Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Victory Dance

The kindergartener I was working with READS!!…whoop, whoop!!!..whoop, whoop!!!

Sometimes I pretend to pass out  from excitement after he reads sight words, one day I hope to actually pass out. Who knew my heart would rejoice over a child remembering things like "th" and "sh" and “ing”.  I didn’t believe it was true, but somehow teaching kids the alphabet sounds in the beginning of the year  gradually leads to reading at the end of the year?!?!…that‘s ACTUALLY how it works?!?!

So proud of that lil man.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Galmi Warriors

A newcomer mentioned how coming here you realize how overly comfortable it is at home.

There are the smaller annoyance (the first world problems)…where if it's not one thing it‘s another… If the mosquitoes aren’t waking you up, your sweat or dehydration is.  If your water starts to work, your water nozzle might start electrocuting you (this weekend’s problem). If you’re not sick with somethin' this month…don't worry, it’ll get cha next month.

But the worst ‘what if’s’ happen to those who serve here as well.  A family member is extremely sick and across the ocean. There are severe car accident injuries because of donkey carts. Daily, patients' lives are fought for and they still die. Too many dead babies and oppressed women are seen.

God isn't messing around when He calls someone to Galmi, that's fo sure. What missionaries persevere through here constantly amazes me.

“There is a place set aside in the Spirit where we make the enemy confused.

We weary him by our rest.
We discourage him by our faith.
We demoralize him with our joy.
We depress him by our endurance.
He is dispirited by our favor,
Defeated by our grace.

Warriors know that JESUS reigns.”
(Graham Cooke)

I live among some real warriors. There’s no t.v. show or shopping item or binge eating or getting away with friends to make you feel better, you stay sustained by looking to Him. People whisper Jesus’ name for comfort. They pray in His name for power.  Troubled hearts are constantly being lifted to the Son of God.

I had a picture of Galmi on earth…where there was difficulty and grieving hearts and sleepless nights. And then I had a picture of the same Galmi with spiritual eyes…where lights were flashing and swords were slashing as the hearts of these servant warriors conquered the enemy, simply by refreshing themselves in Jesus.

Monday, April 16, 2012

first world girl

A couple friends and I recently found amusement in labeling inconveniences as “third world problems” or “first world problems”.

(For example“Ugh, there is no clean water to drink!“. ..third world problem…Uggggggh, there is no Diet Coke to drink!!”….first world problem).

In the beginning, although we would dish out a fair number of “FWP’s”, there would still be a few “TWP’s” sprinkled in there.

But now that I grabbed onto that joke and ran with it in my head for awhile, I have discovered that most of my so called ‘third-world problems’ are really not third world problems.  The real problem is that I am a first world girl complaining about my first worldliness not working out for me as well in a third world country.

Here are some examples (in case you’re having trouble recognizing my many luxuries, I capitalized and bolded them for you):

Man, the power is out so all my LIGHTS and my FANS and THE MANY APPLIANCES I want to use won’t work…!!!

Darn, my FILTERED WATER tap is at a drip!

Sweet baby Moses, where is a DISHWASHER when you need one?!

You mean I have to wash, cut, and peel all of these veggies?? But I BOUGHT SO MANY!

Dang, my FRIDGE isn’t cold anymore, so I had to move everything to my FREEZER!

My well SCREENED AND ROOFED HOME isn’t keeping all the insects I don’t like out??!

I had to move to the floor because MY BED and/or MY COUCH and/or MY MATTRESS are too hot!!

The AIR CONDITIONING is on in the schoolhouse and I’m still sweating?!?!

What, THE INTERNET isn’t working?!

Ugh, MY COMPUTER is overheating and nothing will play!!

I have to grind  my own MEAT tonight?!!? 

My GAS OVEN is gonna  freakin’ kill me……(unlike my loved ‘375?-Beep-boop-beep-then-press-start’ oven)?!?

Bummer, both my flip flops are broken from the rocks (okay, from me tripping on rocks) , guess I have to move to my OTHER PAIR or BUY MORE (cuz I can).

I‘m not saying that these are things I shouldn’t be used to after growing up for 22 years in the west …I’m just saying…maybe it’s not Africa that’s the problem, ya know?

(Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, Philippians 2:14...I have an NIV Bible but if anyone has a translation with an “unless” in that verse…especially an “unless it’s 110 degrees"…I would absolutely LOVE to read it...)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A dependable Anchor.

Sorry I’ve haven’t blogged in three weeks or something like that…

My family said goodbye to Charlie a few weeks ago and it left me feeling like quite the bottled up little creature. Sometimes I struggle with the lines between 'healthily-internally-processing' and 'bottling-it-up', and since it kind of is one of those events that becomes over for everyone else but not over for you, I struggled with processing it.

I felt like if I couldn’t say something about Charlie then I couldn’t say anything at all. 

But after the court date, someone here let me read a couple chapters from her ‘Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” book…(I don‘t think she knew it was going to be such a God-send or that I was not only going to read it, but write the whole chapter down, and then reread it 78 times)... 

Here is a portion of it:

“Because we live in this world, trapped in the old order of things, tragedy will touch our lives. That’s simply a fact for Christians and non-Christians alike. We will all lose loved ones. We will all eventually die. Romans 8:28 is often distorted to “only good things will happen to those who love God”. But Paul meant just the opposite. Romans 8:35-38...”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

Trials are real. Bad things happen to good people and bad people alike. And we who are Christians don’t escape life. Pauls says, we overcome life….”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

This promise anchors our all too shaky world to His unshakeable Kingdom. 

For while life may shake, rattle, roll, this rock-solid truth from John 11:5 remains:
Jesus LOVED Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 

Love. That’s a dependable anchor.

The love of Christ has for you is a love you can cling to, for it will hold you. Though we may not understand God’s methods, that doesn’t change the fact of God’s love.

God’s plan is released when we believe and obey.

I entered our names into that verse...Jesus LOVED the Stringers and their little boy, Charlie.
...So like Abraham, who “against all hope, in hope believed” Romans 4:18...(which is a lot how it feels), we choose to believe God. That He has heard our hearts and this is the BEGINNING of His radical plan of using this little boy's life to glorify Himself, not the end.

Please keep praying.
For God’s continued protection on Charlie’s heart and mind in an unstable and worldly home.
For our family and that we will be allowed the opportunity to see Charlie.
That the eyes and heart of Charlie's dad will be opened to encounter our Savior.