>> November 25, 2009
After a few years on the mission field, apartment life had finally gotten to me. My gaggle of children was growing as fast as the apartment was shrinking. We didn’t have much room to turn around and felt like sardines in a can.
I dreamed of a home. A house with room to spread out and a yard for the kids to play.
My dreams came true in the summer of 2007. The house was in pretty good shape, though it would need indoor plumbing and a fresh coat of paint. The land was a perfect size, full of fruit trees of all kinds. I fell in love with it.
But before we could take possession, the former owner gutted the house. In the place of the cabinets, flooring, and electrical outlets she took, she left a huge mess, bare wires, and a plain unlivable house. It didn’t even look like the same house.
We were aghast.
We quickly composed ourselves and went to work trying to make our new home livable. I kept my chin up most days, though the work on the house, the needs of the children, and the ministry weighed on me heavily.
Ready or not, our apartment lease was up and we moved into the “new” house. For a while we had to shower in the mud brick barn (Did you know that it takes two to shower? One to hold the watering can and one to stand under it and wash up.).
I held up fairly well until mid October when the fall winds blew in. I remember one night taking a shower in the barn and the wind was so cold that I shook with chills. I cried. Then I felt badly for crying. What a big baby I had turned out to be.
But God worked things out. No, things didn’t work out like in my dreams. Instead I got to experience what life is like for the many people in the villages here—people who live in run down houses, people who sit on the floor instead of furniture, people who wonder if their roof will fall in on them. From my own hardships I developed a deeper love and appreciation for the people.
What I have learned (and am still learning) is that God’s plans don’t usually go the way we think they should. But they are always right and always for our good.
Stay tuned for Part 4 on Friday!