This past week, we experienced loss. Our dog, Vader, died while we were in Muapula doing the Simply the Story training. We received a message that he had suddenly died. When we left on Tuesday he was fine, but on Friday, apparently he died. When you agree to take on a pet here, you have to be ready for the reality of it. There are no vets. There are no humane ways to put an animal down if it is suffering. There are no vaccinations for your animals, so you take a real risk by bringing them into your home and loving them. A missionary's life is filled with goodbyes. So our kids have had to say goodbye many times. Goodbye to friends and family in the States, goodbye to friends here as they go back home on furlough, or are moving to a new location. Saying goodbye is nothing new to them, but this is the first time the kids have really experienced losing something to death and they are realizing the reality of it. In reality, we really have been blessed and losses for us here, don't normally come in the form of death. We also lost our cell phone and computer cord this week. These are the everyday things, that when they break or simply cease to function, are not easy to replace. We have to deal with how are we going to replace them, how long can we function without them if we have to have them shipped in from the States, will we be able to afford to replace them. Nothing is easy to replace here. They are just material possessions, but with our link to home being via the computer, when you lose a computer, you lose your connection to home. It is possible to exist without it, people did it for years and years before they were available, but for us, we have to learn to cope without them. It is constantly a learning process. So, we are trying to remind ourselves and teach our kids, what is really important in life. Things come and go, and every living thing, including us, will have to die, but what will never leave and what will never change is our God. "We long for the day when all that is wrong, will be made right." And we will never again have to say goodbye.
On another note the storying seminar in Muapula went really well. There were 24 people who participated. Everyone worked hard during the week to grasp the teaching and during the seminar everyone had an opportunity to present stories as we broke into small groups. The missionaries that live and work in Muapula, Frits and Nickey, are committed to storying and have been advocates of storying as well as such an encouragement to us as we try to teach and extend the reach of this storying method.
It is always amazing to see people stand up and tell a story from the Bible in their own language. And then for them to discover the truths that lie within that story - wow!!! We are blessed! The only downside is that eventually time runs out and the seminar ends, but the upside is they get to work on the storying with their family, friends, and neighbors.
We will be doing another seminar there the beginning of June for some Bible students. Tim will also be doing another marriage/parenting seminar in a village called Nimpepe the middle of this month with a local church. Please pray for us as we are extremely busy with admin and then trying to keep up with the teaching and training as well.
This is Raimundo. He told one of the stories he learned in the seminar at church on Sunday. It is always so exciting to listen as they quote entire stories directly from the Bible.