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Here we go again!

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   My son and his family have been here with us since the last of July. On August 31st they will be returning to Africa. During his stay with us, he finished his dissertation! Writing the word ‘finished’ took seconds and in no way reflected the intense scope of the work involved. 

   I will write more about all of this later, for this blog will focus on a surprising bend in the path God has me on at the moment. My youngest daughter along with her husband and two daughters, moved to San Antonio recently. (Aug. 18, as a matter of fact). My son in law is the new Next Gen pastor (abbreviation for Generation) in a church in that city.

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 My daughter first mentioned the possibility of this move way back in April. Emotionally, I was devastated. For 8 years I have savored every moment I had with them. Their firstborn daughter was about 19 months when they moved here from Kentucky. While here, their 2nd born daughter arrived. Those two set about filling my life with joy and laughter. Now all this was coming to a screeching and painful halt!

   Two of my daughters gave birth to girls about 4 months apart. Those little girls formed a friendship from the get go. With a full heart, I have watched their ‘bff’ friendship blossom over the years. I could only imagine how hard this separation would be on them. I hurt for my precious granddaughters as much as I hurt for myself. 

  In an attempt to seek solace, I pulled out the hard copy of my first blog post of Jan. 4, 2012. I spent some time reading over the posts of when I first released my son and daughter in law to the mission field. I was reminded that obedience can be painful but God would not allow it to overwhelm me. 

   I write another blog about the attack of fiery darts or negative thinking. During this summer of extreme highs and lows, I have fought off a barrage of negative thoughts. Past experience kept me grounded in the truth that these attacks would not overwhelm me. Yet, I am battle worn and my strength has been depleted.

However,God in His ever so tender concern (also referred to as grace) has given me the following encouragement.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted, He saves those crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17

That is my anchor these days! 

  For once again, God understands that this is a painful process. He knows that in spite of the pride I feel for my son and daughter and their spouses for their willingness to go where God leads them, this separation from them (and my grandchildren) is a hard thing.

BACK TO THE BUSH: A day in the life of this unlikely missionary!

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Our humble classroom!

Our humble classroom!

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     My teacher partner and I were told that by 2 pm we would be leaving bush camp for home base.  We welcomed this news for it had proven to be a tiring day.  The wind was blustery; blowing dirt and grit with vigor.  We had attached blankets to some of the openings, trying to cut down on the wind. Rocks had to be laid on the student’s papers to keep them from blowing away. I am sure you can understand why my teaching partner and I were counting down the minutes till 2 pm.

     But 2 pm came and went along with our enthusiasm! Finally, around 4:45 pm we were given the all clear and were headed for home (remember, in this setting that is base camp).  One of the first things I did was to accept the gentlemanly efforts of my son to heat some water over the gas cooker. This would then be poured into the a bucket of cool water that would then be poured into a bucket that hung on a pulley in the shower which acted as a, you guessed it, a shower! Listen, when the grit is embedded into your clothes, your hair, and under your fingernails and your feet are so dirty you can’t tell if you are native or not, you would be willing to make whatever effort is necessary to undo the realities of bush living.   After I hoisted the bucket up above my head, by means of the pulley,tied it off and pulled on the chain so the water could come out of the shower attachment connected to the bucket, I felt as close to godliness as I had for several days. (cleanliness = godliness:)

 

 

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The shower stall itself was what I was accustomed to. The means by which the water flowed was rustic but it got the job done and I was grateful!

 

 

     My missionary gals fixed a supper that would put any home cooking restaurant to shame. And the homemade guacamole dip! Well, until that moment, I was under the impression that I didn’t care for such. NOT ANY MORE!

     After an ultra fine supper and sweet fellowship, I laid my clean body on the cozy comfortable bed, with the  bathroom comfortably nearby and drifted off to a pleasant sleep that lasted all night long.  Ah h h h!

Today, I am weary!

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I got a phone call from my son while I was in Sunday School this morning and while his voice sounded upbeat (I suspect being infused with anticipation of their upcoming month long break) the pressures of life there are still ongoing.  My grandson is recovering yet again from a bout of illness.  This time a virus with all the trimmings; you know, throwing up, fever, etc.  I wonder if their thoughts are ever plagued with, “Will it never end?”

My son shared with me that he had lately had a dream.  It was a comforting dream, fill with scenes of singing and playing his bluegrass instruments in our church and taking a drive through the rural countryside around home.  His dream was a blessing and I believe a gift from God.  Yet I wonder if the dream was a reflection of his need for relief from the stress and strain of life in this new land?

When I hung up the phone, a wave of weariness washed over me.  I am tired for them. I am tired of the circumstances characteristic of their life style–armed guards surrounding them 24/7, sweltering heat pounding them constantly (their solar panels are having to be replaced for the present ones are insufficient to support air conditioning units; and that’s a sweat and wait scenario), a child whose little body has had to work overtime in conditioning itself to this environment into which he has been born with lots of bumps along the way in the process; not to mention the regular stresses of learning a new language, a new culture, a challenging and hot climate.  Living without access to medical facilities and having to handle most emergencies on their own–yes, my son stitched up his team mate a few days ago when he cut a big gash in his back—is a sobering reality where they live.   I think my son and daughter in law do better than most in adapting to living in a foreign 3rd world country; but honestly, I wonder just how much more they can take!

So today, I am weary and my praying reflects my weariness; so does my writing! I thank God they have this month long break to which they can look forward.  Knowing they have that keeps me from going under for them.

All of you who read my blog, would you just intensify your prayers for my son, daughter in law, and grandson? Pray for peace in the land to which they have been called and that the challenges they must face will ease up some for them.  Mainly, just to keep their focus on Jesus and not the storm!

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