Monday, June 28, 2010

Living the life

Missionary kids. MK'S. Kids growing up in a foreign land, with no familiar faces. Kids who stand out from all other kids their age. They are a different color, speak different...look different. And how do these children cope? What do they do for fun? How do they adjust to another culture? I've had mothers ask me, "Aren't you afraid for your children? I mean they will grow up outside
of America?" Here is my answer...

Here is Joey, creative king of our house. He gathered some palm leaves and set them up (somehow) then borrowed a couple of clothes pins off of the line, hung up a blanket...and here he is, in his space ship heading for another adventure.

The safest place for anyone is in the center of God's will. I am not afraid for my children. Yes, there are scary things that happen here. There are murders, drug trafficing, corrupt police, child abuse, just like any other country, including America.

My children belong to God. They are missionary kids second to being Gods kids. I've read a poem before entitled "Children live what they learn". My children have lived and learned creativity!

When we were in Jamiaca for 4 months we didn't have many toys for their age. On the trip down we had to load the suitcases with school books along with clothing for the entire family. Each child had one backpack for some toys, books and crayons. While we were there, I began showing them how to make things out of cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, and cardboard of any kind. Soon we had piles of homemade gadgets and gizmos all over the house. I finally had to say, "Ok boys, no more for a while, we have too much!" Where we live here, there is a huge woodpile and the children are allowed to use any of the wood that has been discarded. Here, Joey has made a monitor for his computer. The keyboard is just a piece of cardboard...and away he goes!!

Missionary kids don't have it rough. They have a great life. Yes, they live in another culture, but they see firsthand the power of an almighty God. The power of a changed life. They also grow up making their own fun. What a life!! They chase lizards, rescue birds, watch eggs hatch in the bushes outside of our house...make forts out of palm leaves, guns out of wood pieces, they are living life! Wow! How awesome is THAT?!!

Unfortunately all good things must end, and so it goes for the spaceship. The boys went inside after a rain, and when they moved the blanket back, a tarantula crawled out! It was bigger than my hand. The boys decided it would no longer be ok to play in a tarantula hide out, so they tore the fort apart. They now have relocated the fort to another place.

Missionary doesn't get any better than this! WHAT A LIFE!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Under the Palms

I remember while in the States on deputation, traveling here and there, meeting new people every day. It seemed I made many friends, many acquaintances...but they were quick friendship. There wasn't much time to get close to someone, because so soon, it was time to go again. In Belize though, it is different.

I have now been here for nearly seven months and already I feel my heart stretching. I'm getting to know some of the people, and my heart longs to love them more. I pray and ask God to love them through me. I ache for them to know the love of God almighty. I think of these people throughout my week, and I wonder to myself, "Do they even contain God in their thoughts? Do they realize how much God loves them and wants to know them?"

I wanted you to meet some of our people....

This is a picture of my Sunday School class. I teach 4-6 year olds. We ran out of chairs so we decided to sit on the mats on the floor. Today I taught them the story of Moses and the children of Israel complaining about manna. I passed out crackers several times and taught about the importance of being thankful for all that God gives us. What a joy it is to serve God by teaching these little ones.

This is Anita. Right now I believe her house is flooding. She lives in a small house with 7 other people (at least) and when we picked her up today, the water from the rain was just flooding through her yard. She tends to be quiet and sometimes a little mischievous, but there are those rare moments, (like in the photo) where she seems to soak up every word you are saying, and I wonder..."Lord, what is it that You had in mind when you created her?" I believe He has an awesome plan!

Meet Marvin
Meet Marvin. Marvin is 13 and the 4th child in a family of 12 people. His parents are still together, and they all live in a shack smaller than most of your living kidding. They have a stove, and "borrowed" electricity. No refrigerator, no indoor plumbing. Marvin is a self-appointed visitation expert. He knows everyone in the village, and everyone knows him. He loves to go around and help invite others to church. Although he is the 4th child, and his dad's name is George, everyone calls their family's house, "Marvin's house" because he is so well known and liked. When Kevin asked Marvin several weeks back, "Why do you come to church Marvin?" He simply said, "To honor God."

We are currently meeting under this thatch roofed building. We have no walls, no screens, sometimes we have electricity, sometimes not. The spirit is sweet and the people are growing. I am excited about what the Lord is doing here and the people He has sent our way. Serving God is not always easy, and there are difficult days with trials. Tonight we were swarmed with flood flies, the people were laughing and smacking flies left and right. Pastor Mike had to stop preaching and wait for Kevin to go get the bus, then we all loaded up and he finished his sermon on a bus, with all of the windows up. It was HOT! A few weeks back someone stole the electrical box that was to serve the property with electricity. We've had chairs stolen. Now for EACH SERVICE...all of the equipment has to be loaded from the Leonard's home into a trailer, taken to the church property, unloaded and set up. Chairs, pulpit, table for water, water jug, cups, song books, keyboard, bibles....anything that we need for the service. EVERY SERVICE. It is a lot of work. The Bible says, "Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, no man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

Thus the Lord is bringing me to the place where I can love more. It's not about whether or not we are in an enclosed building, or whether we are swarmed by flies...or even if we are flooded, this is all about loving people for God. We endure hardness to be allowed the honor of being a "good soldier of Jesus Christ" If we faint in the day of adversity, our strength is small. The boils, the ants, the delays, the weather, the stealing, it all pales in comparison to the privilege of being able to watch God move. Under these palms, I have found joy in serving the Lord and I have grown to love people once more.


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