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I think we are

It's been a while since I blogged, and I am not sure if I should apologize about that or not?  haha - sometimes my ramblings even get on my own nerves!  Anyway...

We spent last week at Delta Lake with a camp full of people who love Jesus and were (mostly) excited to hear about our heart for South Sudan.  The thing that makes that ironic is how much I struggled with the realities of what life will be like when we get there during camp this last week.  As much as I enjoyed the community of people being around constantly, there was also the reminder that, despite the fact I think I am mostly an extrovert, I still have introvert qualities - like the need for time alone to rejuvenate and recharge.  Every where I went there were people - in the cabin was the whole family plus Christina and Logan, outside was the youth tab and people walking by, at the dock were lifeguards and kids, at the main tab was people that I loved seeing and having the chance to hang out with-but still made it so no matter where I was, I was not alone.  Honestly, I don't know much about team living.  While we were visiting SS I soaked it up and kept thinking how much our whole family would love not being on our own this time.  But to have people around all the time?  Well - I guess that's where communication comes in.

And then there's the practical out-workings of things.  I was sick in the middle of the week - fever and achiness and tiredness.  I just wanted to sleep, but it was almost 100 outside, so the inside of the cabin was intense and suffocating.  I started to feel panicky as I though about the heat in SS and living in that for months at a time.  The bathroom was a little walk away, and getting the kids to and from with everything we needed was tricky.  In SS we will not have a toilet inside our house (believe me, we wouldn't want it that close!) The bugs were everywhere and in everything.  Bug spray and sunblock were our perfumes.  There was no stove and fridge, and trying to cook healthy for my family on a limited budget with supplies that I had to think about ahead of time was not easy.

And perhaps the worst part was the constant layer of dust.  Dust on dust.  And then more dust.  Even when you showered, by the time you got back to the cabin you were covered in sweat and dust again.  Sigh.  I hate getting into bed with dirty feet, but by the end of the stay my sheets were covered with a thin grey color that was on all our clothes.

What are we thinking?

Can I really do this?  My teammates, who are people I admire so much, do this each day.  They get up and walk, face the heat and dust, spend time with each other and work through those days that you just don't feel like loving those around you, forgive and move on, face languages that still don't (may never?) feel or sound familiar, improvise when the power is out or the fuel is gone, get creative when the only fresh thing left in the market are the mangoes that you have been eating for weeks...well, you get the picture.  Life is not a picnic there.

Yet if you read their blogs (you can see them on the side of this page), meet them in person, talk with them, and get to know their hearts, you see people may be tolerating the circumstances that are not always the best because they have an intense love for Jesus and the work that he is doing in their hearts and lives and the lives of the South Sudanese people. Do I have that?  Do I really have the ability to do this?

Simply put - no.

Not in and of myself.  If left on my own I will love ME most and all the time.  My needs will be met despite what happens to others; my comforts will be more important than anyone else's; I will take the easiest way for me.  That is not just talking about the heat, bugs, and dust - but in those interpersonal relationships also.  I will forge my way into my own world and ignore those around me so I don't have to face the pain, discomfort, and ugliness that comes from living daily in this broken, yucky world.

So what to do?  On our recent prayer letter I quoted from Rose Marie Miller, "Here, then is my theme:  the only hope of liberation for a helpless, resisting caterpillar in a ring of fire is deliverance from above.  Someone must reach down into the ring and take us out.  This rescue is what brings us from the orphan state into that of son or daughter.  This is not mere supporting grace, but a transforming grace."

As I think about the things that we will face on the field - those practical, daily obstacles - I simply hold my hands up and ask my God to pull me out.  Pull me out of the fire of fear, insecurity, uncertainty, hopelessness, and worry.  And as he is lifting me out, I ask for him to give me his love, peace, compassion, passion, strength, and boldness.  Yes, there will be days when I am overwhelmed and tired and ready to pack it in (there are now, even in the comforts of this clean, air conditioned, comfortable home!) But He is in control of my life, my heart, my very self.  He loves me with an unconditional, unfathomable love - and I will rest in his arms.

So pray for us as we continue to prepare to go - for His joy and patience.  Pray that we specifically start to really know how much he loves us so we can have that overflow from us into whomever we are around.  And pray for our team that is already there and making their way there even as we speak. Thanks!  


  1. Yes, you are insane. Heather, your honesty is not sane. How can anyone put their fears and weakness on display as you have and be considered sane? To be so "opened up" and true is evidence of the huge working of the Holy Spirit in you. It is a holy paradox, this life we live "in Christ." Rising above the circumstances of life in this world cannot be done without the brutally honest admission of our humanity. You inspire me and your faith gives me hope. Sanity is over-rated.
    Love you and yours and ours (C&L) forever, Vickie


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