Friday, February 15, 2008

TIA, JAY and JOY

MORE TIA

I don’t think I was home today when the power was on. Apparently there has been another problem that Zesco is working around the clock to fix. We were going to have a family dinner here but no power so we went to a hotel restaurant. We were the only people there on a valentine night as we were a bit earlier than those to come, but it took probably an hour to get our food.

TIA is alive and well in many ways every day. But, a cool thing happened on the way to complainville. Today I had a good conversation with Peter Zulu. As we sat in the church amidst a massive rain storm, he shook his head and said, “Ministry is hard.” I asked why and he went on to share a struggle recently. He has been trying to build a church, literally, but he has run into problem after big problem. He had bought a plot of land, bought some bricks and began building. He got kicked off the property but the settlement was that he would get a bigger plot of land somewhere else and they would build what he already built. Well, they didn’t do a good job building, and so he had to tear it down and now though he has a new plot of land, he has no bricks to build. And then an older man came and said the plot of land that Peter is on is his. More discussion that I didn’t quit understand and the new settlement is that Peter now has to build this man a one room house on a new plot, which means about $500 dollars and lots of labor. You can imagine how discouraging this must be to someone who makes maybe $5 dollars a day. The conversation was so amazing though because he shared how this old man has gotten bounced a bunch of times, he is disabled and has no ability to have anywhere to live. And so, the normal thing would be to blow this guy off as I guess has already happened two other times, but Peter is committed to doing the right thing, even though it is going to push back the construction of his building and cost his family money that they do not have. He already has given up half of his house to build a church. I went into their “half” house today and I was blown away by how hot it was and how small it is and how much faith this man has to be forced to go one mile and yet walk two so he can honor the Lord by loving this man this way. I may teach the Bible study, but he certainly shows me how to live it. The study went really well, as we dug down deep into Philippians 1:19-21. Now that they are really getting the inductive part down, we are getting into great discussions. Nelson, one of the elders, led the entire meeting. It was great! I walked back with Joseph, and we continued to dig into the passage of scripture. Good stuff...

And then tonight at dinner, as we waited for an hour for our food, when it finally came, they got it wrong, putting sauce that we knew we couldn’t eat where we couldn’t eat it. And I was just so proud of my girls. They did their absolute best not to complain, to be happy, and they were patient. It was cool because in the midst of our time in Africa, we have had lots of opportunities to practice patience, in just hard situations where you are just stuck, and you have to just grow in character and they have. (I am not so sure I have, but at least they haveJ)

Bradyn is feeling so much better. I am, too. Steph is during the days. At night, she feels awful, still. I was just hoping that with the blogs that we write that you haven’t gotten a complaining spirit out of them. We run a fine line of being honest and sounding like whiners amidst the hard and overwhelming.

Today Jay spent some time with Kelly the painter, teaching him about marketing, sales and talking through all things painting. It was so cool to see Jay using his gifts of sales and knowledge of marketing to impact this young man. Jay has brought some great ideas and will be a huge help in doing for Kelly what I just don't have the time or expertise to do. You could see that Kelly was eating it up. They are going out on Monday to knock on doors and meet business owners… It was so encouraging to watch how God used Jay's gifts to really help Kelly. It just really confirmed to me that missions is for everyone with every kind of gift in every situation. God wants to change the world through us and use the world to change us as well...

Tomorrow we are going to the orphanage to make pancakes and spend time with the girls!

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