mother-in-law meets giraffe

How many of you have ever gotten an e-mail from your mother-in-law that brought tears–HAPPY tears–to your eyes?? I have! I have!

To set the stage, Gabe’s mom is in Kenya right now on a massive missions trip. This is her third year to go for an entire month. She does some amazing things while she’s there, including giving 25-30 messages to huge groups of people hungry for God’s Word.


Before she left this time, we visited them at their little cabin on the river. Janelle (my MIL) and I took the girls for a pontoon boat ride. She was telling me that Benson (the pastor she stays with in Kenya) really wanted to go on a safari because he’s never been.

Imagine living in Kenya your whole life and never going on a safari. Unthinkable.

She was torn between granting him this one desire and using the safari money for “real” ministry. “Oh, Janelle,” I said, “You HAVE to go on a safari.” I tried every tactic I could think of. I talked about the zoo trip and how seeing huge, majestic animals like giraffes and elephants can be this amazing WORSHIP experience where you’re just flat-out flabbergasted by the works of his hands. “I’m telling you, Janelle, you won’t regret it.”

She had pretty much already decided to do it. For Benson. But the next question was: the more expensive safari with the big animals? or the cheap antelope safari?

If you know me at all, you know which one I was pulling for.

Up until yesterday I didn’t know which safari she had chosen. Then I got this e-mail. Read it and weep (or just smile really big for me).

Giraffes…….like 20 seriously.
I filmed them and took snaps of them.
I can not say , that I have ever felt closer to you than today…….
I felt like I was watching them FOR YOU….enjoying them FOR YOU..
soaking in every detail for YOU…
Their spots are like fingerprints…all different….amazing.
I can not tell you the JOY I felt in seeing them, they were the last of the big ones…
but they were the MOST GRACEFUL and amazing….
so KNOW…some HOW…..
I knew…YOU would have loved them.
and I told Pam you were the reason I even considered going on a safari…
and I am truly glad I did…
It was over the top, amazing in front of GOD HIMSELF..
Take care.
One more week….
Your mil…….smile.

I love my mother-in-law. God is so awesome.

11 thoughts on “mother-in-law meets giraffe

  1. Joel Enoch Wood


    Knowing Janelle, like some kind of extra Mom for all those years, I LOVE this post. She is an amazing woman, a huge influence on my early life… you are so blessed to now be in the Taviano family. Who else would take us “Mime T-P-ing”??


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