Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Friend, Becky

"A friend loveth at all times..." Proverbs 17:17

Today is the birthday of my very special friend, Becky. God brought Becky into my life when I was 14 years old.

My brothers and sisters and I grew up listening to the shortwave radio....J. Vernon McGee, Adventures in Odyssey, Unshackled...and H.C.J.B. from Quito, Ecuador. One of the programs on H.C.J.B. was "Saludos, Amigos," ("Hello, Friends"), where one could send in a letter and request a friend or pen-pal. (I can still hear the theme song of that program: "Saludos, Amigos, come pull up a chair; saludos, Amigos, forget about all your cares. We've got some good conversation, 'bout some program information...On Saludos, Amigos; Saludos, Amigos.")

When I was 14 years old, and my sister, Sarah, was 16 years old, we wrote in to Saludos Amigos and requested a pen-pal who was our age; we wrote that we home-schooled, using the A.C.E. program, that we were Christians who would enjoy having a like-minded pen-pal.

On the day that mine and Sarah's letters were read over the air waves on that program, two young ladies from Australia were listening. Lois and Rebecca. Lois was 16 and Becky was 14.

About one month later, Sarah received a letter from Lois and I received one from Rebecca.
You can imagine our joy as we read our letters from our sweet pen-pals. Our new friends had been reared much the same way as we had. They were Baptists girls; they were being home-schooled, using the A.C.E. program; their ideals were much the same as ours; they were very domesticated, knowing how to cook, sew, cross-stitch, and much more.

Thus started a very special friendship between Lois and Sarah and Becky and myself. From a very long distance, God knit our hearts together as we got to know each other through our letters. What fun it was to go to the Post Office and see a letter postmarked from Australia! Definitely the high-light of our month (as it took a VERY long time for us to get mail all the way from Australia!).

Years passed. Sarah and I graduated from high school and went to Oklahoma to attend college. We kept up our letter-writing to our dear Australian friends and never lost contact.

In 2001, we received a VERY special 'phone call from Becky, telling us that she would be flying to Dallas to attend my sister, Ruth's wedding. I cannot tell you how long we had dreamed of the day Becky and I could meet in person, and it was finally going to happen! (I was 24 years old at that time.)

I will never forget the moment I saw my dear Australian friend for the first time at the DFW airport in Dallas. Cameras were clicking and tears were in everyone's eyes and Becky and I embraced. We were definitely kindred spirits, and she fit right in with our family as if she had always been one of us. What fun my brothers had, teasing her, and she took it all in...even got in a little teasing herself! (I will never, ever forget, when my brother asked Becky, "How do you say 'excuse me' in Australia?" She answered quickly, "Move out of my way!" Ahhh, what a good laugh we all got!!!)

The ride home was so much fun. In Australia, the driver's side is on the right, and they drive on the "other side" of the road. Poor Becky was so nervous the whole way home! She kept saying, "Oh! I feel like we will crash any moment!" And her Australian accent is so lovely!
Who could have given me a more special friend but God?! He brought her to my life, and I am so thankful for this wonderful friend who has been a spiritual encouragement to me for over 20 years.

As she celebrates her birthday in Australia, I celebrate the life of a true friend, sent to me from God Himself to a little missionary girl. When I think of Becky, I think about how much God loves me.

Happy Birthday, Dearest Becky! I hope I have been a true friend to you, as you have been to me!

Becky today, the perfect wife and mother, with her little Bethany Anna
(named after me!...Yes, I feel very honored!)
P.S. Now with the wonders of the internet, Becky and I have much more communication via emails. What a blessing to be able to receive notes and photos from her so much more frequently now!


~Amy~ said...

How sweet!

Misty said...

Please tell Becky,
Happy Birthday!!!
I love this blog!

Scott and Sherie said...

Anna, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the title of the post. I thought you were going to talk about my dearest friend Becky who is also in Australia! :) What a lovely story of how you met. So neat to see how God brings friends together.


~Ruth said...

I still remember the excitement when "we" would get a letter from Australia :) Precious memories. "Happy Birthday, dear, sweet Becky! I love you!"

Jungle Mom said...

what a testament to a true friendship. I loved that you listened to HCJB as do we!

Sara Smith said...

Beckys DO make the BEST friends!! I'm glad you have one too. Happy Birthday to her! ~Sara

Becky W. said...

Hey Anna,

I just read your blog....I was so touched. You have been the most amazing friend, and I truly thank God for bringing you into my life.

Ahh, I often think of the time I got to spend with your family...and am still hoping and praying that one day I will be able to visit you and Andrew in Mexico!! I truly believe that one day my little family will be able to meet yours!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Heaps of love,

Jolene said...

I LOVED this post, Anna! Certainly a one-of-a-kind meeting and friendship....

I loved getting to meet Becky when she came to Decatur. I have such fond memories of her as well. I was so impressed by her walk with the Lord.

A friend like Becky you'll have forever and ever. She is just precious. And so are you!