for furlough, my youngest sisters son was diagnosed with Children's Leukemia. It happened so fast. One day she took him to the doctor for his leg, the next she was taking him to a blood doctor, then the diagnosis was given. Ryan is only 4 years old (although he is as tall as me). His mom and dad are both very tall. My sister has two other children a 10 year old and 3 year old. The chemo is taking its toll. His hair is starting to fall out. His immune system level is still high at this point. I am amazed at Ryan. I see him laughing, making funny faces then his is asleep and snoring in church. I would totally be wiped out at all he has to go through.  He gets exhausted faster when doing activities. It is hard to watch your 4 year old have to have so much medicine pumped into his body, and all the changes and side effects that go with it. Ryan is a trooper. My sister gains her strength from God. None of us could do what we do without God.We can question God, but we have to be willing to except His answer. He will never leave us, but is walking each step of this journey with her. God is not surprised that this has happened. He has a plan, and his plan is so God gets the glory. Along the journey we can continue to point to Christ. 

We got to attend a Rubber Ducks baseball game. It was their children's cancer night. Ryan was one of the children chosen to run the bases during one of the innings and get high fives from both teams. He was made famous when they Medina Gazette published his story. You can follow Ryan's Journey on facebook. He still has 3 years of chemo and treatments. It's going to be a long journey. Please keep their family in your prayers. 

From Jessica:  After 6 hours at the Hospital and 4 types of Chemo later I Was going to wait till tomorrow to start Ryan’s school but he didn’t want to wait! So we did a few things tonight 💙 My big boy 🤓🍎📚✏️
(The second pic he said “ok Mom now a funny one” I feel like that is exactly what it’s going to be like teaching him 
😂 he’s so goofy!) 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Class of 2018

It's been a whirlwind of activities since we have arrived home on furlough. We have gotten settled in and trying to get into a routine. It is hard because it is summer time. We started out at our home church, they had their Missions Conference at the end of April. Our prayer cards need updated and so many details that need updated. It's coming.

We were in two of our supporting churches before we headed down to Florida for our son Matthew's graduation. He graduated from the Abeka Academy Homeschool. They had close to 500 students walk to receive their diploma. We spent a week there in Pensacola, spending time with our daughter, Naomi (who we haven't seen for a year) and Matthew before they both work on campus at PCC for the summer. We had a busy and fun week together. We got Matthew moved into the dorm before we left them both. We were in a church in TN on the way back to Ohio. This Sunday we were at another one of our supporting churches  and next week we will be in a Missions Conference. Thank You for praying for us as we got settled back into cold Ohio, and for our many travels, with many more to come. Have a great summer. Enjoy the pictures from our trip to Florida. 

Graduation Party

Grandpa & Grandma Siekbert 


Got a Frosty after church

Blue Wahoo Baseball Game

Going to see some Dolphins

Naval Aviation Museum

Pray for Naomi and Matthew

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Anniversary Delivery

In March we had our missions conference at Cornerstone. Each evening Linda would walk out of the end of the service because she couldn't sit very long. Her delivery date was April 15th. I didn't think she would go that far into April. I was teasing Linda during the week, saying, Friday March 30th is a great day to have your baby. She would laugh and shake her head, no. Friday March 30th, was our wedding anniversary. It is also Prince's brothers birthday. It would be a perfect day to have a baby. The week came and went and the phone rang on Friday, March 30th, about 2:00 PM. Ben was on the other side. He said, they took Linda to the hospital. Mack and I looked at each other not thinking it would really happen. They'll probably send her home. An hour later at 3:20 PM she delivered a baby boy. We where very surprised but so excited. We would get to meet this little guy before we left for furlough. We headed to the hospital around 5:00PM. The baby was so little and new, just a couple of hours old. We greeted Linda and the new baby and prayed with Prince and Linda. Then they kicked us out of the hospital, visiting hours had past and we had to leave. We left and took Prince to pick up a crib his mom brought back from Accra. We got it to his house and the guys helped him put it all together. It was a good thing too because the instructions where in Chinese.

The next day being Saturday, Prince invited us over after visitation for lunch of boiled Gari and Fish with a pepper sauce. We had just arrived when Prince said, Linda and the baby are coming home. Whooo Hoooo! We left the boys with Ben to prepare lunch, haha, and we went to pick up Linda. We brought her home and got to spend the afternoon with them. You can only visit in the hospital for 1 hour from 4-5 PM. If she was still in the hospital we would have hardly got to spend any time with her. So we had lunch with Prince and then the guys went to fill up containers of water for Prince and Linda. They had been without water flowing from the tap for a couple of weeks.

Going home! (Linda's Mom)

March 30, 2018 @ 3:20 PM 7.1LB

Sunday was our last Sunday in Ghana. We said our goodbyes to the Deaf School and to our church. We headed to Accra on Monday morning. It has been 3 weeks now that we have been home. It is very strange. I'm not sure that I am really here.

What? You want to know the baby's name? Oh, well let me tell you......his name is......................
Matthew Prince Tackie. They had the baby naming ceremony last week. They sent us pictures. They are proud parents of this new little one. Before we left, I told Prince show him pictures of us, so when we get back he is not afraid of the white people.

Prince, Linda & Matthew Prince

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