It was something we did every summer when I was a teenager – the annual “missions trip” to Longdale, OK. My parents and their church still go to Lonsdale every year and put on a camp for any kids who want to come. They also do a lot of mowing, painting, and all other types of manual labor for the wonderful people who live there and the precious ministers who have lovingly ministered there for so many years. Last summer my youngest son and I tagged along for a day, playing with the kiddos all day on hot, beautiful Oklahoma July day.
I will never forget my summers at Longdale. Even now, decades later, I find myself thinking about the kids of Longdale. One night I was daydreaming and praying about what I wish could happen for the mission and the community there, an idea for a book was born in my mind. I opened a document on my computer, titled it “New Book – Longdale,” and started writing. Over the months of writing the book became “The Whisper,” and then it finally became “Whispers & Dreams,” the title that stuck. In the book, I changed the name of the town to “Diniyoli”, which means “children” in Cherokee.
I still dream and pray for the precious people of Longdale, especially the sweet kids.