Jesus said, ”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.” John 15:1-16
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
you have been so kind to listen to me and write me back. Your letters have been encouragement and strength when my spirits flag. I am particularly low today as Joseph had a dream. Now he is out talking with some of the elders and verifying what he heard and saw in the night. Supposedly it remains unsafe for us to go home. That's what he heard from God in the dream. He might just be afraid since all sorts of things have been happening, but both of us have dreamed by God's hand and so far, everything has come true. It seems that the authorities are seeking out this child and we will not be safe in our own country. Joseph is going to talk with some of relatives here to find out if we have safe shelter anywhere in adjacent countries and regions. Yesterday I was so hope filled about returning home. The tears have been running down my face. We must do everything to protect this little boy, so I must not be selfish. It's so hard.
I will send word where we are going when I know. Please tell Mama and Papa that I love them and am praying for them every day. Oh Auntie, I want to be brave but my heart is on the ground. I was so excited about coming home, showing my sweet child to Mama and Papa and all the relatives. I know his little life will bring them joy and love. I know he would heal all the divisions we have seen. Now we will have to wait a long time to bring this gift of love home. Please pray for me for strength and faithfulness. I want to be strong and a good mother but today I feel like I can do neither.