Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

February 25, 2010

my temporary dwelling......

i had to take the workers to the building site this morning as my poor husband had to leave at 5am to go and buy stone - it takes 2 hours for this very interesting little trip - and the little truck couldn't take more people on as well! In any case, as we were driving along the muddy path, one of the guys was chatting loudly in his own language and the others were laughing or making comments....and it got me thinking (which isn't always good, i know!)

one year and 4 days ago we crossed the border and i am really looking forward to be in my own culture and amongst my own people soon! It is sometimes such an effort to always be straining to understand, trying your best not to offend (but still do!), not fitting in - actually sticking out like a very, white, sore thumb!! And i mean this literally, as the people here are really very short!! haha!! so much for going tribal! only if you would hunch down and roll in coffee could you closely "fit" in, but then again, you might be mistaken for the Missing Link!!

In any case, it then struck me that earth is not my home - even in my own culture i don't get half the jokes, or TV ads, or latest sayings!! I had to hand over my mobile phone for credit last time to the cashier, because i didn't know to which network i belonged!! and i'm not even going to mention my "fashion"!!

Ah well, this is good to realize before we go, isn't it?? Brings The Ole Expectation down to a normal or lower is not my home! So i can only pray that where i do spend most of my time that my Father will help me be content and fulfilled and grant me grace when i feel i need to belong somewhere! And if i am compleely honest, i do like it more here than anywhere else!!

February 24, 2010

my unpreachable sermonette.....

you know, i sometimes have this sinking feeling in me whenever we need to visit the home churches.....this is one of them, sinking feeling, i mean!

Soon we need to give some feedback in a couple of churches and i wonder what is appropriate and what not? Last night an old man died in his tiny hut after a stroke......he died without EVER having the chance to make a choice of following the One True God. For him there is no warm fuzzy feeling this morning, there is no heaven, only hell.....

that brings me back to the church in the home country, could be anywhere, do i make them feel nice and fuzzy? or do i give it to them straight? Do i let them squirm in their seats to not be able to sit still a minute longer, to run out and find someone to share the Gospel with?? Oh, i wish! send a check, to hear the missionary is coping and even "enjoying" it over there, looking at some nice funny pictures........much easier than reaching the co-worker, talking to someone who rolls out a prayermat in the tea room a few times a day.

sorry, funerals does this to hits home hard!

i think deep down many believe that God is so gracious that he will actually take into account that this man did not have anybody to tell him the truth and accept him into the gates of heaven......another convenient lie form the father of deception, to keep the church pews warm and fuzzy.....just read Ezekiel 3:18-19 if you don't believe me!

And so i guess, my heart is just so broken this morning and i wonder if we will ever reach the many people who still don't know, but i pray and i have HOPE!

February 22, 2010

good and ...... worse

I have found that I am really, really good at some things and really terrible at other things! This is what you learn out here in the bush where you do most of the things in life yourself – I mean you are the baker, butcher and candlestick maker plus many more things of course!!

Well, I have come to realize I am terrible at making fires, especially with wet wood – I just cannot do it! I can though, cough extremely well when faced (literally) with smelly, smoky fires! I can also sneeze really good during the dry season when there is lots and lots of dust all over the place!

The other thing I can really do well is break things and I can jump superbly on an overfull suitcase and close it - all in one go!! Isn’t THAT something?? I am not much of a butcher I must admit, but I have killed (with the car) a few chickens crossing the road here – the children keep count of that sort of thing, so if you would like figures, just ask them!

When it becomes time to move – which has happened quite often, I am really the worst! I take out all the linen and leave it on the bed for a few days while I pack up a quarter of the kitchen, make myself endless cups of tea and sleep between the piles of washing and stuff on the bed! Terrible packer!! But somehow it gets done – maybe I am really good sleepwalker-packer?? In any case I am quite good at walking in and over boxes!

I am also extremely good at crying when I break something or when I make a batch of bread (again) without salt or when I see my dead vegetables in the supposed to be veggie garden! I can also cry when the bugs eat my roses – it’s not for them! But I am also good at smiling again, esp when I get a hug from my children and blow my nose on my dear, understanding husband’s hanky !

I am quite good at making people laugh! I am the village stand-up (or sit-down) comedian! I am just such a hilarious person! If they see me, they start laughing and I’m not even saying anything yet!! You should see them when I am on my bike!!! At least I can also laugh at myself – although I am better at making others laugh…..

I guess you learn more about yourself here than what you would like to know, but then again you realize that the verse in John that says “without Me you can do nothing” really, really is true! So please Lord, don’t leave me, because I am really terrible on my own……

February 13, 2010

Colours and other nice things.......

This is my blog, so i can speak my mind, right? And if it wasn't for the fact that i live mostly all by myself, i wouldn't even be posting this, but there you go - Blog, my friend who doesn't talk back, but always listens quietly, will now be spoken to! :)

I have been thinking about this topic for quite a while - so bear with me.....

Where we live now the walls are just grey cement - they have never even seen a paintbrush! So i suppose in our newly built house i overcompensated a bit with the colours....hiehie...a year is a long time in a dull little house! But, it's done now and i love it! Or i did until i recently started wondering why people expect that when you are a missionary you are supposed to live really, hmm how shall i name it....???......bland?? No vibrant colours, no nice interesting effects (that by the way, cost nothing!), just the plain old white please! (obviously there is a balance needed as in all things - ie flat screen TV's, Leather couches or whatever is the latest and most important thing in your culture! - this is not what i mean, we try our best to be good stewards!!!)

It bothered me so much, i deleted the colourful rooms from facebook! It really bothered me so much that i couldn't stop thinking about my shell and stone bath (which we picked up ourselves), my very blue kitchen with ironwood tops - iron wood!! (and i'm not even mentioning the teak window frames (also readily available and cheap here!).

And so with all this in mind i was out walking today and i saw one of my roses (roses? yes!) when it struck me!! Who made the rose? The sunflower? Who made the rainbow for crying out loud!! My Boss, that's Who!! So, i'm sorry if my colours or beautiful things taken from nature offend you, God knows i try my best not to offend anyone in any culture, but hey, He set the standard!! Viva colours, i say! And one day, i hope to teach the people here to see and admire the beauty around them, created by the Most Beautiful Person I know, my God!

(Ps I sincerely hope i didn't offend anyone by writing this?? Speak now or forever hold your silence! :) )

February 12, 2010

Of offerings and other easy songs.......

Well, there i was, way past missionary midnight (9pm) sitting on my bed, playing guitar for two reasons - to keep me awake so that i could drink more water and to praise the Lord because i was scared stiff!!

Kidney stones.....probably not so scary when you know the hospital and friendly doctor is at your beck and call, but to me last night, the night being a dark one of course, it was a scary thing!

I turned the page in my song book and i just couldn't, couldn't sing "I will offer up my life..." when this pain in my side made the reality of sacrifice and offerings very painfully clear to me! We so easily sing these songs! How hard is it to mouth the words when in a very comfortable place? (This, by the way could be anywhere - even here in the (un)comfortable bush!) Do these songs really filter down and touch our hearts - do we think God doesn't take EVERY word serious?? He who created by using WORDS!!! Yikes!

As you can gather, i don't take songs lightly, but i must admit, when we are in the good old passport country i do get carried away by the thought if worshipping the Lord with 1000 others and then sometimes sing without thinking too much!! But, sitting on my bed seeing those words, i was confronted with the thought "am i really willing to offer up my life??" It could be painful! And then i realised - it is painful, and i don't mean just the kidney stone!

God takes us into His school and asks us along the line to surrender more and more to Him - not commit, because committing still leaves you in control, but surrender - and that is painful! I guess there are many ways to offer up your life and i should just trust God that He knows best for i awoke this morning, there was a song in my heart......"I will offer up my life, in Spirit and Truth, pouring out my sacrifice as my worship to You!"

February 09, 2010

A normal day, i guess.....

I had to write this on paper first and so if it makes it unto the computer i guess it's important enough!! hiehie! OK i have decided to write it or type it out for those who still think life here is sooo idyllic!! Bless them! ;)

Why first on paper? Well, in the last 7 months we have lost 2 power supplies for our computer - may they rest in pieces! Just think about it - we have had a laptop for maybe 10 years now and never has this happened! Wear and tear gets a new meaning here! Africa is not only hard on its missionaries (another story altogether!) but also on its appliances!

So, here i was trying to do something on the laptop when the batteries finally died on me.....completely! I got up to do something else - wash the water in the tank! So i had to pump water first, but then i also discovered the little filter to the washing machine is completely blocked up by nice green algae! (Living the Green life!) But i couldn't clean that out as i was still waiting for the water! I wanted to bake some bread, but was quite discouraged to do THAT after looking at the flour supply, so i decided to make some tea but then saw there was only about 100ml of milk left...big sigh... shops are kind of far, far away and in any case closed by now...

So i sat down to read a book - which by the way doesn't need any power by day, and then one boy got really hungry, close to starving by the sounds he made and then another and then another!
By now the house is till unswept (i hurt a muscle and rib so sweeping is extremely carrying a heavy hot water bucket...yes, another story too!), the dishes piled up because i had to send out our helper to organise firewood to heat water, which by now was filling up nicely.....

In all of this confusion and "deurmekaargeit" i hear a car's horn! Unexpected Visitors... but just in time!! And so i welcomed them into my really very disorganised home, quickly packed a basket with coffee and the last drops of milk (hoping the Lord will multiply that for the visitors' sake!) and off we went to the building site! Where we had a really good visit!

It is 12 o'clock now, the house is still in the same condition but the frustration levels have gone down a notch or two and i actually am having a cup of tea with the last drops of milk in it! All in all, a good normal day! ;)