|One Sunday afternoon we were visiting our neighbors and the kids took banana leaves and made traditional "skirts" for dancing.|
|Luka and Grace have been helping Charles milk his cow -- by hand!|
|We bought a new pump for our well and it is again working well :)|
|Luka enjoys playing in the drainage water at the end of the well. His friends caught mud fish to put in the "pond".|
|It is harvest time for maize and that means roasted corn (it is not soft or sweet - more like popcorn if anything)|
|Lydia and Grace with the Dwire girls (boy do they all look alike!)|
So we have about 5 weeks in Obulle before we go on home service September 1. That means mixed emotions. We are so very excited to be in
Michigan – family, comforts, fall time, snow (yes, we are excited for it!),
refreshment, renewal, sharing in supporting churches, being apart of our home
church, the kids are looking forward to going to school… A couple months ago we were ready to get on
the plane and go! But as God continues
to bring healing to our lives and show us His plan we are once again looking
forward to ministry here. No matter how
excited we are to go to Michigan, it is always hard to leave our home.
This is our routine, work, people we love… Our hearts will always be torn with two
places and two loves.
We have begun our next school year in home schooling.
Lydia is in 7th grade (!), Grace is in
5th, Luka is in 1st, and I am their teacher this
year! I am thankful for how well it has
gone so far. It is a new routine for me
and busy. There are days I just have to
remember I can always get it done tomorrow (everything I can’t fit in now
because I am teaching). Teaching is a
full time job and so is being mom, so with two full time positions. Sometimes meals aren’t as timely, writing has
to take a back burner, and I don’t do it all perfectly but somehow we get it
all in. Lydia’s Math is way beyond me so she goes to the “principle”
(aka Dad) often for tutoring. I love the
Bible curriculum! We are doing
“Possessing the he ” a survey of the Old Testament by Positive
Action. It is so full of truth from
God’s Word. I get so excited about it
and that if our girls can learn and apply these amazing truths now, the rest of
their lives they will be blessed by them.
Today we talked about how victory comes when we obey and trust God’s
promises. Defeat comes from sin. God’s Word is so right! Luka is doing great and it is exciting to see
him learning to read and spell. Most of
all I am thankful to hear my kids say I am a good teacher. Promise
Malai is growing. She is so fun. She talks all the time, loves to sing and dance, plays with babies, village friends, and pretend to cook and talk on the phone. She is learning to go pee on the potty! She is full of expression and a character. She calls Luka “
Yesterday I told her not to do something and she said back to me, “or I
get a spanken like this” and she went on to spank my bottom. She sure makes us laugh! She loves the village and the people love
that she does and says things like they do.
Her favorite song is in Ateso.
Luka learned the books of the Bible a couple months ago and earned a Bible from Sunday school. He was so committed and very excited.
Unfortunately, we continue to not feel well around here. Half of our family deals with on going sinus or allergy issues. There is always someone blowing their noses, stuffy, or with a headache. I am beginning to fear it is something we are going to have to live with here. I don’t know if it is the dust, heat, dryness… It seems people here are always sick too. It is really sad. Maybe we are just catching everything. We are with our neighbors and friends each day but I thought being outside would help. Last week Josh had strep throat and Grace just started with a fever, throwing up, and diarrhea. The monthly sicknesses are discouraging. We look forward to good check ups but I am not sure doctors in the States will be able to help with the health issues we have here. Thank you for praying for us!
Yesterday we went to visit Achia (see blogs on Achia) and her family. They moved two miles away a couple weeks ago because the family Opio (the father) was herding for was not paying him. Another family hired him to herd. We were thankful they came to tell us they were moving. We were concerned because they are such new Christians and now they will be too far to come to our church and they would be too far to bring them milk every day for Achia.
My heart broke when I saw Achia lying on the ground, her face literally covered in dirt and cow dung (the ground is smeared with cow dung), and looking thin and weak again. I don’t know what to do. I really believe the parents have love for Achia but they are busy with the other two little ones, finding work to survive, and Achia is difficult and it is easier to just let her lay there. Achia will only eat certain food and when they don’t have it she doesn’t eat and when they have no food and no money none of them eat. It is all so sad and complicated. I simply cannot visit them every day and I don’t know how to make sure they have food. And is this the answer? What happens when we are not here? I keep crying out to God. I know He knows, sees and cares. He is Achia’s Father. He promises to provide, protect and loves her. I am praying for the church and other believers to reach out and love this family too. I cannot do it alone and feel a great weigh of responsibility. I have to hand it over to God and trust Him. I will do what He calls me to but He is the Savior. We have arranged for Achia to get milk each day and I send food so they have something.
I think many Westerners could read what I just wrote and think there is easy answers – the money is there, provide food for them, get what they need… But poverty is never that simple. As we have wrestled with these issues for nine years, I continue to seek the Lord. Many Christians talk about caring for the widows and orphans from James , but the key words in that verse to me is “look after”. It is not about just handing over money and providing. It is about being with, relationship, time, investing into…giving of yourself. You can’t look after those in need by just giving your money. I was reading Matt. 25 the other night with the girls and it struck me that when Jesus comes to judge those on the right were welcomed into the Kingdom because of what they did. They fed, invited strangers in, they clothed, looked after the sick, visited those in prison. It is giving of yourself, investing into peoples lives, giving your time, home, money, and love. It is relational. Yes, sometimes it is giving your money, but it is not writing a check and of no personal cost to you. It is caring for someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God wants us to look after, you can’t do that unless you are present. We are to invite people into our lives and visit – go to where they are. Jesus was apart of people’s lives. Honestly, He never gave a dime as far as we know. He gave of Himself.
We have been enjoying extra time with our missionary friends, the Dwires. We did a Bible study together on marriage by Chip Ingram. It was so good! Straight truth from God’s Word. I pray God allows us to share it and use it with others especially while we are in MI. We are now doing a Bible study on Abraham. I love seeking and searching God’s Word. The kids have greatly appreciated the extra time with their friends. Our kids are all the same ages (except Malai) and they get along so well. It is such a blessing to have such good friends!
Josh continues to teach Freedom in Christ in Pingere and preaches about every other Sunday. He is a talented teacher. We have been visiting the other sister churches to our church in Obulle. Hope to do baptisms at one of them in a couple weeks.