Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Bittersweet Goodbye

As I sit in this internet cafe writing this post I am reminded of the lyrics to a song I just heard. It is the perfect description of what I am feeling in my heart:

I know this world might think I am losing touch with reality but it would be crazy for me to choose this world over my eternity.
I have not been called to the wisdom of this world, but to a God who is calling out to me.

It is very hard to believe my time here is almost done. I am so excited to see my family! To be reunited with my handsome husband, and hold my little girls in my arms. However, it is bittersweet, I have completely fallen in love with this country and these people. I have grown so much and there are no words to describe the feelings in my heart. I am sad to leave Jenny, even though I know she will be home soon. I thank God for sending me here. I can't wait to bring my family here (hopefully one day soon).

Things that seem normal hear but unthinkable in Montana:
*Riding 3 people on one piki (motorcycle) sitting sideways with no helmets wearing skirts, flip flops, and holding bags.
*Paying someone to take me somewhere on their Boda Boda (bicycle). Yesterday a man was giving me a ride downtown and informed me that I am fat! He was working very hard to get us up a hill. I don't blame him!
*Eating lots and lots of starches (no wonder we aren't losing any weight here)
*Seeing kids make toys out of old plastic jugs and string
*Babies bracelets made out of the plastic rings from an oil container
*Sleeping under stinky mosquito nets
*Riding in car without seat belts, and riding in the front seat with children on your lap without seat belts
*Driving on the wrong side of the road
*Women carrying babies on their backs, and carrying anything and everything on their heads
*Riding on a small wooden boat without life jackets in fast moving water with children sitting on our laps, and with who knows what kinds of creatures swimming below us

We just got done having dinner with pastor JB the pastor from the Calvary church that we attended on Sunday. Going to church was an amazing and emotional experience to be surrounded by people who have very little, singing praises and giving thanks to the lord. One of the verses in the song really stood out to me...

And his joy is going to be my strength, though my sorrow may last for a night
But joy comes in the morning!
I'm trading my sorrow I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord!

Wow! I want that kind of strength, I want to trust in the Lord even when tomorrow is so unsure. I see these people, they are always smiling even though many of them don't have food to eat and or a home to go to. I find it so easy at home to complain and grumble over things that are soooo minimal. I should be thankful for all that I have been blessed with.

Today we went with pastor JB to a small village outside of Jinja. On arrival we were greeted by children, lots and lots of them. These children have very very little. As soon as we got out of the car they surrounded us "mzungu, mzungu" (meaning white person) they shouted. We played games, sang songs, and with the help of Pastor JB translating we were even able to speak to them about Jesus. I was so amazed by their beautiful smiles. In the midst of such hard times they were smiling, smiling to see us and to hear about Jesus.

We still had a whole suitcase of supplies left so we brought that and were able to bless the families and the children with all of the wonderful things everyone donated from America. We were overwhelmed when a few women came to us at the end and gave us necklaces that they had made. Knowing they had very little and still were willing to give what little they had. AHHHH I get emotional just thinking about their hearts. The same with Pastor JB and his beautiful wife blessing us with dinner tonight. Their kindness will not be forgotten. I have learned so much about giving through these people.

So many things happen here in one day. A few nights ago we left our room light on not knowing it would attract lake flies. Big mistake, we had to have someone come and spray our room. We learned very quickly that when they spray they mean business, meaning there was so much spray in the room that we had to evacuate immediately. We had no where to go but the lobby of the hotel. Once again God directed our steps. Even in those bugs on our ceiling God had a plan. While sitting in the lobby we met the two men who run the front desk we had a very good conversation with them. We were able to share our faith and give them gifts for their children.

As we sat in the lobby we saw a man and a prostitute walk in to purchase a room. At first I felt so disgusted, Eric the man from the front desk told us a prostitute usually makes around 20,000 shillings or $12 for a nights work. As I thought about this woman my heart began to hurt for her. I began to wonder about her long had she been doing this? Why was she doing this? What was it like for her in the morning when all was said and done? Did she have a family? People that love her? Why? Why so much hurt here? So many lost people.

I don't really understand and am not sure if I ever will. However, I do believe in the power of prayer. I have seen how powerful prayer is firsthand. So that is what I will do, pray for her along with all of the other millions of people hurting, and suffering. I feel so blessed that I have a hard working husband that supports our family. I am blessed to be able to stay home and teach my children right from wrong. I am so thankful and grateful for all I have.

After sitting in the lobby for a few hours, we were just about to head back to our room when we saw something. Something I really hoped I wouldn't have to encounter. A bat flew right by our heads. It circled the lobby and every time it flew by us we would scream. Everyone in the lobby was getting such a good laugh at watching to mzungus screech and squirm about a little bat.

Several days ago we had a dog that would follow us everywhere. We liked having his company, and everyone here fears dogs so we called him our guard dog. People will actually stop and turn the other way for fear that the dog might attack. However, we soon learned they do not fear bats in fact they thought it was so funny how scared we were. We have been joking all week about them being so afraid of dogs. I guess this bat was just a taste of our own medicine. Finally we were able to crawl out and run to our room.

One thing that is for sure everything here in Africa seems to turn into an adventure. A few days ago we took Christopher and Katie on their first outing in the stroller to the Source cafe. We had so much fun! They ate and ate and ate, bananas, bread, chicken, and lots of milk. As we left we realized it was really starting to look like rain but we thought if we hurried we could make it, after all it was only a few kilometers to the baby cottage.

WRONG!! about half way there the downpour began. So there we were running, sprinting, as fast as we could go with that stroller. Praise God we saw one of the mamas from the cottage. She called for us to come into her home for shelter. What a blessing to get out of the rain. We were so wet and even know these people had a very little hut to live in, they were so generous to let us come in and get their floor and furniture wet and muddy. We felt horrible, but once again these people showed us kindness and welcomed us with open arms. We waited for the rain to pass and then made our way back to the cottage.
We are running out of time this evening even though I have so many more things to blog about, I have to share this one last blessing. A few days ago I was sitting on the balcony of the hotel as I looked out on the beautiful lake I saw two white birds that looked like doves. When I think of doves I think of peace. These two birds started separate and then came together and flew across the lake, when they got to the middle they went their separate ways. They were so peaceful and I thought what an amazing picture. That is the perfect image of my journey to Weiss... God brought us together for a short time and he has now given me peace as we both go our separate ways.

After much prayer I was able to sit and speak to his new forever family. They seem like wonderful people they are from California. They love the lord and even do medical mission work out of Kenya. I feel so much peace after getting to know them. I thank them for opening their hearts and adopting him and precious, the little girl who will now be his sister. Little Weiss will always have a special place in my heart.

Renae one of the volunteers here at Amani shared a verse with me that gave me even more peace and confirmation.
Genesis 18:14 Is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return to you about this time next year and Sarah will have a son.
She had asked me a few days ago if I would still adopt a little boy. YES! of course we will, Jordan and I believe God placed adoption on our hearts and we will definitely adopt one day. Just as that passage describes, nothing is to hard for the Lord. His timing is perfect, he makes everything beautiful in his time, not ours. I will rest in knowing he already has it all planned out.

He knows the perfect little boy for our family. Until then I will pray for his will, and wait in excited anticipation to one day hold our son in my arms. For I know that in ALL things God works for the good of those that love him.

This will be my last blog here in Africa. I will be getting on the airplane tomorrow. What an amazing journey this has been. We have seen Gods fingerprints all along the way. Christopher and Katie are so very precious! I feel so privileged to be their auntie. It will be so nice to finally have them home. I have faith that God will bring them home soon.

As I leave Africa one verse comes to mind
Proverbs 30:8
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.


Jenn said...

Lacey Lacey Lacey...

and I can't wait until I get you in MY ARMS!! *wink*

Can't wait to come visit, have some coffee, and talk about all that you have seen and heard, all the things that caused your heart to sing, and all the things that broke your heart.

You are so blessed to have done what you have done. Praying for a safe journey, call me when you get home.

Much love sister,

Karen said...

Great stories. Thank you for sharing so many of your experiences.
Karen (MOPS)