In June 17, 1997 a fire destroyed our house and all of our personal effects gathered over 10 years of working in Botswana. There are many amazing things to share about what all came out of that but for now, one special story I would like to relate is about our wedding photos. I started looking for the man who took the photos when I was in Houston but was told that he and his wife had moved to the Texas Hill country upon retirement. Donna was one of my spiritual mom’s during the early days of my Christian walk and I attended all the Women’s Aglow meeting I could get to in between school. Fred McCreary was active in ministry in addition to his job at NASA. I attended faithfully as a teen getting all I could from the wave of the move of God in the 70’s.
It was 1997 and I was attending an International Aglow conference in New Orleans. While I was going up a 2 story escalator, with my 2 year old, Mason, I heard the Lord in my heart say to me, “turn around”. So when I reached the top, I did, and I saw the back of a lady’s head in the middle of the huge crowd of thousands of women who had come from all over the world. , Then I heard, “That’s Donna McCreary!” I bolted down the escalator with baby in tow and made my way through the crowd until I reached her. I tapped her on the shoulder and sure enough, it was her! I spent many hours in her home as a teen with her kids and she recognized me right away. We hugged, had a time of reunion and then I told her about the fire and all we had been through. I told her I had tried to reach them to see if perhaps they had kept the negatives of our wedding because we had lost all in the fire. She informed me that they had gotten rid of all of that when they moved and was so sorry.
She invited our family to visit them in their new home on the river in the Texas hill country. Our trip got really full and when she phoned me to see if we were coming, she told me,” We really want you all to come. I really think it will be worth your while.” So we made the drive out on our way through the vast state of Texas. People ask me what country I am from sometimes in Africa and I till them- From Texas! Botswana is roughly the same size as Texas.
We all disembarked from the packed out mini-van we were driving and managed to get to the front door with the all 3 boys. We were warmly greeted and asked to sit down and have a cup of coffee before unpacking the car for the night. As we sipped our coffee, Fred sat down and said how sorry he was that they had not kept the negatives for our wedding. They just did not have space in the move for all those things. He worked for NASA for years and did photography on the side. He was very good at it. That was just another thing the Lord did for us on our wedding- was to use Fred and Donna to bless us with quality photos. He said, “But though we didn’t have space for the negatives, I did keep one thing”…and he pulled out an album and placed it before us on the glass table. It was worn and looked just like the one we lost. I was confused for a moment, and when I opened the page, I was even more confused. Jerry sat beside me in utter amazement and surprise. He said, “Jana, these are our wedding pictures!” Fred went on to tell us that because our wedding was so unique and the pictures turned out so well, he made a copy for himself as a demo to show his work! He said, It’s yours if you want it!! Of course we said, “yes”! His album had even MORE pictures in it than our own album had.
That album is tucked away in my oak hope chest in Houston, Texas for safe keeping! What a wonderful God we have to remember even the smallest detail of our lives. That was a very special reminder from the Father on that day! To view it you can friend me on facebook to see it.