Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

October 25, 2011

Amazing women......

I was visiting a grandma in the village today, when I saw her daughter and granddaughter get ready to leave.  I just leant a new phrase today and so I was very happy to practise it!  ‘Where are they going?” I asked kind of right….

They were off to their fields a way out of the village.  It was late, nearly 4 o'clock, and they hurriedly left with only one big clay jar filled with bits of dried food, some clothes topped with an upside down cooking pot.  Brave women!  It was such a reality check for me!  Here i was complaining of loneliness  - and I have a phone, computer and car to go places!   They will stay on the field until all the land is tilled – by hand – and then after the rains come they will stay out there to guard the new plants against all manner of enemies!  And a lot of the time they are out there all alone!  Very brave indeed!

Some people think i am brave to live out here – I once read only 6% of missionaries live out in the sticks – so I guess it seems brave.  But it is NOTHING in comparison to the women who have been living here for centuries!

They carry 20L cans of water on their heads and this with babies tied to their backs!  They give birth at home or walk about 4km or 20 , to the nearest clinic to deliver their babies!  Sometimes when the birth is too far advanced or complications arise,  they travel on the back of a bicycle!  They work the fields, harvest it all and then need to peel/husk/dry all the food until the next crop will be ready!  Amazing women!

I learn so much from them.  Here I have come to teach them, but they teach me.  My wish and hope and dream for them is that they will come to know and trust my God and Saviour, .....but all in due time.  Until then it is me who is the learner!

Bella, humbled by the women around me

October 13, 2011

Of chickens and Eagles....

Have you watched a chicken lately?  Especially an undomesticated one?  Chickens needs to scratch and scratch for something to eat.  Their heads are always down, they scurry from scratching place to scratching place hoping to find the juicy worm, something worthwhile.  They also never rest - always on the go!  I mean, the little titbits that they get in, hardly covers the energy spent by their frantic scratching!
Watching them from my window every morning has shown no change in routine.  It can become very tiring to watch them.  They scare easily.  The chicks scurry franticly after their mom, in a very nervous fashion......

Eagles, on the other hand, are in a total different class!  I like the Fish Eagle best.  Soaring high above the water, not even flapping his wings, swooping down to rise victoriously with a prize fish!  Nests are built in huge Baobab trees, high cliffs even!  They know the air currents and move effortlessly higher and higher!  Nothing escapes their keen eyes.  They rule the skies!  They are bold, fearless and fast.  Oh, to be an eagle!

I think in life you can be a chicken or an eagle.  You can choose to scurry from place to place, always looking just in from of you - no vision, no great plan - just surviving.
Or, you can strive to be an eagle - going places, flying high, looking up, knowing that there is a purpose for your life!  Not just surviving like the chicken, but absolutely thriving!

 Sometimes in very hard times, i barely survive, thinking this is the only way, but actually it is very tiring.  God wants us to soar!  High in His beautiful sky!  Knowing that there is more to life than little bugs in the dirt....knowing God has a plan for me, hope and a future! 

bella, slowly learning to spread my wings!

October 08, 2011

the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.......

We recently went on a cross country trip.  From East to West!  You know, the kind where the so-called roads are supposed to be very exciting and 4x4ish......well, "they" said the "road" will be tarred by next year and we wanted to see it before all those roadworks will ruin the countryside for the next couple of years  It took us two days! any case this is besides the point actually....
On this trip, i had a lot of time to think and ponder while bumping along....

Ususally life has some good and some bad.  And then some ugly.  Like sweet and sour, bitter and sweet.  But like food that is left out in the tropical heat soon become rotten, so too if i focus too much on the bad, things turn ugly.  Well, this is excactly how this trip was - filled with good and bad, but when bad was left unchecked, well, it got ugly!  Let me give a few examples:

We were in the "fastest growing" city in Africa and thought that buying some much needed supplies would be a great idea!  Well, in the end that is kind of all it was - just a great idea!  We had to stand in line at the ATM for hours!  And then only get a small amount of money.  The nice foodstuffs were sooo expensive we could just buy enough basic stuff to last us until we got home again.  The Good  of it was that we didn't starve and made it home again - eating the last of the snacks as we drove into our village.  We had some really good meals with friends and could prepare some wonderful bbq's too!  But the bad soon became the Ugly beacuse all i could think was - What a waste of time! - i was so dissapointed that i didn't see the Good at all!  I wasn't content with wat God did give.....

Here is another example, to my shame....
We went to the beach for 3 days before heading back home again.  Picture this: white, white beaches, no people (exepct some vendors and fishermen), palm tress, the bluest of blue seas!  It is truly extremely beautiful!  We had a great beach house made from bamboo, palm leaf roof, even air conditioning!  This was all the Good!  Can there be the Bad in this setting?  Well, yes and they came in the bodies of tiny....fleas!  Fleas in the beds, on the pillows!  Yikes!  Also, they sprayed the nets with bugspray which made me cough and cough and cough....aarrghhh!  In the bluest of blue seas there wese also lots and lots of island grass floating around, washing over you - suffice to say, i didn't enjoy swimming in this green stuff!
The Bad quickly became the Ugly, i am sad to say.

LAter i found out that around this time, a friend started praying for me (promted by the Holy Spirit) The Lord saw  i needed some help!  I was only focusing on the Ugly - no Good did i see in any of this!  I was walking back to the house when it dawned on me - I was just negative at the moment - everything was just ....Uglly!  And so, slowly, but surely i forced myself to start to acknowlegde the Good.  I had to force myself out of my pit of deep, dark thoughts.....not that i could have done it alone, oh, no, i totally give God the Honour for helping me see the state i was in!  And subsequently helping me out of it!

Well, i guess that was the biggest lesson for me and it kind of accumulated on this trip until it nearly exploded and even if it was only for this lesson, then it was double worthwhile going all that way!

Life always has the Good, and the Bad, but keep a careful tab on the Bad so that it doesn't become the Ugly.  It is very easy to fall into the Ugly's pit!

bella, a pessimist that needs to see the bright side more!