Update from the Richardsons

Final One

April 2014

Dear Friends,                                                 

My washing machine died!  Ugh!!  Russell had patched it together a few times, but this time he said it was impossible without new parts.  This inspired Ellie to take a family pole as to which would be worse– the fridge dying, the freezer dying, or the washing machine dying?  (We’ve lost all of them at one time or another.)  The freezer won, so yes my situation could be worse, but for some reason that didn’t make me any happier about washing clothes by hand.

Kristyn and I got started on the job, gathering buckets and scrub brushes. Ellie conveniently has a sprained or broken wrist so she couldn’t help.  Neither of us was excited to tackle the job, especially with towels and sheets in the laundry, but if we didn’t get on it the dirty clothes pile would just get bigger.

So now the death of my washing machine has revealed something to me:  rather than “Delighting in the Lord,” I tend to delight in things that go well for me.  If things are going well I’ll praise the Lord all day long, but when things get difficult I get grumpy, short tempered, and think life is terrible. 

The life of Job came to my mind while washing clothes yesterday…after he lost everything (children, animals, servants, home) he said,  “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Isn’t that amazing!!  Think about it, after losing EVERYTHING He still said, “blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Shamefully my reaction after losing something as insignificant as a washing machine was “Lord, why me?  Why does it have to be harder?”  

Seeing this in myself has led me to wonder if I really believe that God uses EVERYTHING that happens to me for my own good?  I believe it, but I still struggle to remember it when things happen that don’t make me happy.  One thing has become clear to me, if I’m going to learn to “delight in the Lord” it is going to have to begin with TRUST; trusting Him with everything and every situation (like a dead washing machine.)  Only then will I be able to say, “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”  (Job 1: 21)

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support; together may we never grow weary of following Jesus.

With Love, 

Tom, Karen, Ellie, Russell, and Kristyn


**Our travel plans have changed.  Tom has had a severe headache for 9 weeks.  While we were in Nairobi he had a CT scan done which thankfully showed no problems.  An ex-ray of his back showed that his muscles are in a continual spasm that might be connected to the headache.  Painkillers have helped Tom keep functioning but even these are becoming less effective.  We have decided to go back to the states a month early to pursue possible treatment.

**We’d appreciate your prayers over the next few months, especially for health and provision.  This summer we’ll meet our new granddaughter, celebrate Daniel and Hannah’s wedding and help Ellie get settled in the States.  Not sure how much we’ll manage to travel around and see folks, but we’ll do as much as we can.

**The Ngurunit Church has been going through some “growing pains.”  Tom and the men have been working hard to lead and guide with humility and patience (I’ve been so impressed.)   We look forward to sharing with you once we return. Please pray that the Christians here will learn to rely on the Lord’s Word for guidance and strength.

**Ellie sprained/broke something in her wrist.  She was driving the four-wheeler in the rain when her poncho suddenly blew up over her head… Afterwards Tom went back to look at her tracks and said the fact that she and the 4-wheeler are both still with us indicates she must be the best driver in the family.  And that the Lord was watching over her.

**Kristyn’s nose has healed with little scarring.  She’s sad to leave her dog while we go to the states this summer.

**Russell is excited to get back to the states because he has a truck to work on.  Last furlough he started on an old truck and this summer he hopes to put a bed on the back of it.


Check out this new Update from The Stable!!!

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Link to the GI Bill Web Site.


Tactical Athlete

tactical_athlete_miniTeaching frequently at The Master’s Mission, Jeff Martone. Check out his blog!



NANC Counseling


The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) is a fellowship of Christian pastors and laymen who have banded together to promote excellence in Biblical Counseling. Visit www.nanc.org



Friends of TMM

foundations for life

This book takes comes basic elements of the Christian faith including Scripture, salvation, angels, creation, the church and the end times, and shares the basics of what the Bible teaches. I wanted the book to be a solid representation of biblical truth, so I partnered with my friend, Dr. Dan Hayden, to ensure that the material was rock-solid. Dan has been a pastor for many years, speaks nationally, and writes and presents instruction on his website (www.awordfromtheword.org). With Dan’s help, I believe this book accomplishes our goal – to give Believers the basic information they require to confidently live a Christian life and to be able to answer most of the questions we face as Believers.




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