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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Newborn baby this week, newborn baby next week, Superstorms and no electricity. Giving thanks in all things.


“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”  Theodore Roosevelt

In the past few weeks/months we have seen babies diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and others die after the disease weakens their immune system beyond repair. We have seen people diagnosed with Multiple-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and watched people die from it.  We have seen rape cases, trafficking charges, and young girls having sex for food, just to survive.  We have watched storms destroy property, waters flood our house and winds blow down large trees.

On the flip side, we have seen children test NEGATIVE for HIV. We have seen babies come back from the brink of death to new life at the El Roi Baby home. We received a newborn abandoned baby girl last week and will receive another one next week, who was left for dead in a pit latrine.  We have seen storms miss buildings while the rain from the storms water the crops and fill our dams.   We have seen people brought to justice, young women brought to safety and beauty come from ashes at the Sicalo Lesisha Kibbutz. 

I have been in Taiwan for the past two weeks and have loved seeing Chloe in her new school and home environment. She is thriving. I have loved Skyping Spencer in Georgia and hearing about his school, his company Cirque Freaks and just be able to chit-chat about life and cats and stuff.  He is thriving.  Despite all of the trials and tribulations that we are going through, I can see the hand of God in my children’s lives and in our lives and I stand in awe at all that is happening around the world. 

On Thursday I was watching Chloe rehearse at her school play.  Suddenly we experienced an earthquake and it was jarring to say the least.  At the same time Ian was emailing me photos of our house in Swaziland that had been flooded by water.  Not too long after, I got a text message from Ian, which read: 

“ It was over 100 F degrees today, with the flood there is a very high humidity in the house, another super storm just went through and took out the electricity, oh ya, and a bunch of roof tiles. I'll let you know the extent of the damage in the morning. (Both dogs are in the house). Payroll is tomorrow and my computer battery is at 40%. Did I mention that I wouldn't trade this for anything?  I love living in Africa. Missing you." - Ian

That is from the guy who was NEVER going to Africa.  That is from a guy who says there will not be electricity for another couple of days in the bottom half of the country (!). That from the guy who had to do payroll for 195 people by hand on Friday including counting bills and coins then hand writing envelopes and pay slips).   When I read his text message I wept, and gave thanks.  Only God can change the human heart and truly have us give thanks during difficult times, while protecting us from harm and giving us joy, all at the same time!

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”  James 1:2-4

Live from Taiwan … it’s Saturday afternoon, and I am thankful.


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