Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A week's worth of news...

Because either the power or the internet was down it has been a while since I blogged... So, here is a compilation of things that have gone down here in life of the Allen's...

A Crab in our Driveway
The context: The nearest ocean beach is 625 miles away.
The story: Last week, I was looking out my window and I thought I saw a huge something crawling near and then under my car. I thought it was a spider. So, I grabbed the camera and headed out! But, when I got closer, I realized it wasn't a spider, but a big crab. I have NO idea where this thing came from, how it got in our yard and where to put it. But, we put it in the drain outside our gate. Crazy weird.

Our Cat is a Dog
Kamryn has taught our cat how to chase a bouncy ball and return it to her. Louie is a great cat. All we have to do now is just teach him to bark at the cars when they come through the gate like Zorro does.

Original and creative business names
We went bowling at the only bowling place in Lusaka (Zambia?) The name is really creative... It is called, "Let's go Bowling!" I wonder how long it took them to come up with that name. It was great fun with Daddy taking the honors in the adult division and Kamryn taking honors (and almost beating daddy) in the kid division.

The joy of a husband when His wife is feeling better after a month in bed:)
Not sure how to fully emphasize that other than just post a picture expressing my exuberance!
Looking back, I have realized how good this time was for me and my relationship with the kids. As a result, I have been involved with the homeschooling and understand it enough to teach it. I have gained confidence in leading my family, and it has led to some great, promising changes. I have learned to cook pancakes like a champ. It has been one of the hardest months of my life, but some great things have come out of it. Here's hoping that the lessons have been learned though!

And then a hard one:
The heartbreak and humbling of loving your neighbor.
The following blog is an edited letter from Stephanie to her mom about the hard day we had a few days ago regarding our neighbors which I have mentioned before. The father is an alcoholic, the mother has bedridden from many years due to stroke. The daughter (in the picture) is what the blog centers on:

Today has been hard. I think we've mentioned our neighbors before, the squatters, anyway, their daughter is so sickly, her legs are the size of my wrists, maybe smaller. Her bones are protruding everywhere, she is the sickest looking person I've seen in all of Zambia so far, and she's right next door. Yesterday she was outside our gate, as she often is, begging for food. She had a horrible cough!! Anyway, I just came to a point where I said to myself, "this is not right. I am responsible for being Jesus to this girl." Who is else is going to?? She needs so much, we had been giving them food, but I knew she needed to see a doctor. So last night the Lord impressed on my heart that we needed to get her to a doctor. I had no idea if her parents would let us or not. I didn't sleep much at all last night, and this morning I woke up, ate a LUNA bar and hoped that I would feel strong enough to do what I needed to do. I was going to take Miriam with me because they speak no English. Miriam and I went over this morning and talked to the father and he was very pleased that we wanted to help and take her. Then he went into the "house" and got the girl and when she came out I was so overwhelmed with everything I knew I was going to pass out. I sat down and asked Miriam to go get Steve. Steve came and helped me walk but when we got out to the street I did pass out right in the road. Luckily, Phil Stevenson, a pastor from Whidbey Island, had just arrived at our house and he knew what was happening, Steve had never seen me pass out before. They laid me down and I was okay in a few minutes and able to walk home. I got home and just lost it emotionally and physically. My heart felt like it was breaking inside of me. She is one of Jesus' children, his heart must break every day when He sees her. So, it was decided that I was not the best person to accompany her to the doc. so Steve and Miriam took her. Steve just called and said that she is very sick. (We are not including all that is wrong with her on this email.). They are getting her set up on home based care which will hopefully be good. She's obviously not entirely there. My guess is that she is 16 but when Miriam asked her her age she said she was 4.

Kamryn was so sweet last night, she came in and we were talking about it, and she said, "Mom, she really needs to know Jesus so if she dies she can go to a much better place." It hit me how desperately I wanted her to know Jesus. If she doesn't know Jesus, the awful life she has lived her will only be worse. Yet, heaven, oh, what that would be. So, along with her health, this is what I pray for."

I was very proud of my wife for taking the lead on this, and though it was scary, especially the fainting episode, things are going well. This girl, we still don't know her name, is at a hospice care facility. We are going to get the younger brother in a school. The plan is to take the parents to a clinic soon. I am so thankful for organizations who have the expertise and experience to help care for these kind of situations. I know there are millions of kids who need this help, but again, there is joy and peace in doing what God has given us to do, today...


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve and family,

We are continuing to pray for Stephanie to feel better!!! And we will pray for your neighbor.

The crab... I can't find any great information, but... I remember that there are crabs that live (not in the water) but in trees, like the coconut crab. Maybe your crab is something like that!

Tate says, "We have now passed into learning about Rome in our history." Wyatt says, "Homeschool is fun. We took a field trip yesterday to WWU."
Gunnar is too tired. =)

the Garretts

Webmaster said...

"...Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."
(Luke 10:36-37)

Great "like-wising" Steve and Steph. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

What is up with these crabs?! We found two here in Kitwe! WEIRD.

Glad Boogie and Bompa made it, despite Mwanawasa. :) Hope you have an incredible time with them!

Love from your neighbor to the north!