Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lessons from an 11 year old.

Hi Everyone,

This last 2 weeks have been weeks of distractions. All the little, "niggling" things that put together equal a good amount of frustration. Even all the really "urgent" things that take our thinking off of the "important" things.

Water, electricity and vehicles are the "buzz" words that get us screaming in frustration!

Water has been a big issue in a good part of the city, lots of people without water, but we have 12 people living with us and there hasn't been enough water coming in each day to sustain all of us. I've always said that I'd rather live without electricity than without water, 'cause you can always use a generator!

Guess what? We were without electricity most of this week too! Guess what else? When it came back on , in a massive surge, it blew lots of things in our house. Thankfully NOT the computer, but the microwave and the IPOD speakers and various other things. Okay, I can hear some of you now ALL THE WAY OVER HERE IN MOZAMBIQUE!!!! "They're MISSIONARIES and they have a MICROWAVE and IPOD SPEAKERS?" Yes, it's true. We DO have some pretty modern conveniences and we are grateful every day for them.

For me, the most difficult blow to take was the IPOD speakers. I can do anything, under any conditions, including bake snickerdoodles for my kids school program in 90 degree weather with 83 percent humidity and sweat POURING off of me, as long as I have music playing!!! Music ministers to my heart.

You would think a mission with 3 vehicles(our personal vehicle, the mission van and the Thorp's vehicle) would always at least have ONE working vehicle, right? That has not been the case for most of December, January and now February for us! This week, we were without all 3 vehicles. As of last night, we now have 2 back.

On top of all of that, there are the deep, heart hurts that all of us bear. Hurting friends and colleagues, personal daily failures in word and attitude, aging family members, deep longing to see friends and family.

Distractions!!!! Frustrations!!!! Things that steal your energy all day long and then leave you exhausted and defeated as you crawl into bed each night, wondering WHERE all the hours went.

It's at these times that we really have to "fine tune" all of our spiritual senses to see what God is doing. It's about not letting "whatever is is true,noble,right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy" go by unnoticed.

This week, I've held on to 3 specific things as gifts from God. One was the encouragement I received from a woman in a store where I often go to buy soap, etc. I didn't even know she was a Christian, but as we talked this week about our children and ministry, she told me that she felt God wanted me to know that He is all powerful and He has already won the battle.

The other gift I received this week was bits and pieces of time to start a book entitled "Finding Calm in Life's Chaos" by Becky Harling. I highly recommend it! So, J.J. Harling, you can tell your mom I "plugged" her book! Boy, would I LOVE to be able to sit and have a conversation with her!

The third and most powerful gift I received was from Stephen, my 11 year old. Those of you who know Stephen probably have guessed that he lives in the shadow of his older brother, is a boy of few words, and just generally doesn't do well with verbalizing deep emotion or feeling. He's SO MUCH like me! His deep emotion(good or bad) comes out as tears of frustration over his inability to adequately express what he is feeling. As he is trying to express in words his feelings, he is often "bull dozed" by his older brother's free flow of words until he just gives up.

So, on the way to school yesterday, Andrew was doing the typical "earphones in" teenage thing and Stephen said "Mom, yesterday we read a story about a lady who wrote hymns and I was wondering if you know who she is." Upon further discussion, I discovered it was Fanny Crosby, and I told him that she wrote my favorite hymn, "He Hideth My Soul." I sang it for him. I hadn't thought of that hymn in years!

Later, I realized that God had most likely prompted my very non-academic Stephen to remember and speak to me about that song. I sang that hymn all day. I used it in my personal worship time, hands uplifted, to thank God for all that HE is.

Later, I thanked Stephen for that gift of obeying God's voice and talking to me about that song. He said, "It's okay, Mama. ARe you having a hard week?" I told him, "Yes, I am, but God is SO GOOD!" He really is, isn't HE? MAY YOU KNOW THAT IN THE DEEPEST PART OF YOUR HEART THIS WEEK. HE IS GOOD!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thought you might like a bigger picture

We Have Interns !

As of January 31st eight young men have joined our family. We spent four days in retreat learning how to be a team, what does it mean to minister together and to cast vision for this next year. It was was a huge blessing to see the work and prayer of the past two years manifest itself. Please pray for our small missional community as we now take the time to seek the Lord and carefully begin ministry together. Each intern is responsible for a considerable amount of reading, reflection and group discussion. They are also responsible to create and execute a relationally based ministry within the community. We are also searching the Gospel of Mark this year to study the Leadership style of Jesus. And on top of everything else, each intern will work 20 hours a week in our Egg Farm. They will be taught basic business skills and lean how to start and maintain business. The goal is that at the end of their internship they will not only have a new and developed passion for mission but also the CASH to start their own business enabling them to continue living missionally, taking the gospel to the unreached of Mozambique.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rioting in Maputo

Rioting in Maputo broke out over the rising cost of public transportation.  Rodger was actually caught in the middle of it all and trapped for several hours trying to get home.   He ended up being escorted by local police as they fired live ammunition into air and rioters were throwing rocks at the truck.   The truck only suffered on big hit on the side door.   He eventually had to abandon the car and walk all the way home.   This shot was taken just outside our front gate and the street was on fire,  people were beaten and everything was in total chaos.   Praise the Lord for his protection and discernment in the midst of obvious danger.