Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Family Heritage

 My mother in law is the historian of the family.  She remembers details of who married who and how many children they had and what their names were.  We are hoping to get all these stories written down, so we can remember and pass them along to the generations to follow.  

She and Elmer (Tim's Dad - Joseph Elmer Rabe, went by Elmer because his dad was Joe and so was a family dog) married in their 30's - went to France to study French and then went on a cargo ship to Senegal West Africa.  

 They were the first missionaries with NTM to go to Senegal.  They worked closely with British missionaries and when Tim's older siblings went to school they went to the British mission school.  Jean has recordings of them reciting Bible verses and singing songs and they have Scottish accents!  So sweet.

 Here is a Christmas photo from Senegal - Esther, the oldest, and Joey were born in Senegal and Dan was born on their first furlough. Dan looks about 3 or 4 here.  This photo would have been taken about 2 1/2 years after they lost their fourth child, David age 4 months, due to complications from malaria.  It was a very sad time.

 Virginia was born in December of 1963.  Here she is three months old.

 Tim was born on their next furlough in 1965.  Here is a photograph that was in the newspaper about them preparing to return to Senegal.  I laugh when I see this photo as it looks as if Joey has his finger in Dan's ear!

This is a family photo from about 3 years later.  No Joey.  About a year before he was killed by a crocodile in the river while visiting a different village.  No one had seen crocodiles in that area for a while so Dan and Joey were given permission to swim.  Joey saw it and warned Dan who ran straight up and out of the river - for some reason Joey ran along side the bank and was killed.  They found his body intact the next day. They buried Joey next to baby Davy.

This was so hard on their whole family.  Tim parents decided to stay and continue the work that they felt called to.  Years later, after they came to the states to work at the mission headquarters, Tim's dad died on his and Jean's 30th wedding anniversary.  

My mother in law has continued to serve others, both in her home and out of her home.  She is gifted in hospitality.  We are blessed to have her example of God's grace, in our lives.


Terra said...

This is an incredible post about your hubby's family and their dedication to being missionaries in Senegal. Even with the tragic death of their son by a crocodile they persevered. What a wonderful family. I love this post, friend.

Vee said...

Just a fascinating story. The things they endured; the things that they saw. All the hard work! I hope that there were many joys as well. Kyle must look like his uncle because he resembles the tallest boy in the last photo.

My Cottage Charm said...

What a wonderful post..I love famnily history! It's so sad that his dad died on their anniversary heartbreaking!
Oh..yeah the mice on my stairs did freak me out a little...I keep telling myself..they're only paper! lol
Have a blessed day!
Missy :)

Cheryl said...

A day for family stories, this is! I just read Vee's story of the love between her grandmother and the grandfather that she never met. So moving.

And then I read this...this inspiring story of a family's love and sacrifice and faithfulness to God. I cannot imagine enduring what these precious people edured. It makes me feel as if my sacrifices are small.

Thank you for sharing this. (And welcome home!)

LKK said...

Wow. Kyle looks just like his Dad!

Bee said...

Thanks for sharing the Rabe family history. I love that kind of stuff! Makes me cry to think of everything they went through.


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...