Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Twins, Lucia, and pictures of family time

Achen showing all her teeth. She has almost 6 now.

I thought the best post would be to update you on some things. First of all while Cody's family was here we went to visit the twins, Loma and Achen, in the village. It was so good to see them. They are doing really well. Loma is still having some troubles with his lungs but it is nothing severe and he is on an antibiotic. They look really healthy and their mom has done a great job taking care of them. It was such a joy to see them doing so well.

Lucia has been going back to her village to visit and after talking with her we all thought it was best for her to go back to her village permanently. This was a mutual decision, and we think she will be happier around her people. We also think she will have more purpose and things to keep her busy. It is getting close to harvest time which will be a great time of celebration for her and her village. Her leaving is a bittersweet thing for me. I have really enjoyed having her company, and there were many times she made me laugh. Especially the way she would come into the house and just babble off in Karamajong like I understand every word. She will be coming to visit us once a month when she gets her medication, so we are happy that we will continue to see her often. Please pray for two things for Lucia. One, that she would have a yearning for God. She was a part of our Bible time on the compound and such, and I would describe her as the seed that fell on rocky soil from the parable that Jesus tells. She didn't seem to really have a yearning to know God and to follow Him. Two, pray that she will gain weight and have an appetite for food, she is still super skinny.

We had a great time visiting Cody's family. I wish I could share lots of pictures with you, but they just don't load fast enough, but I picked out a few:
Of course we took them to sliding rock. This picture of John and Janaya is great!

Just another day at our house.

Cindy holding Akiar.

Our journey to Kotido. It was loooonnnngggg, but we made it! It was like a bumpy safari without the animals, and without comfortable seats :) John, Samuel and Cody were in the front.

Keli and Eliana

Our 4 wheel drive went out on the way to Kotido so the way back we got stuck, but it wasn't bad at all. Right after we started pushing the car, to get it out, another vehicle came by and pulled us out. None the less you can't come to Uganda and not experience getting stuck at least once :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reflections on the "Hiding Place"

I wrote this a couple weeks ago. Some of my thoughts in my journal:

I read 1 Thessalonians before going to bed. Chapter 5 seems so practical.

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

The next day I continue reading the book “The Hiding Place” which is a story of Corrie Ten Boom. I am toward the end where her sister and her are moved to a new concentration camp. Their conditions got worse from the last concentrations camp. They had smuggled a Bible into their barracks and would read it to the other prisoners. As they got to their new cell it was filled with noxious soiled straw where they were to sleep. Fleas were jumping all over them and biting them. Betsie, Corrie’s sister, asks the Lord right there to show them how they can live in such a way. Before she finished with the prayer, the answer came in the scripture they had read aloud earlier that day which happened to be 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. Here is the dialogue:

“That’s it Corrie! That’s His answer. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances!’ That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!”
I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul aired room.
“Such as? I said.
“Such as being assigned here together.”
I bit my lip. “Oh yes, Lord Jesus!”
“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”
I looked down at the the Bible. “Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all the women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.”
“Yes,” said Betsie. “Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!” She looked at me expectantly. “Corrie!” she prodded.
“Oh , all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.”
“Thank You,” Betsie went on serenely, “for the fleas and for---”
The fleas! This was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”
“Give thanks in all circumstances,’ “ she quoted.
“It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances,’” Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”
And so we stood between piers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas.

God is continually teaching me to give thanks in all circumstances, not just the ones that seem easy to give thanks. I have read 1 Thess. 5 before but with different struggles in my life I realized how I can loose my joy and begin to focus on the bad when there is so much good around me. A common theme for me while living here (if you haven’t noticed). Just like Corrie I find it hard to give thanks in all circumstances but when I stop and ask God how I can go on dealing with different circumstances......

I can give thanks.

Something else I learned from reading about the life of the Ten Boom’s is being thankful for the opportunity to share the word of God and the gospel. It is really humbling to hear about their situations in the concentration camps and yet it was so important to them to share the word of God to others. They were not worried about themselves and their circumstances, but rather the situation of others around them. This is not always my attitude. Many times I am worried about myself and my comforts, forgetting about the spiritual condition of those around me. My heart yearns, "Empty me Jesus. Empty me of my selfishness, empty me of the comforts I hold on to, empty me of my foolish emotions, empty me of myself. Fill me with your love, your meekness, your compassion, fill me with you!"