Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Inner Views of Betty Draper

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."
I Corinthians 2:2
(Betty's life verse)

The words of the dear lady I am interviewing today brought me to tears.
I am moved by her devotion to our Lord, to her husband, and to the people she has served through the years.
I am touched by the way she and her husband have labored long together, hand in hand, to promote God's cause and to spread Jesus' love.
I am challenged by the sacrifices they have made and the selfless way they have laid down their lives.
When I think of the two of them, I think of these words in Luke 10:2, spoken from the heart of Jesus that yearned for dedicated followers who would be willing to spread His Gospel,
"Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest."

I think the part of her interview that touched me most was this...
"We both wish we had another life to give."
Oh, for consecrated workers such as the sweet couple in the picture below!

Ace and Betty Draper

With joy and gratitude, I present to you the
of Wife for 52 years, Mother of Two, and Grandmother of Six,
Betty Draper.

Cheryl: Please tell us about yourself.

Betty:  I did not grow up in a Christian home.  In fact I heard the name God a lot, but it had another word attached to it.  My Dad was a drunk, a mean drunk, whose favorite word for me and my brothers was, “pitiful”. My mother tried as best she could, but being abused, too, by my Dad was just a way of life for her.  It took her 25 years to finally leave him.  During those years, I formed some pretty strong opinions toward men, such as, if my husband, or any man for that matter, ever hits me in any way, he better make sure I do not get up, because I would use whatever I could to stop him from abusing me.  My survivor heart developed early in life.

Cheryl: We would love to hear about how you met your husband, your love story, and how you knew he was the man God wanted you to marry?

Betty:  Again, this part is not pretty.  We met when we were 15, married at 17.  I think we loved each other as best that any 17 year old could, but we both came from broken homes, both thought getting married was a way out.  We both were mature in making a living, but so immature emotionally, which showed up pretty soon after we got married.  He was a drinker, not an abusive man, thank God, but our first 12 years of marriage was a total disaster.  We separated three times, not knowing what else to do, and were not mature enough to seek help.  It was not a Christian story book love.

Cheryl: When did you become a Christian?

Betty:  My husband, Ace, got saved at 13 through a faithful Sunday school teacher who invited him to a revival at her church.  That night, he understood he was a sinner in need of a Savior, and Jesus was the only One who could save him.  For a little while he stayed in church, but the lure of a good job in the oil fields, working on an oil rig got in the way.  He quit school at 15 for this job which only drove him deeper into the pit, working with some pretty rough men.  We met about that time and got married at 17.  During those first 12 years of marriage, I had six miscarriages.  Life changed a lot in those 12 years, we moved three different times, each time to another state, and we ended up in Louisville, KY.  Our marriage was still a mess.  There, I had our first child, a girl.  Feeling her move inside of me made me wonder what happened to those six I had lost.  So I bought an NIV Bible to seek an answer.  It took 4 years of reading, another miscarriage, and a little boy before I found the answer.

Here is when the true love story started.  God sent His people from a local church that had the boldness to ask me about my soul before they even invited me to church.  I had a hard heart, because to survive all the heartache you must build a wall around your heart.  But losing those babies gave me a reason to seek Him, and, of course, He was just waiting for me.  We attended that church, my husband rededicated his life to Christ, and I got saved the following Sunday. We had had a lot of changes in our life, but this change brought a journey we never expected.

Cheryl: Can you share with us about the moment you felt called to full-time Christian service? How did God make your calling evident to you? Please tell us about your missionary work.

Betty:  The church we attended was an independent Baptist, and our pastor had missionaries in all the time.  By this time, we had attended a Bible Institute that our church had, and we were full time in ministry at our church by then.  Unbelievable… Us…Ace and I from such dysfunctional homes working with youth.  God certainly has a way of showing the world how much He can change a life.  One Sunday, a widowed missionary lady, about 50, spoke at our church.  She was with New Tribes Mission and was teaching literacy in a village on an island in the Philippines.  My husband was sick that day, and as I watched her slides and heard her words, I felt like God had sat those people all around me, and said, "Betty, what are you going to do about them?"  It shook me to my core, and I asked her to come with me and show her slides to my husband.  It shook him, too.  We passed at least five Gospel-preaching churches on the way to our church, and to find out there were people tucked in remote places that had not heard the Gospel broke our hearts.  The first thing God asked me to do was to support this missionary, Nada Price, who, by the way, just passed away at 93.  I used to imagine us flying into her tribe in one of those single-engine planes and saying, "Here we are, Nada, what can we do to help you?"

When Ace told me he thought God wanted us to go into full time foreign mission work, God had my heart ready, and I just said, "Ok, let’s go."  We applied to New Tribes Missions, shocked that they took us.  During our training, people kept saying, "You guys would make great dorm parents", but we wanted to go to a tribe.  The last phase of training is Language School, where we found out we would not be good at learning an unwritten language.  So we were asked to go to Bolivia, South America to be dorm parents.  I loved the idea, but Ace was a little hesitant.  I mean, we really did not have the good upbringing to draw from.  What we learned was, God needed willing hearts, not good upbringing to do His job.  Our children were 10th grade and 7th grade when we arrived in Bolivia.  Long story short, we loved being dorm parents to high school guys, loved it.  We spent 7 years in Bolivia, returned home for a short furlough, since our son had graduated, and our pastor asked us to stay back and help him at the local church, as it was struggling.  Another long story short, we stepped out of New Tribes, and, for two years, helped in the huge Christian school they had.  God begin to work on our hearts to go back overseas with New Tribes and the door was open so we once again stepped through it.  We were asked to go to Papua, New Guinea and help in a new region. Ace would do administration; I would be hostess when the missionaries came out of the jungle for whatever reason.  I loved doing that.  Bolivia was a third world country, but PNG was a 5th world country.  So primitive, undeveloped, and so in need of hearing the Gospel because the ruggedness of it kept people away.  We loved what we did there, too, and spent 7 years helping in the Madang region, doing things so out of our comfort zone.  We returned to the states in 2012, knowing our overseas days were over, due to Ace's heart health.  Our mission asked us to become Member Care reps for six southwest states, which is exactly what we do now and love it.  All those years, two countries, tons of different experiences, lots of hard and good times is exactly what helps us when we sit down with a young couple just home from the field.  One young missionary wife put it into perspective for us when she said, "We did not have to explain anything to you.  You got everything we said."

I could go on and on, with story after story, but know this.  No matter how hard it got, we do not regret one minute spent over seas or here in the states serving Him.

Cheryl: Define one of the darkest periods of your life, thus far. How did you remain encouraged in your Christian walk during this time?

Betty:  One of darkest times was making the decision to not go back to Bolivia, staying home to help our home church, and coming home in 2012, not knowing what God had for us.  It’s good to have some years of walking in faith behind you because you can draw from a well that never runs dry.  We are thankful to have the written Word, good, Godly friends to help us, and each other.  Our marriage may have been a shambles way back, but God has enforced His wisdom, insight, and love into our lives.  Do we love each other more?  No…but we love each other differently.  With God’s love, it has stood the test of time.

Cheryl: Who has influenced you most in your walk with Jesus? What about that person did/do you most admire?

Betty:  My pastor's wife influenced me greatly in how to be a Godly woman, how to dress, how to speak, how to act in hard times, how to have fun the right way.  She gave me a good foundation that I built my faith on.  Through her, I learned that nothing could separate me from the love of God, in the present and in the future.  Also, I would have to say, every missionary I met influenced me and still does.  We know the sacrifice it takes to leave family and the comfort of a good country, so every young couple we sit down with, our hearts want to go help them.  It’s our aging bodies that can’t; but our hearts sure want to.

Cheryl:  If you could go back and relive any portion of your life, what would it be? Why?

Betty:  My teen years, I would relive, if I could.  I don’t dwell on the mistakes I made because God uses everything about us, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  But I had opportunities to get saved, I went to many churches, but I think my survival heart thought I could survive Hell.  I mean, living in my house was Hell in my mind, and I survived that.  In fact, when people would talk to me about Hell, I would say, "Let me tell you about Hell", and on I would go about what I grew up in.

Cheryl:  What is the best piece of marital advice you were ever given? How has it helped you in your own marriage? If you were sitting down with a young couple who are soon to be married, what is the first thing you would tell them?

Betty:  Best piece of marital advice ever given to me was to wait upon the Lord.  There have been times I so did not agree with my husband, but waiting on the Lord, I trusted Him to either change his mind or mine.  I just recently had a wife come to me and ask me how to handle her husband, who was putting off making a decision he needed to make.  I said, "Just wait on the Lord.  It’s His job, not yours, to work on your husband's heart."  She did, and he made a decision, a good one, too, that affected their life for good.  I love the fact that Scripture does not just say, “Wait on the Lord”.  It also says, "Wait upon."  To wait upon is to serve, and my ministry, as I was waiting on God in our marriage, was to wait upon my husband.

Cheryl:  Please share with us about New Tribes Mission. What is it? How long have you been a part of it?

Betty:  New Tribes Mission works among people groups who have had little or no access to the Bible, mostly in remote locations in Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific Region.  While providing practical help, such as medical care, community development, and literacy education, missionaries share Bible lessons that allow the people to choose for themselves whether to believe on Jesus Christ and follow Him.  It’s an organization that helps local churches send out missionaries.  Their headquarters are located in Sanford, Florida.  We joined in 1989, so altogether, we have been a part of New Tribes Mission for 28 years, with those two years helping our church.

Cheryl: How much time have you spent overseas as a missionary?

Betty:  Actually, overseas was 14 years.  We were in our 40's when we joined New Tribes.  We both wish we had another life to give.

Cheryl:  Your comments after reading some of my posts concerning my family's and my minimizing journey have been encouraging and inspiring to me.  Will you please share your perspectives and experiences in minimizing in your own life?

Betty:  As for my minimizing journey, like all who own a home, we had filled it with things that one feels you must have in a country where there is a Walmart on every block.  Getting ready for the move to Bolivia, S.A., was easier on us than it was our two children.  We flew with 19 duffel bags for four people, full of everything it took to start life in South America.  What we needed once we got there was easy to come by since there were always missionaries going home and leaving stuff.  We were able to sell, or mostly give away, everything when we returned to the states to help our home church.  So, with state side living again, the stuff began to accumulate again, until it began to get in the way of what God wanted us to do.  Things you buy, you must take care of, and that takes time.  And “stuff” had lost some of it’s luster, after living in Bolivia.  When we re-entered New Tribes, we gave all that stuff away again and took a few tools, cooking utensils, and our clothes to Papua New Guinea.  Returning back to the states, we took a few clothes and left the rest of our “stuff” for others to use.  All the moving had given me a new perspective on “stuff”, and my husband will tell you that too much stuff around me makes me nervous.  I never want to have anything I cannot give up for Him.  There is no piece of clothes, furniture, or decoration that I cannot part with, even though I have my favorites. One of our duffel bags got stolen on its way to Bolivia.  It was the one that had all the special children's Christmas ornaments I had collected every year.  That broke me of collecting.  I can walk away from anything I own because it does not own me.  Now people are a different story.  I have never been depressed over losing things, but leaving family and friends is another story. To this day, when we get to be with family, I am depressed for three days when we leave them. Let me put it this way, I allow myself three days of laying around, watching sad movies, reading books, not doing much, as I mourn my loss.  Then I put my depression aside and get on with life.  I lost my mother a year ago this next April, and I have yet to visit her gravesite during the couple of trips we have made back to Ill.  I told my husband, "When there is grass on her grave, I will visit it."  She is walking the green, green grass of Heaven, and that is enough for me, for now.  I have seen missionaries come to their country of service and become depressed over “stuff” that in the light of eternity means nothing.  A lack of stuff caused a few to quit.  My husband says I have had to have a tough heart to survive all the moves and different changes of our life.  A tough heart is not a hard heart.  The devil's fiery darts cannot penetrate a tough heart.  The older I get in the Lord, the less I need, and the more I want to invest in people.  But,  let me be real honest.  We share a rented house with our son and family, so I do miss having my own place and my own patio where I can sit uninterrupted.  With three grandchildren around,  that’s almost impossible.  I have a dear friend who lives a few blocks from me, who has offered her patio to me anytime I want.  She works full time.  I believe the Lord has answered my need for some peace and quiet in which to write and read.  He always knows what I need when I need it.  Another thing,  missionaries returning to their home countries have to contend with the amount of choices of stuff there is.  It’s overwhelming for months to shop for anything.  When you have lived content with so little, too much brings discontentment.  Our flesh is never, ever satisfied with what we have.  He alone can bring true contentment. 

Cheryl: What do your current ministry/missionary endeavors involve? What are you most trying to achieve at this season of life?

Betty:  We are currently Member Care Reps, covering five southwest states.  Our mission is to meet face to face with those missionaries who are from those states and are home on furlough. Our goal is to be an encouragement and assist them, as they transition back into stateside living.  We are able to counsel, coach, give information they might need, and get them in touch with the right people they need.  Mostly, we listen.  It’s our main ministry to listen and seek God's heart in what to say back to them, if needed, and care for them.

Cheryl:  What do you think God's most urgent message for His people is at this current time?

Betty:  Life is not about you; it’s about Me.

Cheryl: Describe the legacy you hope to leave behind for your children and grandchildren. What do you most want them to remember about you after God calls you home?

Betty:  I hope they always say about me, "All she talked about was Jesus."

Cheryl: Looking back over your life, what are some of the most amazing and outstanding things you have personally seen God do? Please tell us about some of the miracles you have witnessed and mountains you have seen Him move.

Betty:  When we graduated from Language School, we still owed a certain amount, so we, along with our two children, prayed for God to provide before we left for overseas.  We had been asked by a friend to stop at his church on our way back to our home church in KY and share with them our mission.  He did not know that there was another couple scheduled to speak that Sunday morning, but the pastor gave my husband 10 minutes to share.  They put us up in a hotel and gave us a check; it was exactly the amount of our bill at Language school.  It was a great start for our ministry, which would be living by faith.  God knows exactly what we need, when we need it.  What a great lesson for our children.  When were asked to go to Papua New Guinea, my husband was in congestive heart failure, and, of course the doctor would not ok him to go.  But he sent us to St. Louis to a specialist who told us that with the right meds, he could help Ace's heart, and we were ok to go.  We were so underfunded when we went to Bolivia, but not once did we do without food or clothes.  Our needs were met daily.  Our pastor preached all over the south and was always telling other pastors about us, and, because of him, our support raised while we were on the field.  The biggest miracles were our son and wife remarrying.  He left her and their two children and walked away like the prodigal son for two years.  We prayed, "God make him miserable.  Bring conviction on his soul daily."  We asked everyone we knew to pray exactly that way.  People all over the world prayed for him, and finally, he got tired of the pig pen and started his way back to the Father.  They remarried and now have another child.  Yep, that is the biggest miracle we have witnessed.  Just last night, a friend called wanting to give us a two day holiday, paid for.  Since we live with son and family, it can get stressful at times.  God is giving to us through His people.

Cheryl:  We are living in a world that is full of hopelessness and despair, and we are facing much opposition to our Christian faith as our culture continues to become more hostile to the message of the Gospel and the holy life Christ died to enable us to live. What is your personal message to His people today?

Betty:  When we meet with missionaries home for furlough, there are two things they struggle with the most.  Life is lived for pleasure and for stuff.  This is God’s people they are talking about.  It all distracts from God’s heart, the lost.  It’s hard to find a church that preaches truth and conviction.  The focus is not on Him, and they have a hard time finding people who even want to talk about the things of God.  Oh, they will talk about how many attended church that Sunday, the new programs, or the new church they are going to build, but talk about the heart of God, the lost living right around us, even next door.  Christian life is harder in the states or any developed country than it is in a third world country.  It literally takes three to four months to adjust back into US living.  And most cannot wait to get back to their ministry overseas, to living in remote villages, without all the stuff to distract them from their mission.  We have been home since 2012, and we know how easy it is to get caught up in it. It’s a battle for missionaries or any child of God who wants to live for Him.  We do not need faith when we can get what we need without praying for it.  Few people live in their needs, most live in their wants.  So, when I get the chance, I challenge them, mostly women I speak to, "Get out of your comfort zone, get over yourself, find someone to talk Jesus with."  One more piece of advice…take a short term mission trip, take your children, expand your world view.

Cheryl:  How can we pray for you? Are specific needs that are heavy upon your heart that we can help to lift to the Father on your behalf?

Betty:  I would ask prayer for contentment for where God has me now.  The heart issue has rendered me feeling like a child again; there is so much I still cannot do.  We decided to cancel a mission conference the end of March in Colorado, because the trip alone would undo me.  I am gaining ground slowly, but it’s very slow and that is where the discontentment comes in.  I am a
"Type A Martha", and there is nothing I love better than to share about missions.  My husband told me in the beginning we should not go, but I talked him into it.  Then last week at the Bible study, God was all over my heart, repeating, "This is not for you to go to."  My husband was in bed when I returned home, and I had to wake him up just to tell him.  Yep, contentment would be my prayer request.

Betty, I cannot tell you how much your words have challenged my heart.
I so appreciate you taking the time to share with us here!
May the dear Lord bless you abundantly, dear sister and friend!

Dear friends, please remember Betty and Ace in your prayers.
Betty is suffering from a heart condition, and as you can see, her heart is still very much in the work of the Lord.
How wonderful it would be to see God heal her and restore her health so she can continue to labor for Him!
There are no limits to what He can do, nor does He place age restrictions on healing.
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..."
Ephesians 3:20
If you have never visited Betty's blog, I hope you will stop by and pay her a visit by clicking here.
While you're there, why not leave her an encouraging comment?
Most of all, please add her to your prayers and prayer lists.

I leave you with one of Betty's favorite songs.

If video doesn't load, click here.

God bless each one of you dear readers!
Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers.

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