I have a confession to make. I get grumpy sometimes. I know, I know, that is conduct unbecoming of a missionary. But realistically I, as with most of us here, go through occasional times of getting down, frustrated, tired. We are absolutely surrounded by blessings here and usually have more than we need, if we are honest. We typically try to highlight the highlights from here in the field when we blog, but at times we feel a little burned out. I will admit that I even sometimes catch myself feeling sorry for myself.
But we are so blessed and every time I try to go down the wide but winding road of self pity I am knocked strait by some event or circumstance. Sometimes it comes from what I call a “Divine Thunk” (c)! Just when I begin to indulge in a good wallow, God reaches down with a stubbed toe, an open fly or a literal bump on the head to remind me not to take myself so seriously.
Other times he reveals my blessings or opens my eyes to the plight of others to remind me how good I really have it. Nothing slaps a person back into reality like a headline about another’s tragedy, news of the illness or death of a child, witnessing a nobler man courageously overcoming a true barrier in his own life.
We are also uplifted daily by the obedience of others who make sacrifices to follow God’s call to bless others. Selfless servanthood is God’s gameplan for His Kingdom and no believer is exempt from its call. I can no longer stand bound in my own baseless commiseration in the light of some selfless gesture from another. Just this week we have seen bags of precious maize dropped off by neighbors, had a father tearfully share his gratitude for the changes he has seen in his Preschool daughter and had other local missionaries bless us with their time and support. We also have had families who are required to work 16 hours a month to pay for school working up to 100 hours each so far in April.
We are also so indebted to the many churches and families that support us with financial assistance and prayer support. Finally, I want to personally thank two special groups of people who don’t get enough recognition but whose small contributions go so far to keep our chins up: those who offer words of encouragement and those who have sent items with visitors.
We made a decision early on not to try to respond to every comment made on our blog (it’s obviously hard enough to keep up with the blog itself), but we are so energized by these kind words as well as other emails, cards and letters sent by so many of you. From family to friends to relative strangers, it is so encouraging to know that we are being thought of and prayed for when we may otherwise feel somewhat isolated here. We have also learned to appreciate simple pleasures and have been so blessed by the small luxury items that so many of you have bothered to procure and expedite. After one too many cockroaches in the kitchen, mice or scorpions in the bathtub (both this week), long sweaty days (i know – I’m getting no sympathy from our friends in Michigan and Canada) and frustrated attempts at progress – it’s amazing how good a cup of Starbucks, some Skittles or some real parmesan cheese can taste!
Thanks to all of you for all you do. With your support and God’s grace we will carry on!