Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Time of Rest

I (Martha) know I am entering Enga Province when I begin to see a small scattering of lupines lining the road. When I see the tall violet flowers standing at attention, I begin to relax and ease into the transition. After a whirlwind four weeks in Ukarumpa, with all of the end of the school year activities, including Jacob’s sixth grade graduation, we chose to spend the kids' school break in Enga. We have never done a four-week turnaround before, and needless to say, it was not easy. We were tired, but the opportunity to be in Enga without having to homeschool sounded too good to pass up. So far it has been worth it. We began our stay by hosting a new missionary couple from Romania in our home for a few days and showing the Enga Jesus Film at a church down the road. This involved Adam having to back our truck into a stream so several men could carry the generator across the water and up the hill to the church. It was a beautiful night and several people were able to watch the stories of Jesus come alive on screen in their own language. Unfortunately, it was cold, and by that time Adam’s body had worn out. He came down with a terrible stomach flu and has spent the week at home in bed.

After an exhausting several months (honestly two years), we all spent the week doing virtually nothing. I have to say this has been one of my favorite weeks ever. Not the times where Adam thought he was on the verge of death of course, but the times when I watched my kids make spinning tops out of Legos, and then name the tops, and create games and competitions with them. The times when we read aloud a biography of Amy Carmichael, and I heard my kids debate about who had the hardest experiences: Gladys Aylward, Corrie Ten Boom, or Amy Carmichael. Over a year ago they debated about who the greatest superheroes were: Batman, Superman, or Iron Man. Those conversations made Adam’s and my heart ache a bit as we began to realize how meaningless such heroes were, and so we have started to introduce them to real heroes—heroes of the faith. We have had some beautiful discussions about what it means to be obedient followers of Christ. We had decided ahead of time that for this trip to Enga, we would not watch any TV shows or movies or have any time on the tablet, so instead the kids have lost themselves in books, played outside with the local children, and stayed up late beating their mother at a card game called Nerts with screeching laughter.

All the while, Adam has been resting and recovering. I think sometimes when we don’t take time to rest, God smacks us on the head and says, "If you are not going to do it yourself, I am going to make you." Unfortunately for Adam this meant fever, chills, and lots of other unpleasant things. With Adam unable to drive to town, our food has been running out, particularly garden food. We have really wanted some bananas. So a few nights ago I decided to pray for someone to give us bananas. I usually don’t pray for small things like that. I guess I think God doesn’t have time for those things, but lo and behold, someone brought us bananas the next morning. Our God is in the small things too. He knows our every need and hears our every prayer. Adam is doing better now and is able to drive to town to restock our food supply, so please don't worry about us.

We have a couple more weeks before we return to Ukarumpa for the first term of the school year. At that point, I will begin to homeschool Jacob. This will not be easy for my extraverted son, but he will take band and an elective course at the high school, and he is in full agreement with this decision. Please pray for this transition to homeschooling Jacob. Please also pray that I would be able to get out into the community during the next couple of weeks, meet some more people in the community, and learn a few more Enga words and phrases.