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decidedly not complaining, but asking you to pray

Posted by on May 22, 2011

This post could also be called finishing strong.  I started writing it on Thursday.

I haven’t posted in close to 2 weeks. Usually that means that life has been hard. The good news is that our water has pretty much stayed on. The bad news is our internet and electricity have not. Apparently someone hit a big important cord off the coast of west Africa with an anchor. uh oh. We are thankful now that we’re able to get email to load, but loging into wordpress has been a bit tricky. We’ve also heard rumors that the giant generator that has kept our quartier in power is not working like it should any more. For us, that has meant many hours without power. Some of us, living in this house, are able to sleep when the power goes out and the bedrooms get to be +100*F. I am not one of them.

I took a moment this afternoon. It was one of those… “I better leave the house or I’m going to start yelling, or worse” moments. As I was sitting in my self-inflicted time out, I leaned forward and put my head in my hands, took a few deep breaths, and prayed desperately for strength.

Saturday is Sam’s birthday which means that tomorrow is cupcake day. I was not looking forward to spending a few hours in the HOT kitchen. And I knew I was having a bad attitude. Feeling the fatigue of many nights with interrupted sleep and crying children who say, “I want to be COLD Mama!”

A few hours later, as I was working in said HOT kitchen, the Lord whispered to me with truth and compassion. As I write this to you now, I am touched with his faithfulness to me. In that still, small voice he told me that we are doing great. Sure there are hard moments. We are fussy, hot, and tired. “BUT,” I felt him say, “Look at all that you’ve got going on right now. All the problems and crisis going on around you.” As I started to think about how (relatively) healthy we are body, mind, and spirit, I began to see how Christ is getting the victory in the life of my family.

Part of my breakdown this afternoon was due to a friend who came to see us. This friend needs help. He came to us because he thinks we can help him stand up for what is right. We have been dealing with lots of drama lately. It’s dramatic and frustrating. I approach God with desperate prayers and beg him for justice for those who cannot help themselves. My heart breaks with the stories I hear of sins that have been committed and hidden for years. Instead of feeling angry at the sinner, I just feel so broken for the helpless.

We are preparing our family for a giant transition back to the US.  This is exciting, but also quite stressful as we try to figure out where (and how, for that matter) we are going to stay.  We have been planning a summer full of travel.  We are trying to make wise choices about how to do all of this with very limited means and still honor our family and loved ones who have gone so long without seeing us.  We are also trying to plan some family vacation time, but also feel the pressure to do so as cheaply as possible.  This is another area in which we have seen the amazing and faithful hand of God.  Can you believe that we are going to manage 9 nights in France (5 in Paris) for less than $1500??  $150/ day for five people including food, hotel, and in country travel.  The fact that my hours of online research are (literally) paying off makes me giddy.

We are packing up our house and preparing it for those who live here while we are gone.  Amber and Ashley are also preparing for a big transition back to the US and have been working on the big decision of what things to take, store, or sell.

We are (still) trying to plan and make progress on our BIG DREAM.

We are dealing with a big set back in R’s adoption.  We are praying and processing what will happen if the final answer is no.  We are hoping that it will be yes.  Please pray with us as we (Dave and the lawyer) appear before the Appellate Court judge on June 6 to ask one more time.

We need you prayers.

I am reminded that there is a spiritual battle going on here.  I believe that we have an adversary who wants to rob us of the joy and momentum we have felt in our calling and our future ministry here.  I am trying to guard my heart and mind against depression that comes with fatigue.  Battling the heat when the power is seemingly off more than it is on can sometimes take over.  The daily functions of life become difficult.  When I begin to pity myself, I remember my neighbors and the fact that the difficulties that overwhelm me have been normal for them since birth.  And I ask myself, as I have so many times before, “Why me God?  Why did you bless me and choose me to be born in Houston, TX instead of some place else?”  And then I know why I am here and know that I can keep going.  He will give me the strength to live in gratitude and recognize my blessings and plod on.

And with this gratitude, I am reminded of the very sweetest moments of this past week.  Caleb has really started walking.  And so has Sam, in a new way.  After the baptisms Sam witnessed on Easter Sunday, he was full of questions about the forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ.  On Wednesday, he came home from school and announced, “Mama.  Today at school I asked Jesus to live in my heart, AND HE DID!!  And I didn’t even need your help.  I did it on my own!”  He said he didn’t talk to God out loud but did it so that God could “hear his heart.”  So sweet.  And such a proud moment as parents.  He is so hungry to know God and know about God, always asking to bless the food and praying with us each night before bed.  Little by little, the lessons are being learned.

What a hard week.  What a good week.

What are you thankful for today?

6 Responses to decidedly not complaining, but asking you to pray

  1. Fletch

    Thanks so much for your honesty and service. A “shinning” example of brokenness and humility, no matter how u feel!!
    Praying!
    Fletch Wiley

  2. robin hickman

    I am so very thankful for my relationship with GOD, and that I have the privilege to be His servant. To be taught by the person of the Holy Spirit and know it is truth what He is teaching me that has changed everything in my life forever! Hope, you and Dave have been an incredible witness to me, I always find myself crying when I am reading your blogs and newsletters. I realize that God calls some to be missionaries, but it takes a lot of obedience to remain steadfast in Gods call for your family. May He do supernatural work in the electricity and in the prayers all of you have prayed! I love you all.

  3. Gma

    Thankful for you, of course! xoxo
    Your mom

  4. Joëlle

    Quel témoignage tu livres ici, Hope! 🙂
    Vraiment, j’aime beaucoup lire ce que tu écris, car c’est ton coeur de femme, de mère, de missionnaire, d’être humain qui parle. Tu as une telle fraîcheur dans tes propos, et avec toute cette chaleur nigérienne, je sais que cela doit te garder en vie!
    Bon courage pour les quelques semaines avant votre départ aux USA. J’ai très hâte de vous revoir. Embrasse la famille pour moi!
    P.-S. Moi, je suis reconnaissante à Dieu pour mon pays de paix et de’abondance, ici au Canada. Je loue Dieu aussi pour ma bonne santé, ma famille, et surtout pour mon petit garçon de trois mois qui est une créature si merveilleuse! Quel trésor!
    Kala tonton!

  5. Jessy Charania

    I am always in awe when I read what you guys are doing. I love to see the ways God is moving in Niger and how He’s using you guys to do it.

  6. Stephani

    Wow, the honesty in your writing is such a strong, beautiful voice of authentic living with God. Thank you for that. It is a witnes to those of us not even in Niger.
    Praying for all of you, praying for R and his story, and I second that prayer for God to do supernatural work in the electricity, other basic functions of the home, and in your prayers.
    Thank you, thank you for writing.

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