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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Endless (01/09/14)

TITLE: One Blessing After Another
By Trudy Newell


At 26 life seemed endless
Opportunities seemed endless
Energy seemed endless.

I left for Iran in 1972 desiring to do something great for the Lord. I was ready to change the world. I didnít realize that God was far more interested in changing me. Molding me into a woman after His own heart.

In January 1974 I wound up in Tehran Clinic recovering from encephalitis. When Dick and Doreen brought me to the hospital I was in convulsions and paralyzed on my left side. Dr. Tabib told Doreen all he could do was to wait for the swelling of the brain to go down. Itís a long story of Godís endless grace. I was restored to health and returned to Iran in September of the same year.

My love for the Persian people seemed endless. There were plenty of challenges, but Iran was home. With regret I admit that I never got the Farsi language very well. Yet I understood and loved the people, and learned so much from them.

I thought I would serve the Lord in Iran ďendlesslyĒ. The open doors, especially through the Bible Correspondence courses, beckoned to a lifetime of ministry.

But with the events of 1979 and the fall of the Shah, and an empire 2500 years old, that door closed. It was so sad to watch before our eyes this ancient country destroyed. (Living right next to the army barracks, I had a front row seat of the action!)

But Godís faithfulness is endless. October of 1979 I found myself in a new country, Kenya, a new ministry and a new open door. The new opportunities brought endless joy in serving Him.

I ministered among the Muslim and Hindu people in the city of Nairobi. Then in March 1993 I left Kenya and found myself in a whole new world.

Iím talking about Reading, PA, where I served at our Home office. It was difficult returning to States, broken and wounded. I went to Walmart with Jeanie just after I arrived. The choices seemed endless. Overwhelmed, I told Jeanie I had finished shopping. We walked out of the store without a purchase. It was endless adjustments to American life, and technology. In Reading I learned my way around the computer and got a taste of the modern business scene. It was a time of healing, and a time of drinking in the Word. I missed the action and involvement of front-line ministry. Yet, that time made me a better instrument in His hands. I learned lessons in faith and humility. It was hard not to be considered a missionary, because I was stateside. It was even harder when my support took a dive. I learned lessons in walking with the Lord even when I didnít understand what He is doing. The process of maturing can be very painful.

Then came England. From my time in Kenya I understood it is not practical to work with both Muslims and Hindus. Arriving in Leicester, I determined to focus on Gujarati Hindus.

For the first time I saw myself for what I was. I thought I was a good communicator, only to discover I wasnít even able to communicate with my co-workers. And they spoke English fluently!
What happened next took my breath away.

In July 1999 I met Mike Newell, a part of the short term team that was helping us with the Kidís clubs. He had been with Child Evangelism Fellowship for 30 years and had recently lost his wife. Mike was only in England 18 days, but that was long enough for the Lord to work. It was a fairy-tale romance. We got to know each other over email. We joked that God had the email invented just so we could do our courting. To make a long story short, we were married on January 8, 2000.

We returned to England together the end of August. In 2008, life again took a new direction. Through a series of events, and health issues, we found ourselves again beginning a new ministry among Hindus in Northeast, GA.

Developing friendships with our Indian friends seems an endless task. What does God have in store for us? So far it has been one blessing after the other. It will be fun to watch God work. I wanted to do a great work for the Lord, instead He has done great things for me. His blessings are endless!

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This article has been read 273 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 01/16/14
Oh, how well I can relate to your story (the first half at least!). Aside from that connection, you've done a great job putting a lot of years and a lot of experiences into 750 words.
Sheldon Bass 01/18/14
Thank you for sharing this. The entire world, wherever we are is a mission field. Even in our own backyard. It is so awesome to watch God work, taking us feeble people and accomplishing His will through our submission and willingness.

And God is never finished growing us, even though we be a missionary, pastor or lead a bible study. Keep on writing!
Toni Babcock 01/18/14
What a great testimony piece - Thanks for sharing what God has been doing in your life. I hope he gives you many opportunities to share with others. Your story is sure to touch the hearts of many.
Amelia Brown 01/19/14
This is a beautiful autobiography. It's also a lovely missionary story and an awesome testimony.

However, I didn't get the focus on the topic. I wasn't sure if the "Endless" was in regards to God's grace or faithfulness, love of the Persiana, your serving the Lord in Iran, the choices at Walmart.....

In the future, choose a main point or focu and work on developing it. I'm happy for your blessings. Keep writing.
Lillian Rhoades 01/20/14
What an exciting life! Your title says it all.

I'm not sure if your opening sentence was written intentionally, there was a formatting problem. However, consider adding appropriate commas.

Also consider leaving out names of people for whom the reader cannot relate. or the person has no prior reference or identification in the story.

Ex: "Overwhelmed, I told Jeanie I had finished shopping."

Instead of "Jeanie" consider replacing with "shopping buddy," or a "friend with whom I had gone shopping."

You had a solid ending that reinforced the title.

Lillian Rhoades 01/20/14
"...,or there was a formatting problem."

"...relate, or

"Instead of Jeannie,..."

LOL. I'm using a new laptop for the first time. Commas and periods look alike. Sorry for the comment re-writes.
lynn gipson 01/20/14
What an inspiration your life has been! Your selfless dedication to the Lord leaves me in awe. I'll leave the constructive criticism to the pros on this, but I found this to be an enlightening and powerful testimony as to the way God has worked in your life as you worked for Him.

You described endless in different ways, I don't see a problem with that.

Blessings, Lynn
Judith Gayle Smith01/20/14
Your love and appreciation for God are so strong. What an inspiration you are . . .
Wendy B McLain 01/22/14
I really enjoyed reading your story.

Praise God for the mission work you and your husband are doing.

Michele Fleming 01/22/14
Thank you for your service to the Kingdom!

The focus on the topic was a little blurry, but overall nicely written.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/25/14
Congratulations for ranking second in your level and 25 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.)
Wendy B McLain 01/26/14
Hi Trudy,

I tired to email you this in response to the PM you sent me but the email address came back as a permanent failure so I hope to you don't mind but I will post it here:

The best advice I can give is to write your story in a Word document and then use the spell and grammar checker. Read, read and read some more before finally submitting.

I can't tell you how many countless times I've reread material I've written and found each time I had either left out a comma or did not quote a sentence that should have been quoted or my wording could have been rearranged. I've oftentimes found words that needed to be eliminated all together.

Another great thing to do is to read carefully, paying close attention to detail, other professional writer's work. For instance, in FW's Writing Challenge, read several of the level 4 entries and watch closely their punctuation, grammar, paragraph breaks and so on.

This will help you be more aware of your own attention to detail. Also you can check out the forums where you will find Jan's Writing Basics and Ann's Grammar Basics.

FW's is an awesome place to be. To me, it feels like everyone is one big happy family of Christian writers working together to help each other out with their gift of writing to bring glory and honor to the Lord!


I just proofread this email I am sending you and found 5 mistakes that needed correcting! Yikes! Proof we must proof, proof, proofread everything we write!

God bless you Trudy and may the Lord grow your writing talent!


I just proofread the P.S. and found three more mistakes!

In Him,

Wendy B McLain
The King's Tranz4md Scribe

"And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed..." Romans 12:2
Wendy B McLain 01/26/14
I received a PM from Trudy Newell about her entry 'One Blessing After Another" and attempted to send back an email and it was rejected for the following reason: Permanent Failure.

Then I found this author and title and copy pasted my response and come to find out this story has nothing to do with the one emailed to me.

I don't know what happened but it doesn't feel right to me.

Could this have been a hack attempt?

I will be changing my password post haste.
Trudy Newell 01/26/14
Hi Wendy and all --

Not sure what happened. But I did post Wendy a message, and don't know why it came back.

There shouldn't be a problem with my email - so....