Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Precious In His Sight

One of my favorite things about Mozambique is it's children. They are happy, fun-loving little sponges that soak up everything. Ready and willing to participate and learn. After 3 or 4 failed attempts at starting a weekly bible club for our neighbor children, last Monday, 11 children came. I taught them a song that they LOVED. They listened to the story of creation. Megan prepared a craft for them. They made butterflies out of coffee filters. We played some b-ball and spent some time getting to know one another. It was really fun. Today, we will do it again. We're hoping for a few more children this time. Our greatest hope is that we will become such a part of this community. That we will have redemptive relationships with our neighbors. Please pray for us in this process. Pray for the right interns to come and work with us. Pray for an informational meeting for local pastors and church leaders that will take place on November 30th. Pray that they will catch the vision for what God can do in this community and send their most promising young people to work with us.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reflections from a "soon to be 43" year old!!

I'm very reflective these days as I joyfully face another year of life! I'm jotting down my thoughts as they come to me and I'm sending them on to those who care and maybe even some who don't!!

I'm saving them for my children so that someday they, like me, will be amazed at how fast they arrived at 43!

I'm sharing them with my mom and dad so that they can know how much they have taught me, despite every attempt I made NOT to let them know I learned from them!

I'm sharing them with my husband because, he may not be aware of this, but he has now been a part of my life for longer than he hasn't. We met for the first time when I was 18. By my calculations, that's 24 years! The first day I met him, I told my room mate I would marry him. He wasn't convinced of that until some years later! Unless one or both of us lose our minds or go on to be with Jesus, in 24 more years, when all of you are either in heaven or far from me, he will still be by my side.

I've been thinking about the valuable things that I've learned in my years on this earth. Some of them are funny, some very poignant, some learned years ago, some learned in just the last few months. Some learned in times of much pain. Some learned in times of great joy. Here are a few of the things that come to mind:

-When I married Rodger and we lived in New Jersey, 35 miles from New York City, I felt like we were living the most exciting of lives for 2 Midwestern kids!!! Now look where we are!!!

- When I looked down into the faces of my newborn babies, I never thought it was possible to love them any more than I did right at that moment. Now I can stand toe to toe with them and look them in the eyes and I know that I love them so much more today than on the day of their birth.

- I grew up in a home where there was a song to go along with absolutely EVERYTHING!!! Sometimes it used to annoy me. Now I see that it is a priceless treasure passed down to me. I know that things are very wrong in our home when the music stops.

-Friends who share a common love for Diet Coke will go to great lengths to find said Diet Coke! Including searching stores and gas stations in their own country and crossing a border to buy some in another country. OK, so that's not the ONLY reason we cross the border 'cause that would just be silly......or would it????!!!!!

-It doesn't matter how old you are, it always makes you feel really insecure to see your own daddy cry.

-"Old-fashioned" isn't always bad! As an adult, I'm very proud to carry the name of my grandmother, Lynne Leona.

-If "home is where the heart is", then parts of my heart are in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, California,Arizona, Maine, Tanzania, Mozambique, Philippines, Virginia. I'm sure there are many more places as well. No wonder my heart feels broken sometimes!

- Blood really is "thicker than water". I can be mean to my sister and brother. Andrew and Stephen can be mean to each other. But NOBODY better be mean to my sister or brother or they will have to face an angry little blonde woman!

-It is entirely possible to have long distance friendships. I have the best long distance friend anyone could ever hope for!

- Life is often more difficult for the moms, dads, brothers and sisters of missionaries than it is for the missionary. They are always getting left behind. For me as a missionary, I've seen and felt the truth of the Scripture so many times in my life. Mark 10:28-30 "Peter said to Him, 'We have left everything to follow you!' 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus replied,' no one has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age(homes, brothers, sisters,mothers, children and fields..."

-the rest of that passage says, "and with them(fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, etc) persecutions. We often tend to overlook that part and are surprised by suffering.

-13/14 year olds used to really scare that we have a 14 year old I think they are fun, insightful and amazing.

-Laughter really is the best medicine

-"Baby therapy" is a really effective treatment for discouragement and depression. Holding my babies at the orphanage or my little darling Amani is the best thing for me when I have the blues.

-For me, it's impossible to be at odds with/emotionally disconnected from someone I'm regularly praying with. My deepest friendships are the friendships rooted in times of prayer together. The level and depth of my friendship with someone seems undeniably connected to how much time we spend praying together.

-"Jesus loves me, this I know..." What else do I need to know, feel, hear, see, experience?

Thanks for listening!



Not Everyone Needs Nine Months To Pay A Electric Bill.

When we moved into our house in April we discovered that the electric bill had not been payed in over eight years. The landlord had a huge bill and the account had been closed in the computers long ago. However, the people living in the back rooms continued to use electricity for years before we moved in. Once we finally got the landlord to take care of the back bills we felt we were set to start paying our part of the bills from that day forward.

Well that was nine months ago. Ever since we have been working to receive electric bills. However, every time we went to pay our bill the person behind the counter would say,"you can't pay as the account is closed". "Yes", we replied, but no one has come to read the meter. We actually hired a young man to work full time to try and resolve this problem. After months and months of trying we still could not get the electric company to read the meter and or provide a proper bill so we could pay for the electricity we were using.

Two months ago the young man we hired suddenly disappeared. Great! So we started all over. We hired a new guy and he is doing a great job. After several meetings with the local electric company representative our employee showed up with a solution. The man at the electric company had agreed to replace the meter, discount our bill and provide a proper bill. We were so excited!.

So! the men from the electric company showed up with a new meter. They replace the meter and everything was set. Until! I asked the question, "Can I see our bill and can you provide me with a receipt for our payment?". They proceed to look a bit shocked and wide eyed at my question. Then I realized that even though these men were in uniform and using company equipment the whole process was illegal.

These men were using company time, uniforms and equipment to resolve our problem. However, they were not going to provide me a bill or a receipt. They were going to take the money we were to pay and simply put in their pocket.

I can't believe I didn't catch on sooner. I should have but I didn't.

Anyway, I refused to pay and told them to come back tomorrow so we can resolve this new problem legally.

So today, the electric company man dressed in uniform returned to my house to hear what I had to say. I told him he needed to provide a proper bill and receipt for the full amount or I would need to go to his boss to resolve our problem.

He quickly agreed and we should have a proper bill from this month forward. He knows that if things are not prepared properly we will seek help from his boss.

So, after nine months of trying to pay our electric bill I think we are close to resolving this problem. However, I've thought that before. Only time will tell.

TIA (Do you know what this means?)

Love you all and thanks for hanging in their with us.

Rodger, Lynne, Andrew and Stephen