Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Bananas and Rainbows
Sounds like a children’s book title, huh? It’s not.
We live in a hard place. You’ve probably read our posts that describe the violence, the poverty, the corruption, the constant strain of want and bombarding requests for help. Yes. We are called to this. But, calling isn’t easy and grace doesn’t include comfortable convenience. Some days, living on the edge of the slum, moving with poor women, we deal with personal problems so foreign to our “American minds” that I must gulp, swallow my complaints and simply choose to sing.
Lately, we’ve wondered what it might be like to not raise the 5 year old who’s been a part of us for three years now. We’ve struggled with limited opportunities on where and how to educate our kids. Gouging gasoline prices, skyrocketing food costs, daily concerns about security… All these trials threaten to steal my peace, and silence the joy of service.
It’s times like this that I ALWAYS find Jesus moving in the shadows of small blessings. , like He’s teasing a game of hide and seek, inviting me to play, to laugh, to be brave because He’s there, right there, even in the midst of tenuous uncertainty.
There was a day so difficult I couldn’t restrain the sad tears welling in me. That was the day I saw the Lord in the surprise of bananas and the glory of a rainbow.
Mind you, bananas are fairly common here but none seemed to grow on the tree we planted over a year ago. Our second Christmas tree, not more than 3 feet high in the pot was transferred to the yard and grew in crazy measures, standing taller than our almost 6 foot son, but no bananas. Not a one.
Despite nursing it to bear fruit, nothing came of our efforts. I gave up.
Weeks later, there they were, like an overnight birth – bananas!
That same evening, after ministering a day of crisis to faith-filled solutions, the ride home found us following a brilliant rainbow – uncommon beauty in shantytown. We laughed, dancing in the evening’s glorious glow.
I realize these blessings might not sound like much compared to miracle healings or dramatic deliverance, amazing testimonies we’ve also experienced here. But when Jesus shows up in those small, small things - like bananas and rainbows - His intimate presence invades difficulties and coaxes my grateful smile.
Although we see Him in the profound, what small things will you see God in today?
Asante sana for your encouragement, support and prayers.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I keep journals. They are filled with thoughts and prayers hidden between enclosed pages, not for public viewing but also not to be forgotten. I pulled a worn striped spiral out the other day; the one I’ve keep with my dreams of Africa.
For years, I harbored an unrealistic desire that someday, maybe God would open the way for my family to live among the least and offer opportunity for their hopes to come true. I literally longed for the day I would sit in the midst of widowed, single, abused mamas who needed help to keep their children. I was haunted by images of orphans, sickly and alone, crying for their family. What was I to do?
A heavy burden saddled me, but I, myself, felt like a burden. Using a wheelchair, experiencing profound weakness and with two children adopted as toddlers, I couldn’t see how we would do it – live on the mission field of Kenya among the poor to bring them something useful. Good thing this vision didn’t rely on me. It didn’t rely on me because it wasn’t from me. It was from God, and I couldn’t escape it, even when I tried.
As I turned the pages of the worn journal, I’m impressed at how God keep the desire alive. Even in the face of complete opposition and adversity, He always provided a glimmer of light through dear friends who knew my limitations, but also knew God’s amazing power.
So this post is to thank all those who believed and supported and encouraged and prayed and visited and above all, expressed extravagant love to my family as we serve among the least in Kenya.
The desire went from paper to reality.
- Widowed mamas have support, classes, skills training and micro finance so they can raise their children.
- Clean water is accessible with sanitation teaching - a great evangelistic outreach.
- Orphaned children are loved.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o