One year ago, this week, when the mail flew in from FL, it contained 2 weary adults, 3 tearful children and one little, white dog and somewhere between 17-19 luggage carts piled with their possessions.
The drive from Indiana to Florida included 3 stops, in 2 vehicles, since we did not all fit in the moving van, to purge possessions to our family who would use them and to hug their necks one more time. We paid $1.60 for each pound that was mailed....look around your house and think on that one. Our little dog was put on a diet before the move!
For the first 5 months of our living in this country.....I was not sure we were going to make it, okay, I was not sure that I was going to make it! We had a home set-up and waiting for us and food in the cabinets. Electricity and water were available unlike most homes in this country. Our support system was truly just a call out the window. But it was HARD. The smells were strange, the bugs ate on us like we were the Golden Correl buffet (Oh yeah!) We had to learn about the area, how to get hot water, how to operate the shower, how to get food, when we could do laundry.... We had to have a key to unlock everything and could communicate with only the other missionary staff. If we went out to eat, we ordered and just ate whatever they brought...we never got it right!
The tears were often and when a child cried, I cried too. My Dear said one day, "They are just going to have to get over it," and then he looked at the tears streaming down my face and fell quiet. If I was not sad, I was sick. It seemed like every other week I was camping out either in the bathroom or sick in bed...it got old--- fast and I questioned why the Lord would bring us this far for me to lay in bed and die here....perhaps an over exaggeration but when your heart is sad and your body is sick....well, you can see that there is a breakdown in the spiritual and mental too.
At about the 5 month mark, I boiled some water for Miss B. to wash dishes. As I pulled her chair up to the sink so she could reach, she began to cry. I asked what was wrong. She responded, "I want to go home." That was the typical response those days. But when I asked, "why" instead of my usual response of "we ARE home," her tearful response was, "I want a dishwasher." I felt like we had finally arrived!!
It is hard to believe that we have been here a year! Although there are some things that we are still not used to, for the most part....we are here! I am looking forward to our time of furlough but I am also not looking forward to missing time with the folks here. But I AM looking forward to a hair cut and washing my hair with water that frogs do not live in! (When I read this line to My Dear his response was, "Don't worry honey, they are not live frogs." He thinks he is funny.)
There are MANY things I appreciate about our home in the mountains. Our staff encourage me in our schooling and the time it takes for me to make that happen. The ladies remind me that is my first priority.
The staff that welcomed us after our move. Some of them have since moved on to other ministries.
The kiddos have learned to accept new people quickly and have put themselves "out there" to speak with people who do not speak their language fluently. It is good.
We still have a lot to learn with culture and language but we have met some really neat people who are gentle with us as we learn.
Just like the states, we see folks that are lost, who need the Lord. BUT we also see folks who love the Lord. They just need someone to come along side of them and disciple them. Do you know how fun it is to study the scripture with people who are so excited to learn? This part has been a huge encouragement to us!
As I look back, we've come a long way baby!
Photo courtesy of Jen Ward(M'dm Chris)-friends who are in a passionate pursuit to serve the Lord. They are a blogpost in themselves and have kept us afloat.
The Lord is faithful....