Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.....

Over 60% of the Psalms are songs of lament which means we live in a fallen world and often times need to express to God the emotions of loss and sadness. Sometimes we just want to ask, "Why?". However, when reading the lament psalms we come across a crossroad where we have to decide whether we will let your sadness turn to bitterness and anger at God or decide to turn to praise and let the sadness we feel grow into a subtle and ever-increasing cry of praise to our majestic creator God who is sovereign. We are then able to long for a fully redeemed earth without pain and sadness and where God reigns in all His glory.

Well, this was one of those weeks. We left for Muembe just after my birthday (this is Tim). (My birthday was nice. Michele and I had the opportunity to leave the kids for a couple hours and just have a nice simple dinner together. Our distant relative that lives in Lichinga took the kids.) When we arrived we found that our house had been broken into and had several items stolen. Thankfully they stole items that are common here (for instance they left the sleeping bags but stole the mattresses). And thankfully almost everything will be replaceable except for a memory quilt Michele's mom made for us. We estimate the value of everything at around $500, but the quilt is the thing we are most disappointed about.

In addition to this news we were saddened to see our puppy get worse (some of you may not know that our puppy became sick a month or so ago. We thought we had a proper medicine for the problem.) and worse despite the medicines we were giving her. Her suffering became more and more evident until she spent a couple of days barely moving from her bed, so this week we had to put her down.

It was a tough week in some regards but also an encouraging week with ministry. The Bible study Tim is attending is going well. The study is on prayer and there are 3 young Christians attending. Next week Tim will be leading the study so please pray.

Also, we are going to be planning a time to publicize and show the Jesus film in Muembe. It think it can be a very productive thing especially if we are able to do follow up there and meet with anyone who makes a decision or is interested in hearing more.

The church we attend in Lichinga is also holding a conference in Muembe on July 11 and 12. (It is a strange coincidence but the church in Lichinga actually oversees the church in Muembe). Please pray for this as we will be attending and helping in any way we can. The church is very very small and doesn't receive alot of attention from the pastor in Lichinga because he has no transportation to go there.

God has also given great friends for our kids in Muembe. We laugh everytime we find Traeger and Karis over at Mateus' house eating wugadi (nchima or the staple food in SE Africa) and beans. They even started to complain about our food and request wugadi and beans. Guess we will have to learn to cook something new. Lately we see our kids in the morning and then don't seem them 'til dark. As Mateus says, "somos familia" or "we are family."

So as we conclude this week it has been important for us to cry out to God about the things He has taken away, but also give praise and thanks for the things He has given and continues to give. God is good.

Enjoy these highlights from the week, sorry we have no pics of the robbers, wish we did :).


Anonymous said...

I feel a sad, vulnerable grief for you...must be unsettling to know someone broke in. The quilt makes me sick...all the love and time!
I absolutely adore the picture of Kallen surrounded by the children, reading the book. That is friendship, love, life at its best! Karis and Traeger crack me worries about them assimilating! Much love, Lindsay

Amy Werner said...

Praying for you all as you deal with loss in so many ways. It's so good to have the Word to anchor us in times like this. Praying that you'll have a peace that passes understanding in the midst of the hardships.
Blessings on your dear family,

Alex L said...

Sorry to hear about your lost, particularly on the quilt, which is "priceless." On the birght side, all things you lost are replaceable.

I am glad to hear that the kids enjoy the fellowship with the local kids so well. It's precious.

Will continue to pray for you guys. Btw, plz send my early b-day greeting to Traeger for me.


Leslie Norris said...

I am so sick to hear about your loss and the violation that you must feel as a result. I am also feeling for the kids and the loss of the dog. Stuff like that can be so hard to explain to little ones. Praying for you. We miss you guys so much.
We are moving this so it begins :)