The call came late Sunday night. It was Deborah Wells, the Marshallsâ€™ fourth daughter.
â€œOur church is flying us home in June. We wanted to try to surprise Dad for Fatherâ€™s Day and fly in a little early to see you all.â€
â€œUnbelievable. Here we are, talking on our cell phone to Deborah, who lives on the other side of the globeâ€, Jessica told us. â€œThank the Lord, she and her husband, Brad, did come home for a month, and we just spent a week with them, catching up on their lives and ministry. You donâ€™t know when youâ€™ll get to see them again, so you just have to be thankful for the opportunities you do get to be with them.â€
Brad and Deborah left Papua, New Guinea, on Monday, June 12. By Thursday they had arrived in the States. Matthew & Julie (the Marshallsâ€™ second son and his wife) picked them up at the airport in Chicago. On Saturday they flew to Detroit, where Jonathan and Jessica (the Marshallsâ€™ oldest son and his wife) picked them up and took them to Cabelaâ€™s to meet up with Bro. and Mrs. Marshall and their three youngest daughters.
â€œItâ€™s been three years since we saw them last. They spent some time with us the summer of 2003, but a lot changes in three yearsâ€, says Mrs. Marshall. â€œThey had to leave the kids â€œhomeâ€ in New Guinea with Bradâ€™s parents.â€ She expressed a desire to see the Wells' newest addition, Jennifer Faith, who was born last November.
The Wells traveled with the Marshalls to their scheduled meetings in Michigan. On Fatherâ€™s Day, Deborah was asked to give the introduction for her dad as he prepared to preach. She said it was a privilege to do so, and spoke of the tremendous direction and guidance her dad had given her in finding a lifeâ€™s mate. She and Brad sang in another service and Brad gave a testimony of his call and his burden for the work God has called them to in Mount Hagen.
â€œJulia and Sharon were also wanting to see Deborah, so we decided to work together to get them here for the visitâ€, Monica relates. â€œWe stayed up pretty late, we talked, we went shopping together...you know, all the â€œsisterâ€ stuff.â€ Julia is the Marshallsâ€™ oldest daughter; Sharon is the fifth daughter.
â€œIt was so neat to be able to sing together again, tooâ€, Joanna said. â€œDad even requested a song that Julia never used to sing with us, but we did the best we could.â€
The fact that six of the immediate family members were together was truly amazing. This missionaryâ€™s visit was certainly a blessing for six sisters.
â€œWe wonâ€™t forget this opportunity for a long timeâ€, Monica agrees.
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