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Toby is on his way home!!! {& Numbers 34, 35, 36}

TOBY! I can’t believe it!!! He’ll be back in less than 24 hours!!!

Remember how Toby the stuffed dog (my 5 year old’s classroom pet) got to come home with us last weekend??? Well…I just can’t stand it as I JUST got word that Toby is OFFICIALLY on his way home from his BIG adventure! I’M SPILLING THE BEANS where TOBY has been because I just can’t STAND IT and he’ll be home in less than 24 hours! And might I add…it is a HUGE privilege and always a surprise which child in Parker’s class gets to bring Toby home—so on Friday when I picked him up from school Parker was ECSTATIC to get to bring Toby home. Toby is always accompanied by a carry bag with a notebook where you can take pictures of his adventures AND document his trips. But before I tell ya the “rest of the story”…remember 2 weeks ago with all of the children in Parker’s sweet school were working hard to sell things they made (you can read about it here) to raise money for Wiphan???

The stories the teachers told—were PRECIOUS. Heart after heart of these precious elementary children grew in love and compassion for the children in Africa. Several had been saving for months (some even years) coins in money jars. Many walked in with EVERY penny to their name and handed over their jars. And for some—this just wasn’t enough. They wanted to do more. It became wild fire, and the kids started asking their mommies to help them make things to make MORE money to give the children in Africa. Little Kyle in P’s class made cookies and sold them at his daddy’s work, Parker helped me make granola and we went door-to-door…and at the end of the week, the school raised more than $5,000 for the children in Zambia. PRAISE GOD! Praise Him for calling our children’s hearts to be compassionate and give generously and sacrificially to children in need!!! The class that raised the most would be given an ice cream party, but when the teachers saw their effort and hearts–they thought they ALL deserved an ice cream party! Parker came home from school one day during that week and said, “Mommy, our preK class only has 8 kids and the rest of the classes have 1800 kids—we probably won’t win. BUT it’s OKAY because Mrs.Kinsey said the REAL WINNERS are the kids in Africa!!!” Tears. You are right Parker. You are SO right.

Well…the very next Friday Toby came home with us. And all week ole Toby had sat in that classroom and “watched” these kids pray for the children in Africa. He “listened” to their stories of excitement about how hard they were working. And he “smiled” with joy as piggy bank after piggy bank was brought in. He also heard Mrs.Kinsey say that the kids in Africa were the real winners. And well—SOMEONE NEEDED TO TELL THEM…didn’t they?!

And it just so happened that someone we loved to pieces was on their way. When I picked Parker up from school on Friday, and he and Toby got in the car–we came straight home to load up luggage and daddy as he was taking off to go work with Wiphan and serve our widows and children. Parker has such a heart for Africa and wants to go SO BADLY—that as we drove to the airport he began to get upset…

P: Daddy, I don’t want you to go. Why can’t I go with you??? Please daddy, can I go with you???

Rich: Oh son, you’ll get to go—but not this time. You would need a ticket and I don’t have a ticket for ya buddy.

P: Well, what about Toby? Could you take Toby to Africa to see the kids? Would he need a ticket???


We decided Toby would deliver the message to the children. AND that we would document all of Toby’s adventures when he returned to show the children what life is like there and to teach them more about the children they so sweetly served. Parker cheered up the MINUTE we stuffed Toby in the luggage, and we laughed the whole way home talking and dreaming about what Toby would do and what the children would think about seeing thier FIRST STUFFED DOGGIE! How funny!!! And that silly Toby…snuck on the plane without a ticket!!!

STAY TUNED for the slideshow, video and rockin’ movie of Toby’s adventures!!! Until then…here is a sneak peak one of our Wiphan Zambian staffers sent us.stuffed dog attended the meeting in labstones office

Toby hard at work with Labstone (our headmaster) in the Wiphan office (notice Kunda’s glasses and pen…they fit perfectly Toby!)

And this is Toby announcing to the class…YOU ARE THE REAL WINNERS!!!

stuffed dogCan’t you just imagine?! Look how PROUD Toby looks of them! Many of them even without moms and dads these children have gotten up, come to school and they are going to make a difference in their world!!! I believe through Wiphan–God is going to raise up these kids to impact their world for the gospel. AMEN!?

Hang tight—and check back often as Toby was very busy—and he may have a bit of jet lag over the weekend…so full documentation may not be ready until next week. This adventure is one you won’t want to miss!!! If you have little children, it will be an age appropriate way to teach them about life in Africa and share how they, too, can make a difference in lives across the world!

P.S. Thank you sweet Gigi and Aunt Tami for coming to keep the rest of us company this week! Aunt Nisia won’t let me post when Richard is out of town on my blog…so I had to wait until family was here and they were on their way home. I just couldn’t wait any longer and was about to POP! Wish you all a wonderful Thursday!!! To learn more how you to can make a lasting impact in Africa by investing in the education, spiritual teaching and feeding program for orphans and widows—please visit:

Today’s Scripture Reading is: Numbers 34, 35 & 36. It is a historical and cultural passage–but so true that God always provides us a refuge. Thank you Lord for being our refuge and your perfect provision in our lives!!!

rachel overton - March 11, 2010 - 11:46 am

what a precious story.

Elle J - March 11, 2010 - 12:39 pm

How very exciting and what a great teaching tool for both sets of students. Go Toby Go!! Any new info from Tues mtg about sponsorship of Widows with Wiphan?? =)

April - March 11, 2010 - 4:28 pm

I know you have really missed TOBY and can’t wait for TOBY to get home. Good job on surviving all week without TOBY and hope he doesn’t have to go to work, oh I mean school first thing tomorrow.

Amy @ Filled With Praise - March 11, 2010 - 5:05 pm

I am so glad Toby and Richard are on their way home. I am sure they will have some stories to tell. Don’t you just love the beauty God creates in the hearts of children!

Renea - March 11, 2010 - 5:41 pm

I can’t wait to see Toby’s story unfold!!! Awesome! Does Toby have video footage in store?! 😉 hint hint! Glad your hubby (and Toby) are safely on their way home. I know it’s been a long week for you girlfriend! ♥

Rebecca Harley - March 11, 2010 - 7:00 pm

you constantly amaze me with your true love of life! Welcome home toby!!!! Can’t wait for more pics!

Shannon A. - March 12, 2010 - 11:38 pm

I can not wait until the kids hear about Toby’s trip…so cool. It will keep great dialog going at my house for sure!

[…] If not—I first shared about him here. And we unveiled where that little stinker stuck off to here. Yep, give our family a class pet to take care and see what we do?! We send him into the mission […]