You know they say that a picture is worth a thousand words... I am thinking in our case a video camera might be the better option, but since we dont have that I will do my best to paint some scenes in words. Please pardon my run-on sentences and horrible grammar.. we hope you enjoy these snapshots of our lives! May God be seen and glorified!
It is hard to even know where to start.. our life of following Christ is just so rich.. as I am sure each of you who know Him could testify! Some days in the heat of the moment my spiritual taste buds fail to taste that sweetness but as He carries me through and I look over His shoulder at what we just came through I see Him everywhere and in everything! Oh isn't life with Christ just GRAND?!
As you all know we have the awesome opportunity to share part of our evenings with various kiddos that come through the gate. I dont know what your mind see's when you think of us over here.. whether you picture them running through the gate and happily playing, attentive to our every wish and command.. or whether you see t more realistically. You know I used to be that person who liked to be in control of a situation.. to have it pretty well in hand. I am not saying that I have been cured but let me just say that this life He has us living doesnt seem to leave much room for that control option. The other Sunday we stayed home and listened to a sermon online. We sat there on the couch for quiet some time after the last word was spoken. For some days we had both been wondering if it would be possible to escape and find solitude on some deserted island... we had this longing for refreshment... to collect our thoughts and just relax a bit. How amazing to find that after two hours of sitting under teaching breathed by God our souls were swelled and reveling in the refreshment they had been longing for. So often we think that the answer is a vacation some great escape... only to find that in turning to Him we have EVERYTHING that we need! So that afternoon we unlocked the gate and the house began to fill as normal. For some reason it is nearly always all little boys... every once in a while a girl will grace us with her presence. But this Sunday it was all boys. We were removing my braids(a quite extensive process) while they all were engrossed in their various activities. All of the sudden we both just stopped and took in what was going on around us... it was like God gave us this moment and time seemed to stand still as we took in the various commotions happening around us.. the result was LOUD howling LAUGHTER!(sorry neighbors!) There was one boy standing over against the wall the small air pump stuck in his mouth as he vigorously pumped it in and out... his mouth expanding to capacity with each pump. The boy standing next to us had the other two air pumps propped up on the table with the ends up the other air passage God gave us on our face. A less desirable option from our stand point... but hey, whatever works bud! His brother was seated there beside him with worship music being pumped into his ears at maximum volume. Laying in front of him was a bible depicted in cartoon form and he was flipping through the pages exclaiming over the various depictions with words that we dont allow in our home. He knows that they aren't allowed but that apparently escaped his mind as he took in the scenes laying before him. We thought it rather ironic that he was reading the bible and listening to praises and cussing all at once!! Four of the youngest boys were running about with loud shrieks and yells as they beat each other over the head with deflated soccer balls. Meanwhile incessant banging could be heard over it ALL as one boy tried to keep the other boy outside.. as the door was forced open a sliver by the little muscles on the outside "I am going to kill you!!" was screamed as loud as possible. Then the door would slam shut again only to be pushed open moments later and the threatening message repeated. Ohh I cant imagine what someone would have thought if they were to innocently walk through the gate at that point. Some days it is calmer and we smile at each other as kids happily play.. other days after the last foot steps over the threshold it looks like a hurricane just went through. Whichever scenario we just thank God that we were able to have another day with them. We really have come to love each of them!!
The last two weeks we have been scurrying around finishing up our work permits. I think an accurate description would be that one that talks about chickens with their heads cut off. Only it hasnt been that bloody.... and we both still have our heads... i think!?!?! Turns out one trip to immigrations just doesnt cut it... it takes at least 7 or 8. We dont want to complain though.. we have had excellent help! and... we have had lots of opportunities for more laughter.. i dont think we can ever have too much of that! We have been required to step outside of our comfort zones and embark on new adventures as we hunt down the various things we need. We always step up to the counter smiles on our face confident we have the papers needed in hand, only to be told we need "a copy of this" or "you need to fill this out" or "you will need to get two passport sized photos." So we turn around and walk past the line we had JUST conquered, back down the stairs, off to retrieve the requested. This has resulted in many firsts.... some of them are as follows..
-Passport photos being taken in a bus shelter on a busy street... the little camera man whips out a white backdrop that someone holds while he snaps the posed beauty... you are told to wait 5 minutes while someone heads off to an unknown destination, camera card in hand, to print them. People stare... we stand and wait ..trying to erase the painful memory of posing for a picture in front of such a rapt audience.
-Running up stairs to the 5th floor at least once if not twice a day. By the time you round the last corner our hair is looking more frizzy, the sweaters are feeling more unnecessary and our breath seems to be coming in more of a wheezing gasping sort of way instead of the usual.
-On one occasion we had to fill out a form that we didnt have. That meant walking around town trying to find a cyber. People were probably wondering about the two white ladies with their eyes looking anywhere but in front of them as they desperately search for the hidden cyber cafe. After repeated questioning of various victims there arose a small cry of triumph.. one had been spotted! ...but ALAS, all our hopes and dreams were left lying there in the doorway as we were informed they didn't have power.. the search continued. Finally we found one but the website wouldnt work and as i sat there desperately clicking the refresh button... our phone died. I just had to sit there and laugh... that seemed to be the best option at that point!
Up, down, in out, run here, run there, our adventures at immigrations have not yet come to a end.. Though it can seem to be a bit of a hassle deep inside I find myself kind of glad..I mean who knows what adventures it might create tomorrow. After all... we wouldnt want to get BORED!
The stories could go on and on! We have learned so much.. we are so thankful that God takes us slowly by slowly. He doesnt just drop us off in Africa and leave us hanging. As we walk the streets and face the challenges that each day holds we are never alone! He doesnt ever leave us to fend for ourselves. And some of the situations we find ourselves in that seem so impossible.. in the midst, we are able to acknowledge and thank God.. knowing it is the exact thing we need! Growth is such an amazing thing... sometimes when we think we dont want anymore... when our flesh is yearning for jus a little break.. we catch ourselves and realize.... no, we really and truly would not have it any other way!!! We are blessed. God is good... That can never change!!!