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I Choose to Rejoice

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Celebrating with memories of when we were together.

     Birthdays are made for celebration! And I will be honest with you; I would rather celebrate my son’s birthday by baking him a cake, buying him a special present, fixing his favorite meal, or taking him to his favorite restaurant. I would love to be able to invite his sisters and their families and take family photos; lots of family photos. 

     But those options are not available! His living in Africa renders these beautiful ideas impossible. Therefore, I must resign myself to celebrating in ways that overcomes the distance that separate us. 

     And thanks to that splendid satellite that circles the earth, I can pick up my cell (smart) phone and delight in spending a few moments of face to face contact. Made possible through the technology of FaceTime. 

     It’s been seven years my son and his precious family have been living in Africa. So, I have had lots of time to figure out ways to celebrate birthdays via long distance. It’s my only option. An option I must accept.  I must open myself up to how God would want to bless us. 

     I know that God will shower His grace upon me, and supply all my needs. He will bless us in ways we can’t even imagine. The key is to be obedient. Cooperate with God as He gives us the desire and power to please Him. 

     My experience has been that I can accept God’s will and rejoice, or reject God’s will and be burdened with sadness.

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I CHOOSE TO REJOICE

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Back to the Bush: Happy Birthday!

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Our birthday boy with his dad.

Our birthday boy with his dad.

2-20-13

     While living in the bush, one of our trainee’s children celebrated his 8th birthday. Here we were out in the middle of nowhere! I was really curious about how this celebration would turn out and how it would compare to his birthdays in America! I am sure this young man also wondered what kind of birthday, if any, he would have living in the bush. As it turned out this young man did celebrate his birthday and while basic in its celebration, it couldn’t have been more unique!

   

Our birthday boy's younger brother devouring the chocolate birthday cake.

Our birthday boy’s younger brother devouring the chocolate birthday cake.

   Back at base camp one of the trainees had baked a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a coke cake with buttercream icing and brought it as a surprise. My young friend was the most popular person in camp. Everything centered around him that afternoon. 

 

 

camp chameleon

camp chameleon

   My son had just returned from running an errand and on the way back to bush camp he saw a chameleon on the road. Guess what the birthday boy got for a gift that day!

   The chameleon was exotically beautiful. At first he was kept in a box, but that just seemed too restraining for a creature who previously had run of the African Savannah. The cactus tree in the center of camp seemed much more accommodating, so that became its new home. 

 

 

  According to the birthday boys wishes, we had two types of chicken soup (one with noodles, compliments of a local store near base camp, and one with rice!) I might add both were delicious, and I’m not kidding. Do you suppose it was so yummy because it wasn’t beans and rice? No, take my word for it, those trainees had mastered the art of cooking from scratch over a charcoal fire! The birthday boy was glorying in all the expressions of love, good tasting food, birthday presents, and attention. Any American kid would have envied him, I think!

     While this young man’s birthday may not have been typical in American terms, it contained all the necessary ingredients in making it memorable. He was surrounded by his loving parents and siblings, a host of grown up friends and young friends; presents, good food, and lots and lots of love. You think he might grow up and remember his bush birthday as one of his most memorable? Yep, bet he does!

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