Sunday, January 25, 2015

Favorite Day of the Week

When we first moved to Indiana, My Dear had Fridays off of work.   It quickly became my favorite day of the week.   He was home or at least with us!   My love language is acts of service and his being home meant extra hands with the babies or a task accomplished at home.   It was all good and he even got to sleep in on those days!

It is a 6 day work week here on the mission and the 7th day is "on call."   It is, what it is!   Much like a nurse, doctor. pastor, police officer, fireman..... if something happens, they have to be there!   For My Dear it could be issues with our water supply or transportation to and from the airport.   If someone passes away there will be a knock on the door for a coffin and he will need to take care of that.  Any range of things really!

Sunday is a day that much of the mission is shut down with the exception of the playground and zoo which is managed by a guard.  This allows for some rest for My Dear.   That in itself could be why Sunday would be welcomed each week!  But it's not!  Sunday is our favorite day of the week because of these people.....

We love spending Sunday morning with these people....some are absent from this photo that was taken a few weeks ago.   The church at Fermathe has an English speaking Sunday School class.  They have needed a teacher for awhile with another man filling in.   They asked a missionary staff person if they knew of anyone who would be interested in teaching and we are!   My Dear LOVES this!!!!  I have never been with a more eager group of students!   They want to learn English so that they can read and study their Bibles.   (The Creole Bible is not a direct translation but is paraphrased.)They are hungry for The Word.   They fulfill the place of  my small group Bible study in the states.   We are working toward sharing life together as Mark has 2 of these men going along with him when he knows language will be an issue and needs a translator to help him communicate or to help him understand.   He loves these men and his time with him.   Another of the man in our class is being mentored by another missionary staff member once a week.  

There are 2 ladies that have been consistent to class.  One a mom and a teacher...just like me!   She borrowed my Handbook for Reading book that I used to teach the children to read and photo copied every page to continue to work on her English skills.   The other lady is a young woman in her early 20s perhaps.   She makes me smile.   I have laughed and grown much in my relationship with young women.   In fact, when we moved, I missed those young women!   They were perks to My Dear being in youth ministry!   *Shout out to the small groups of ladies that I love....interrupted movements, scented candles, Fazoli's bread, and "that may or not have been me" kinda love!

The class members are inviting people to come with them.   We are reading through Genesis and reading Francis Chan's book Multipy together at home and discussing it in class.   These people spur me on!!!  

This is our class.   We had a team of Hoosiers working on the mission this week so they joined us.

Literally, every chair in the building was in use.   I took a seat on the floor and sent the girls and their friend into another room to create more room.  Mark sat on an upside down trash can!  

We look forward to what God is going to do in us and through us (all of us!) as we continue to meet together on our favorite day of the week!

I am eager for my home church folks to meet these people.....very soon!

Friday, January 2, 2015

One Word

A few years ago, I was challenged to choose one word for the year.   I prayed about the word and asked the Lord to reveal it to me.   He gave me the word LESS.   In LESS,  I was to purge my life.   I assumed much of that was physical stuff that cluttered our home but as the year played out God showed me oh so much more that needed to be purged.   My heart was a mess.   I was holding onto stuff that needed to go.   My year of LESS actually was 2 years long!

After 2 years of LESS, God laid on my heart to LOVE.   As I think back, LESS was hard but to LOVE was just as hard.   I had healed quite a bit through the season of LESS and now God was going to teach me to LOVE.   It started with a young man that  needed a place to stay due to domestic violence.   It brought new challenges having a teenager in our home and setting boundaries to protect our younger children.  It was okay.   But then another teenage boy came into our home.   This one, although he did not know it, showed me all kinds of areas where I loved conditionally.  This young man rocked my world and my heart.  I could wring or hug his neck at any given minute and it could change within seconds.   I smile as I type this, thankful for what God showed me through this sweet/rooten know wring or hug his neck!

Last year, I knew our lives would be turned upside down.   So I thought CHANGE, it will be a year of change.   Our family sold our beloved  home in the woods nestled close to wonderful friends.  We left the community we had grown to love.   Put our possessions out in the drive way with a for sale sign on it and drove from all that had been important to us for the past 10 years. 

Looking back now on our arrival in Haiti, it is a blur.  I was sick so often and the physical sickness brought out mental and emotional sorrow.   The children and I grieved and to comfort them, I just cried with them.   At that time, my precious sister in Christ sent me a token of the word GRATEFUL.   I hung it in the bathroom because I was spending sooo much time there!!!  I had to choose to be grateful in the change!   The reminder of GRATEFUL meant more to me because my friend had suffered a year of unexpected lost and God had given her the word GRATEFUL before her year began.   The reminder was not just a word but I watched her live GRATEFUL through a year that should have left her in a heap on the bathroom (or kitchen -CN) floor.

Now, 6 months later, it is time to choose a new word.  Looking back on 2014, I know I was just floating along, head above water, simply trying to survive.  I believe God showed me this, just this past week.   Nana and Pops came to visit so we went for a day to the beach location of the mission.    I had never snorkeled.   My Dear helped me to get all of the equipment on and to be comfortable.   I laid on the top of the water looking down at a whole new world!   Rich colors of life were covered by the sea.  To see such beauty, all I had to do was swim out into the water and be still to take it in.  I found myself swimming from one reef to the next and occasionally looking back to keep sight of the others.   There was so much there!!  I realized the past year I was too busy trying to survive, just keeping my head above water, to notice the reef!

So this year, I will SWIM!   I will no long just try to survive but I will put strokes in.   I will pursue more.   I will linger over the scriptures like I did the reef with a snorkel and goggles on so not to be limited by the time I can spend there.   I will dive into my language learning.   I will pursue relationships with others that speak a different language.  This year,  I will SWIM and allow God to show me the beauty of the reef that I have been floating above.